Hi everyone! Long time no see...
It's needless to say, but I'm very sorry for my long absence. What with school starting, the impending doom of the PSATs, computer issues, extra homework and so on, time and energy have been hard to come by.
Also, I've been kinda intimidated by the next book I'm going to review. I've never reviewed any of my all time favorites, and frankly, it's pretty scary - particularly with such a controversial book.
I realized that I simply had to review it after I heard A very exciting rumor: the author, who died several years ago, left instructions in his will to publish five more books.
You may have already guessed it: I'm going to review The Catcher in the Rye.
I love the book. I read it last summer - I wanted it to last forever, but I couldn't stop reading. Catcher is the archetypal teenage manifesto. Holden Caufeld speaks my mind, and I can relate to him more than I probably should. Holden is in no way a roll model. He's an icon of teenage rebellion (wikipedia says so), but frankly, it would be pretty screwed up to try and emulate him - is life is miserable. Said to be based very much on J. D. Salinger's own experiences growing up, Catcher is laced with a delicate balance of angst and melancholy. It mirrors my everyday feelings exactly. True, I'm not as bitter or judgmental as Holden, but yes, the mix of angst and melancholy is the same. That's why I love it so much.
I know, a lot of people don't like Catcher for one reason or another. I must admit, there are a lot of reasons to dislike it. After all, do you really want to read about a rich white dude complaining for 214 pages? I know, I thought not. The first time I heard of Catcher, I was talking to a friend who'd read it for school. "It's about this guy who runs off to New York and complains and swears every other word," he said. "Don't read it." A shining recommendation, right?
Still, it's not as if Holden has no reason to complain. As the book progresses, his vulnerabilities start to show, and you begin to realize how deeply human he is. An anonymous quote on the original jacket summed him up perfectly: "The boy himself is 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."
I won't hold a grudge against anyone who feels differently than I do about the book. Catcher in the Rye has had a big impact on my life since I first read it, so give it a chance before dismissing it. As a teen, it's comforting to know that other people have the same feelings as you do, and I only hope others can understand the beauty of the story.
Catcher in the Rye (by J. D. Salinger) is magic. Please read it.