Book review: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

It’s not often that I fall in love with a book, and when it happens it truly feels amazing. And that is how I feel, having read this classic American novel of 1951 – a book that I’ve been hearing about from time to time and was very curious about. The narrator and main character, Holden Caulfield, is not your average young man. At first, I found him entertaining, half way through the book he began to get on my nerves, but by the end I adored him so much I found myself wishing I could adopt him! Let me explain: Holden is distracted. Very distracted. His words and actions are so random that any sane person would soon start to wonder what’s wrong with him.

Throughout the book, he jumps from one thing to another. Plus he lies, and even when he doesn’t have to, seemingly just for the fun of it. At the same time, Holden keeps saying the word ‘phony’ throughout the book. He can spot lies and deception from a mile away, and seems to despise these things with passion. Talk about a contradiction there! His story involves a roller coaster of emotions and situations and you get to follow it all from his point of view. It all starts in his school, a place he hates, with schoolmates he loves to hate too. I won’t give you any spoilers about the plot, but I’ll just say he leaves school and winds up in New York where he stays in a hotel and meets a few people – some of them he knows, others he meets for the first time. The more I read, the more I was reeled in. I said earlier on that Holden got on my nerves at some point, and that was partly because he kept repeating himself. Normally, repeated words in a book won’t do, but of course, for the specific, over-thinking character, it actually makes sense and shows the brilliance of the author. The writing in this book is truly masterful, down to the last detail.

The character’s thinking, as faulty and annoying as it can be sometimes, is intriguing and will keep you interested throughout. Towards the end of Holden’s weekend in New York, and certainly in what comes after that, Holden’s true colors slowly begin to show, and that is where you’ll probably find yourself caring for this young man more and more, just like I did. He felt so incredibly real, and I was full of concern about him when the book ended for that reason. Frankly, I wish there was a sequel so I could find out what happens to him next! And that, I think, is the true feat of the great J. D. Salinger. This magical book made me cry at the scene of the carousel simply because, there, Holden Caulfield tells us exactly who he is and where he’s coming from. This is a gem of a book. You can’t call yourself a book lover unless you’ve read The Catcher in the Rye. This is one of the best and most unforgettable books I have ever read and I highly recommend that you read it too.


My rating

5 stars

Unforgettable and magical


Do you enjoy classic books? This legendary story is a must!




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