Catcher in the Rye (Paperback)

Author: Salinger, J. D.

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I found this novel to be excellent. I read the book while on vacation and couldn't put it down because I was always interested in what was going to happen next. This is one of my favorite books. I recomend it to everybody!

-A Reader quote

One of My Favorite Novels

by A Reader on 6/2/1999

I found this novel to be excellent. I read the book while on vacation and couldn't put it down because I was always interested in what was going to happen next. This is one of my favorite books. I recomend it to everybody! Read More

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Product Overview

Holden narrates the story of a couple of days in his sixteen-year-old life, just after he''s been expelled from prep school.


Publisher Grand Central Pub
Mfg Part# 9780316769488
SKU 30048347
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0316769487
Release Date 4/1/1991
Sales Rank 49
Dimensions (in Inches) 6.75H x 4.25L x 0.75T
Author Info
J. D. Salinger
Although he only published one novel, two novellas, and a handful of short stories, Jerome David "J.D." Salinger was one of the most admired and least understood American writers of the 20th century. Salinger's classic 1951 novel THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is still widely considered to be the most accurate fictional depiction of adolescent angst ever written and has become one of the most popular books ever written in English. However, after its publication, Salinger traded up his literary stardom for mythic status by completely receding from his public life, ceasing to publish his work, and spending the last 58 years of his life in complete seclusion on his estate in New Hampshire.||Born in 1919, Salinger grew up in New York City, the son of a Jewish father and a Scotch-Irish mother; his father sold cheese and smoked meats. Like Holden Caulfield, his most famous literary creation, Salinger flunked out of multiple prestigious private schools, and he was eventually sent away to attend Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania. He seemed to adapt well to the disciplined environment at Valley Forge, where he edited the school yearbook, managed the school fencing team, and even composed a new school song. The young Salinger harbored aspirations of becoming a writer, even as he dropped out of New York University and made an abbreviated attempt to learn the family food business, and his short stories began to be accepted by increasingly prominent magazines in the late 1930s and early 1940s. But the trajectory of his life and his writing career was irrevocably altered when he was drafted into the army in 1942. Salinger fought in some of the fiercest battles of the European Theatre of World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge, and he was among the first American soldiers to liberate a concentration camp. He wrote about his wartime experience, obliquely, in several short stories, most notably "For Esmé, With Love and Squalor." After being treated for battle fatigue at the end of the war, Salinger returned to New York and published an impressive series of stories in "The New Yorker," including the superlative "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," which first introduced readers to the Glass family, a collective of erudite misfits who would occupy most of his later work. During these years, Salinger was twice married and twice divorced, having two children by his second wife, and he would later marry his third wife in the late 1980s. In 1952, he left New York and moved to Cornish, New Hampshire, where he lived as a recluse on 99 acres at the top of a hill, with a view of five states. Though there have been reports that he continued to write throughout his life, Salinger published nothing after 1965, and he vigorously pursued legal action against several parties who attempted to make unauthorized use of his work. He died of natural causes at his home in 2010.
"Repetitive, indecent, often very funny, it is wonderfully sustained by the author, who achieves all those ancient effects to be got from a hero who is in some ways inferior, and in some ways superior, to the reader....Why, then, with all this to admire, do I find something phoney in the book itself?...[T]he adult view of adolescence, insinuated by skilful faking, is agreeable to predictable public taste....[It] is what the consumer needs....The boy's attitudes to religion, authority, art, sex and so on are what smart people would like other people to have, but cannot have themselves, because of their superior understanding."
"Rereading CATCHER today, we're not just captivated by the engaging cadences of Holden's speech, we're aware of being captivated, self-consciously enjoying Salinger's masterly touch and admiring the way he creates an authentic young American hero--even if, compared to, say, Huck Finn, a minor one....Although this hero is in the same mold of outcast adolescent as Twain's young narrator, Holden's story simply doesn't have the social breadth of THE ADVENTURES OF HUCKLEBERRY FINN."
From the Publisher
Annotation J. D. Salinger's famous and enduring chronicle of Holden Caulfield's journey from innocence to experience is the quintessential coming-of-age novel--though it's an unusual one, in which the hero tries to cling to the simplicity of childhood, achieving a kind of maturity almost in spite of himself. As the novel begins, Holden runs away from his stifling prep school, which is full of "phonies" and where he has, in fact, flunked out. Holing up in a New York City hotel, he has a series of small adventures and missed opportunities, all of which emphasize his loneliness and alienation from the world. A visit to his kid sister Phoebe (in which he memorably articulates his confused notion of being a "catcher in the rye") provides a ray of hope for Holden, as do the ducks in Central Park that he worries about so compulsively: though they do indeed disappear in the winter, they return in the spring. The novel's final image, of Phoebe riding the carousel in the park while her brother looks on, in tears, holds out the idea that there may be a future for Holden as well. Salinger's 1951 novel was a bestseller and became an immediate cult favorite, but it has also, over the years, been subject to criticism and even censorship because of its liberal use of profanity, its frank conversations about sex (though no actual sex takes place), and its generally irreverent view of the adult world.
First Line If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.
Editors Note Anyone who has read J.D. Salinger's New Yorker stories ? particularly A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut, The Laughing Man, and For Esme ? With Love and Squalor, will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is fully of children. The hero-narrator of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.||
Product Attributes
Book Format Pocketbook
Number of Pages 0224
Publisher Little Brown and Company
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One of My Favorite Novels by A Reader on Jun 02, 1999