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text 2017-07-17 12:55
16th July 2017
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger

Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody. 

 

J.D. Salinger

 

July 16, 1951: J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye was published 66 years ago today. The novel's title is actually a misquote of sorts—the result of narrator Holden Caulfield mishearing Robert Burns' poem, Comin thro' the Rye.

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text 2017-01-02 12:05
2016 – the Best of the Best and the Worst of the Worst
Edie: American Girl - Jean Stein,George Plimpton
Metro 2034 - Dmitry Glukhovsky
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley,Maurice Hindle
Jaws - Peter Benchley
The Catcher in the Rye - Jerome David Salinger
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
The Man-Eaters of Tsavo - John Henry Patterson,Peter Hathaway Capstick

With the old year gone and the new one just two days old, it is time for a quick retrospective on what was great and what wasn’t.

 

Let’s start with the Best of the Best!

My favourite book of 2016 was probably Edie, the amazing biography of Edie Sedgwick. Not only was it exciting to read about her short but intense life, but it was also a great experiment in terms of writing style and figuring out new possibilities within the genre of biography.

Another book, that was surprisingly good was The Man-Eaters of Tsavo. I initially started reading it, because I was curious about the book on which one of my all-time favourite movies is based on, but after a couple of pages I fell in love with it (despite all of its flaws).

 

 

and now the Worst of the Worst

The biggest letdowns of 2016  were two books I was unfortunately really looking forward to read.

The first one was Metro 2034 by Dmitrij Gluchovskij. This was such a huge disappointment for me, because the first book in the Metro series was really exciting with a lot of interesting characters, really good writing and a thrilling plot. Unfortunately, Metro 2034 had nothing of the things I loved about the first one.

The other letdown was Jaws. And what a letdown that was! This is a sentence you hardly ever hear me say, but seriously: Go and watch the movie! It is ten times better than the book.

 

Additionally, there are some honourable mentions, meaning books, I am happy to finally have read and which I therefore can happily cross off my bucket list. Those are:

The Catcher in the Rye (although this is definitely not one of my favourites), Frankenstein (which was really good) and A Christmas Carol (love it!)

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text 2016-11-18 18:43
Review: The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger

Goodreads summary:

"The Catcher in the Rye" is J . D. Salinger's world-famous novel of disaffected youth. Holden Caulfield is a seventeen- year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school. Navigating his way through the challenges of growing up, Holden dissects the 'phony' aspects of society, and the 'phonies' themselves: the headmaster whose affability depends on the wealth of the parents, his roommate who scores with girls using sickly-sweet affection. Written with the clarity of a boy leaving childhood behind, "The Catcher in the Rye" explores the world with disarming frankness and a warm, affecting charisma which has made this novel a universally loved classic of twentieth-century literature.

 

My opinion:

I surprisingly really liked this novel. It was a bit slow at the beginning, because Holden is very moody etc., but the writing style kept me going and I ended up really liking this novel. I do understand why this is a classic that most people in USA are required to read in school (I didn't read in school, so I picked it up because I wanted to), because you can learn something from it (or even realize something about life and/or society) and it's (I think) relatable to most teenagers as well. Everybody feels kinda depressed one in a while and thinks about dropping school. This is also a very accessible classic, because it's very easy and quick to read and feels like you're reading just a YA novel. And another reason why I think it's so relatable is because Salinger made the characters so very realistic (which I really loved). Oh and I personally also really liked Holden as a character (which is a very unpopular opinion I think?), even though he could be sometimes annoying to other characters. Those part where even funny to me. So if you like to read YA novels and want to try a classic: read this one! You can also read it if you usually don't read YA; this book is just for everybody. I personally really, really liked it and I'm glad I gave it a shot.

 

What is your opinion about this novel? Did you have to read this one for school or not?

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review 2016-10-09 17:15
THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J. D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger

I understand why you should not read this for the first time as an adult but my education was neglected in my teens, obviously, since I did not read it then.  Holden is a pain where the sun don't shine.  He is so whiny.  He acts as if he's seen everything, done everything, and knows everything but, as an adult, I want to shake him and tell him to wake up and look at how good he has it.  He is the epitome of the angsty teenager who can get on an adult's nerves.  He is never responsible for his actions.  It is always someone else. 

 

I have enjoyed Salinger's works in the past so I am glad I did not read this one first.  I may not have read any more of his works.  Although in fairness, I should have read this as a teenager to truly appreciate Holden.  It lost something in the last 40 years for me.

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review 2016-09-14 18:32
The things we do for our loved ones..
The Catcher in the Rye - Jerome David Salinger

I got this book ages ago, when I was about 15 or 16 years old (which makes some sense, considering the age of the protagonist), because I read it in English classes. Or rather, I should have read it in English classes..

I still remember when I started reading the first half of the first sentence: „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 that was exactly how far I got at my first attempt of reading The Catcher in the Rye. I immediately disliked the writing style and the stuck-up way in which the reader is talked down to and I put it away. I think shortly before our English test, I tried again, managing to read the first and a half pages, then again putting it down, because I couldn’t stand this arrogant writing.

 

Now, more than 10 years later, I finally made it through, but only in order to encourage my boyfriend to read more. He doesn’t like to read a lot and we thought it might be a good idea if we read the same book, so we can talk about it. And since The Catcher in the Rye is one of his favourite books, I agreed to read it too.

 

Damn, this book was annoying me! What a terrible brat!

There was this one part I really liked. When Phoebe asked Holden to name ONE thing he actually liked and – surprise, surprise – he couldn’t name one. And all this cursing! Come on.. I normally read a lot of Thompson and Burroughs, so I don’t mind swearing at all, but in all those cases, it adds something to the quality of their writing style. But in this case it just felt like reading something a sassy and arrogant 16-year old had written when he was trying to impress his friends.

And what happens to the ducks??

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