Literary Quote of the Month

“For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences,” … Rilke, The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Catcher in the Rye ... the week I spent with Holden Caulfield! (caution this may contain spoilers!)

Holden Caulfield and I spent the rest of the week together... When last I checked in I had just started the Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and ended at the point where Holden leaves his dorm in the middle of the night (End of Chapter 7)...

What a whirlwind tour of New York! And how depressing too. Holden just craved companionship, and at every chance he got he tried to hold on to it in order to hold off the loneliness that surrounded him like a cocoon... First we hopped on a train, ran into a classmates mother, spent the trip shooting the breeze with her, pretending to be someone else and got off at Penn Station in NYC... trying to think of someone, ANYone, to call and spend a little time with, but ending up not calling anyone. So we hopped in a taxi... Oops, Holden gave the taxi driver his real address- big mistake! He definitely doesn't want to deal with his parents just yet... so he asks the driver to turn around and go to this hotel. A depressing looking dive... And that's how the beginning of the story took off. Holden going down to the hotel lounge, spending some time with a few women, drinking and being rejected, again... then on to another bar, more drinking and even though he was surrounded by people, more rejection... Finally he gets himself a hooker, gets beat up, loses some money... spends some time with one of the guys from school, gets bored and calls an old girlfriend. Spills his guts about the way he feels, asks her to marry him and go away with him, gets rejected and ends up broke. By now, he decides to go home. See his sister, who really is his only ally... He sneaks home, spends time with his sister, still can't deal with seeing his parents, sneaks out... All I can say is that Holden Caulfield is a pretty interesting character. The situations he gets himself into are sometimes funny and sometimes a bit sad. He's trying to be all grown up, but he's really not... If only he could make that one connection, someone who would understand all his teenage angst... I can see why David California wrote 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye which is suppose to tell the story of Holden Caulfield 60 years after we turn the last page the Catcher in the Rye. The ending of the Catcher in the Rye leaves you wanting more! You want to find out what happened to Holden after he got home and finally confronts his parents! But in typical Holden style, and if you read J.D. Salinger's book you'll know what I mean, Holden says...

" That's all I'm going to tell about. I could probably tell you what I did after I went home... but I don't feel like it."

I wasn't sure how I would like the Catcher in the Rye when I first started reading it. Set, in the beginning, in a boy's prep school, I wasn't really that taken with the story right away. But Holden grew on me... and so did the story! I enjoyed my New York travels with Holden and would explore more of New York with him if I could... And if you haven't read the Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, I would recommend cracking the spine on this one!

Have you read the Catcher in the Rye? Tell me what you thought of the book, of Holden, of J.D. Salinger's decision to sue to stop the publication of David California's book, 60 Years Later!

7 comments:

Ladybug said...

I haven't reat it yet, but I have it here on audio! And now I'm really looking forward to listening to it, great review, Suzanne!

Literary Feline said...

It's been years since I read this book. I was in high school at the time, and I remember really liking it as I did most of the assigned reading back then. I am glad you found it to be a worthwhile read, Suzanne!

Suzanne said...

Hi Ladybug!
Wow, on audio! You'll have to let me know how you like it because if the narrator is as good as the story I'm sure it will be worth listening to!

Thanks for letting me know!

Suzanne

Suzanne said...

Hi Literary Feline!
I am amazed that I did not have to read this in high school, but at least I remedied that finally! And enjoyed it! Wouldn't you love J.D.Salinger to write the follow-up!

Take care,
Suzanne

Dar said...

I haven't read it yet but it's on my shelf and I've wanted to read it for a long time. I find it odd that we never read this one in high school but we didn't.

Suzanne said...

Hi Dar!
I love the new photo of you and Buddy!

Book pusher said...

I know I am late commenting but better late than never. I read it as a teenager and found it compelling but depressing. My daughter read it recently and loved it, she phoned a friend in the middle of the night and told her she had to read it, immediatly, she told her to go check her dad's book shelves to find a copy straight away. In high school my brother was asked to read it for english and he refused to read it because he was going through a fundamentalist christian stage,and he decided without reading it, that it was immoral. These days he is a fundamentalist aethiest which is just as irritating as he is still trying to tell everyone what to think. Perhaps I should re-read it.

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