Alright, so I know The Catcher in the Rye's supposed to be this great American classic coming of age story. I know English teachers across the country are going to be up at arms after reading this review. I know, but I'm sorry. I'm sorry to say that if it weren't for the reputation it enjoys and the time I invested waiting for this book to get better, I'd have never finished it, and I'm a kid who hates to put down a book. Don't get me wrong. It wasn't entirely without its merits. The style was probably remarkably innovative in its time, and it's certainly very enjoyable in small doses. On occasion, though, it crosses the thin line from conversational to awkwardly worded. An English teacher told me that's just Holden's character coming through. Unfortunately, that brings me to my next point. I may be missing something, because everyone else in the world seems to identify with this kid like none other, like he's their long lost brother, but I don't. I found him annoying, whiny, and as hypocritical as the phonies he decries all through the book. Even worse, I found him, the story's narrator-protagonist fairly flat, static and stagnant, which is understandable, since until the closing chapters of this book, the plot goes absolutely nowhere. In quick conclusion before the literary lynch mob beats down my door, I can't bring myself to recommend this book to anyone except someone like me looking to understand its place in literary history.
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
January 23, 2010