Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Catcher in the Rye

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.”

Holden perfectly describes in the above quote how I feel about The Catcher in the Rye.  It’s narrated in the first person so you get sucked into Holden’s mind; although you know that Holden is unreliable, (he is very troubled) he is a somewhat charismatic narrator whose unhappiness seems to speak to a lot of readers- myself included. 

I first read The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger as part of my English course when I was 17.  At that age, life can feel really topsy turvy and I remember feeling really disillusioned and struggling with the idea of growing up. The character of Holden Caulfield really resonated with me and I found that I identified with him.  Now, I’m (quite a) few years older, the book inspires me to be positive and at times, I feel infinitely sad for the protagonist: a character who is dealing with a lot, seemingly by himself. 

The book deals with Holden’s mental breakdown and the consequent emotions of it; loneliness, lying and deception, the ‘phoniness’ of the adult world. For me, they are themes that are prevalent during your teenage years but it’s only as you get older you learn to deal with them instead of letting them get you down and recognise and ask for the help you need. 

The Catcher in the Rye is a coming-of-age story that you can turn to time and time again, who says you have to be 16 or 17 years old to feel lost or disillusioned with the world?  It also shares themes with some of my other favourite books – The Perks of being a Wallflower, Silver Linings Playbook, The Spectacular Now, The Bell Jar. For me, the fact that this book is still so popular and well read, even though it was published in the 1950’s, emphasises that it really is a brilliant book and one that I will continue to read time and time again. 

This is part of the 'My Favourite Book' series: authors, bloggers, and readers sharing their favourite book on 'Reads and Recipes'.  If you're interested in contributing one of your own - you can find out more information here.


Warm Vellum said...

GOD I adore this book. A real classic masterpiece, and a gorgeous/frank portrait of its time period.

Rachel Farmer said...

I've been wanting to read this for such a long time, but I've also heard mixed things about it. I guess I'll just have to read it and decide for myself whether I like it or not! Great review!
Dashing Good Books

Anne @ booksbakingandblogging said...

I am reading The Catcher in the Rye right now, and marked that exact same quote to use in my review! :-) I'm loving it so far.

Bookworm said...

I love this book - Ive read it 2 or 3 times. Great quote!

Ayu Chandradyani Nusantari said...

I've been wanting to read this for such a long time, but I haven't time to read some books.

btw I love your blog, hope to see you soon on my blog


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