Saturday, July 5, 2008

[Book] The Catcher in the Rye

Very few fiction books leave the kind of impact that The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger does. But then, very few characters are as weird and whacky as Holden!
The narrator, Holden Caulfield, is a troubled teenager who has problems at school, at home and almost everywhere. He finds it difficult to get along with almost everybody, for he thinks they are phonies. The only exception is his younger sister, Phoebe, whom particularly adores. Another soft spot in his heart is his first crush, or perhaps love.
To some extent, Holden reminds one of Christopher Boone ( from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time); but unlike Christopher, who is an autistic kid, Holden has his wits about him; only that he uses them to pass sarcastic judgments about the people he comes across. He makes some very accurate, if uncomfortable, observations about world.
The Catcher in the Rye makes for a fascinating read. It makes us aware of hypocrisy that goes around all the time, and the importance of being earnest. The language was considered scandalous by 1950s standards, when it came out, which resulted in many colleges banning it for years. Today it has become something of a cult book, for every one of us can identify ourselves having same thoughts as Holden at some point in our life.
The book ends on a very interesting note; in fact I consider the line is something of a gem.
I am so glad to have this book in my personal collection, all thanks to RVP.

1 comment:

Sangeeta Patni said...

Nice post.

It is an amazingly well written book - nasty in pieces, but truthful at most. Makes you look inside and acknowledge all the thoughts that you had and never even dared to admit to yourself that you had.

I just loved it. I recommended it to a few friends, and I find that a couple of them avoided discussing it since. I think it is a book which can be uncomfortable to many.

Therein lies its beauty and appeal.