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A Catcher In The Rye...

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Life Saab Itch

Original Poster:

37,067 posts

97 months

Sunday 30th September 2012
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Sooo......


Possibly THE marmite book.

Personally, I think it's a book about a whiney little bh being a whiney little bh, getting told he's a whiney little bhby people that are annoyed that he is being a whiney little bh, until he's told to stop being a whiney little bh by his Dad who sent him to a military school.


What makes this book a life-changing book for some people? Why the high regard? I didn't even think it was particularly well written (once I'd gotten over how crap the main character is).



Your thoughts...please.

coppice

3,179 posts

53 months

Monday 1st October 2012
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Bit like The Smiths- you felt this book was about you- or if not you personally then somebody you were at school with.

K12beano

16,797 posts

184 months

Monday 1st October 2012
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Yup. Thought it would be a book I'd really like... Up there with Kerouac and Pirsig maybe. But just a pile of utter tosh. Just made me cross when Humphrys championed it as a "classic" the other year in one of those fairly pointless lists of best books....

Ayahuasca

19,599 posts

188 months

Monday 1st October 2012
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It achieved notoriety when the guy who murdered John lennon claimed that it was his inspiration.

davepoth

26,569 posts

108 months

Monday 1st October 2012
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If you read it at 18, it works much better. I think that was kind of the idea.
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AM04ARO

3,394 posts

124 months

Monday 1st October 2012
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I think it is a good book. A bit like being anti establishment for a year or two with the main character doing what you could do if you have the guts.

I thought I would read this and 'To kill a mockingbird' which was the better book.

rehab71

3,101 posts

99 months

Monday 1st October 2012
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I couldn't stand Holdan, he's fking annoying.

Love The Smiths though ;o)

KaraK

12,343 posts

118 months

Friday 5th October 2012
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I'm with LSI.. I thought it was dire.

TwigtheWonderkid

19,059 posts

59 months

Friday 5th October 2012
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Me too. Utter drivel.

knotweed

1,882 posts

85 months

Friday 5th October 2012
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Worst book I've ever read.

Justin Cyder

12,624 posts

58 months

Sunday 7th October 2012
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I couldn't see what would inspire someone to murder because of it. Didn't the guy who shot Reagan cite it as well?

TKAMB is a far superior work of art. That book shone a light on a persistent injustice. CITR is essentially a rite of passage pulpy load of old rot that I gather rather reflects it's author.

davepoth

26,569 posts

108 months

Sunday 7th October 2012
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Justin Cyder said:
TKAMB is a far superior work of art. That book shone a light on a persistent injustice. CITR is essentially a rite of passage pulpy load of old rot that I gather rather reflects it's author.
I looked at it from a step back. I wonder whether the very self absorption and obnoxiousness of youth to adults is the point of the novel that Salinger was trying to get across. If you are 18 you have a completely different experience with the book than if you are 28; he spends the whole book whining about how nobody understands him. A late teen reader says "I totally get that", an adult throws the book across the room and screams "MTFU you pathetic little git".

It's been a while since I've read it though, and I'm loathe to give it another go as I'm too old to like it now. biggrin


Edited by davepoth on Sunday 7th October 09:53

Justin Cyder

12,624 posts

58 months

Sunday 7th October 2012
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Well, I did read it when I was 20. biggrin To be honest, that was more than twenty years ago now. I've never felt the desire to go back to it, but I have re read TKAMB twice since then. Although the perspective of age is a fair point Dave.

blueg33

17,183 posts

133 months

Sunday 7th October 2012
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I like it. One of my favourite books of all time.

At first it does seem like whiney drivel, but when you look into it you see the complexities in the character caused by the events in his life, and can get a feel for how he becomes self destructive and why others relate to him in the way they do.

KaraK

12,343 posts

118 months

Monday 8th October 2012
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Justin Cyder said:
I couldn't see what would inspire someone to murder because of it. Didn't the guy who shot Reagan cite it as well?

TKAMB is a far superior work of art. That book shone a light on a persistent injustice. CITR is essentially a rite of passage pulpy load of old rot that I gather rather reflects it's author.
To be fair after reading it I was feeling pretty homicidal as well hehe

Characters that you don't like can make good reading but they need to be well written and IMO Holden isn't. Were it not for all the controversy around the book in the early 60s I doubt anyone would give a flying fig about it now. It's become one of those books that a lot of people say is great because they think they are expected to.


blueg33

17,183 posts

133 months

Monday 8th October 2012
quotequote all
KaraK said:
To be fair after reading it I was feeling pretty homicidal as well hehe

Characters that you don't like can make good reading but they need to be well written and IMO Holden isn't. Were it not for all the controversy around the book in the early 60s I doubt anyone would give a flying fig about it now. It's become one of those books that a lot of people say is great because they think they are expected to.
Blue junior (age 17) is very much into literature, reading etc. He had never heard of Catcher in the Rye, he found it on my bookshelf and read it with no prompting from anyone. He really rates it, its up there with his favourites: The Hunger Artist - Kafka and 1984 - Orwell.

HRL

845 posts

128 months

Monday 8th October 2012
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I made a point of reading it last year because I had a copy of it and never had.

Utter drivel as far as I'm concerned, though I have just turned nearer 40 than 30. To Kill A Mocking Bird is on my Todo list still.

TwigtheWonderkid

19,059 posts

59 months

Monday 8th October 2012
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knotweed said:
Worst book I've ever read.
Try Turn Of The Screw, that's far worse.

KaraK

12,343 posts

118 months

Monday 8th October 2012
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blueg33 said:
KaraK said:
To be fair after reading it I was feeling pretty homicidal as well hehe

Characters that you don't like can make good reading but they need to be well written and IMO Holden isn't. Were it not for all the controversy around the book in the early 60s I doubt anyone would give a flying fig about it now. It's become one of those books that a lot of people say is great because they think they are expected to.
Blue junior (age 17) is very much into literature, reading etc. He had never heard of Catcher in the Rye, he found it on my bookshelf and read it with no prompting from anyone. He really rates it, its up there with his favourites: The Hunger Artist - Kafka and 1984 - Orwell.
Life would be boring if we all liked the same things thumbup

I suppose what really gets me about Catcher is the sacred cow status it has in some quarters. I've been been accused of trolling elsewhere for daring to express a low opinion of it.

SpeckledJim

10,413 posts

162 months

Monday 8th October 2012
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AM04ARO said:
I think it is a good book. A bit like being anti establishment for a year or two with the main character doing what you could do if you have the guts.

I thought I would read this and 'To kill a mockingbird' which was the better book.
I hated it, but love TKAM. "What would Atticus do?" is a good rule for life.