Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

A slow, analog alternative to the internet

Moderators: SecondTalon, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
podbaydoor
Posts: 7548
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:16 am UTC
Location: spaceship somewhere out there

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby podbaydoor » Thu May 28, 2009 7:38 pm UTC

bobbo wrote:I have a bit of a theory about Catcher in the Rye. All of the people in my year that do not like the book seem to be the ones with the most friends, do well in school and all that (successful in the conventional, school taught sense). All of the people that absolutely love the book are the stranger, arty types (plus the self-harmers etc. basically people that don't fit into the traditional school cliques) who scrape through school putting in as little effort as possible etc. (the people who think they are just like Holden).

Sure Holden's self-indulgent, whiny and, despite his beliefs, there's probably nothing wrong with him mentally. A lot of people (especially angsty teenagers) are self-indulgent, whiny and believe they have mental issues. That's why Catcher in the Rye is loved. The people who think like Holden are the ones who can "see through" (or are completely oblivious to) his selfish, obnoxious personality.

Unfortunately, I love Catcher in the Rye.

You'd be wrong. I was among the outcasts, had no real friends, and was the weird awkward intellectual kid who fit in nowhere and constantly alienated people with my blunt outbursts. And, as stated above, I still hated Holden.
tenet |ˈtenit|
noun
a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy : the tenets of classical liberalism.
tenant |ˈtenənt|
noun
a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.

User avatar
DarkKnightJared
Posts: 268
Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2008 8:10 am UTC
Location: Arizona
Contact:

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby DarkKnightJared » Fri May 29, 2009 2:01 am UTC

Yeah, Holden annoyed the piss out of me, but I don't HATE the book for it, because I've pretty sure that was Sallenger's intent. In fact, I'd much rather read a shit character like Holden then other books that have characters that the writers think are perfect but are really one-demensional pricks (coughTWILIGHTcough).

sje46
Posts: 4730
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:41 am UTC
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby sje46 » Fri May 29, 2009 2:05 am UTC

Sorry. But I really don't think I or anyone else said it was esoteric or anything.
And again, don't take my angry post at the beginning of this thread seriously. That was satire :P
General_Norris: Taking pride in your nation is taking pride in the division of humanity.
Pirate.Bondage: Let's get married. Right now.

User avatar
Chai Kovsky
Posts: 1652
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:36 pm UTC
Location: Californication

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby Chai Kovsky » Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:55 pm UTC

DarkKnightJared wrote:Yeah, Holden annoyed the piss out of me, but I don't HATE the book for it, because I've pretty sure that was Sallenger's intent. In fact, I'd much rather read a shit character like Holden then other books that have characters that the writers think are perfect but are really one-demensional pricks (coughTWILIGHTcough).

Yes, there are bad books that are nonetheless better than Twilight. That doesn't make CitR a redeemable book in its own right.
Spoiler:
kellsbells wrote:¡This Chai is burning me!
Chai Kovsky wrote:I can kill you with my brain.

That is all.
superglucose wrote:In other words: LISTEN TO CHAI.
Delayra wrote:Yet another brilliant idea from Chai!

I <3 Pirate.Bondage!

User avatar
sparks
Posts: 119
Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 7:24 pm UTC
Contact:

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby sparks » Mon Jun 01, 2009 6:28 pm UTC

podbaydoor wrote:I read it when I was fourteen, when I was at my whiniest angstiest stage, and even I absolutely hated Holden. Couldn't stand him for his total spinelessness combined with his fake bravado and grating sense of fake superiority. But even then it wasn't the narrator that formed my main complaint about this book - it was the fact that absolutely nothing happened. I waited the entire book for something, anything to happen, but all I got was Holden being sent to a mental institution for not even any real mental issues besides being an irresponsible unreasonable spineless coward. There was no. Plot. At all.


Have you ever heard of such thing as character-driven as opposed to plot-driven novels?

I used to be a huge CITR fan, and identified slightly with Holden, but there are books I like far better than it! I do think people can either empathize with Holden or not. If one thinks about it, there are many people who are exactly like him, and don't necessarily have any redeeming features. The book isn't about anyone extraordinarily unsual but rather about a Post WWII teenage boy, and somehow I think it conveys that well.
(icon by clockwork-harlequin.net)
Image
"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all." ~ Oscar Wilde

User avatar
podbaydoor
Posts: 7548
Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 4:16 am UTC
Location: spaceship somewhere out there

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby podbaydoor » Mon Jun 01, 2009 11:47 pm UTC

sparks wrote:Have you ever heard of such thing as character-driven as opposed to plot-driven novels?

But what if the character is likewise as shitty as the plot?

Obviously, others did not find the character shitty, okay, they found an enjoyable book. But for the ones who were annoyed by both character and plot (me), it just means I wound up reading what I found to be an annoying book all around.
tenet |ˈtenit|
noun
a principle or belief, esp. one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy : the tenets of classical liberalism.
tenant |ˈtenənt|
noun
a person who occupies land or property rented from a landlord.

User avatar
If Chickens Were Purple...
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 9:51 pm UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby If Chickens Were Purple... » Mon Jun 08, 2009 12:30 am UTC

Some random thoughts/responses to all this:

  • I don't think there's a moral or message to Catcher in the Rye. People aren't supposed to realise that they're like Holden and try to change, or, God forbid, realise that they're like Holden and feel validated. The book is an exploration of a certain type of human being.
  • I'm almost certain Salinger doesn't want you to hate the character. Whether you think he's an asshole or not, you can't deny that every other character in the book is a lot more of an asshole. Except his sister.
  • Holden is clearly severely socially inept. The reason he hates so many people is that his internal logic clashes with everyone else's. The parts of the book where people react badly to him tend to be the parts where he's trying hardest to be himself. This is why he's frustrated.
  • As for his redeeming features: well, it's a first-person novel, you either like the sound of the voice that's talking to you or you don't. People like the way his mind works. He says some interesting things and he has certain thoughts that humanise him: the extract that the book's title comes from is the obvious one, there's also his talk about the kid who was excited about giving a school presentation but classmates kept shouting "digression" at him, and the bit where he remember's that girl for the way she always kept her kings lined up at the back in checkers was quite sweet. There's more, but I haven't read it for a while now. Anyway, people are making out there's nothing likeable about the guy, I don't think that's true.

Save Point
Posts: 425
Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:27 am UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby Save Point » Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:14 am UTC

I also disliked this book a lot. There's an image floating around the internet somewhere that is basically the Catcher in the Rye book cover with the caption "Hundreds of pages of Livejournal." That's the problem. It's not an interesting narrative at all, in my opinion. Maybe I was supposed to identify with aimless, angsty teenage wandering but I simply didn't.

I was going to make a lengthier post, but I just wasn't feeling sexy.

User avatar
Iori_Yagami
Posts: 606
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 8:37 pm UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby Iori_Yagami » Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:34 pm UTC

Aaaaaaaand... what is exactly wrong with LiveJournal? (except ridiculous abuse team's actions)
*battle music starts*
They cannot defend themselves; they cannot run away. INSANITY is their only way of escape.

User avatar
Kendo_Bunny
Posts: 528
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:56 pm UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby Kendo_Bunny » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:49 pm UTC

Iori_Yagami wrote:Aaaaaaaand... what is exactly wrong with LiveJournal? (except ridiculous abuse team's actions)
*battle music starts*


Nothing's wrong with LiveJournal. There's just something wrong with the users who write WangstJournal.

User avatar
altair4
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 12, 2009 3:54 pm UTC
Location: england, brighton

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby altair4 » Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:50 pm UTC

I too was an outcast depressed mid teen that was not bowled over in the slightest by catcher

I can not remember a single part of the plot anymore, I always assumed it was because I was in the uk and it just didn't travel well. Glad it's not just me after all.
Read by choice not on forced to by the way

User avatar
Sir_Elderberry
Posts: 4206
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:50 pm UTC
Location: Sector ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha
Contact:

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:12 am UTC

http://www.geekyhumanist.blogspot.com -- Science and the Concerned Voter
Belial wrote:You are the coolest guy that ever cooled.

I reiterate. Coolest. Guy.

Well. You heard him.

User avatar
faye159
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:29 pm UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby faye159 » Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:56 pm UTC

our teacher had us read that book too in high school......

i think i was the only one who loved it, everyone else thought it was boring...

i don't know, but i just find it entertaining/funny

it's definitely one of my favorites and i'm mostly into fantasy books....

User avatar
cephalopod9
Posts: 2030
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:23 am UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby cephalopod9 » Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:28 am UTC

Holden's brother died.
Oh my gosh, why does no one seem to remember that? That probably had something to do with the depression angle.
Kendo_Bunny wrote:And if you think what Salinger did with Catcher in the Rye was accomplished better by other authors? I enjoy "character > plot" where the character is fleshed out. I enjoy James Joyce immensely, but I am really not a fan of Salinger.

I was totally going to ask about that if no one brought it up. I bet it's an either or kinda deal (like the difference between a thinking or feeling Myers Brigg type or something ). I couldn't stand Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. (please note how I here remember to state my opinion in a way that doesn't take the form of an objective statement of quality)

I kind of think it's a crime to force anyone to read this book.
Furthermore, I don't think Holden as a character was meant to be the focus of the story either. What I got from it was an extrapolation of a particular moment in time, and an exploration of the relationship between an individual and the whole of contemporary life. It necessarily is told from the perspective of someone naive and "sensitive".
Image

User avatar
reflectia
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:51 am UTC
Location: A figment of your imagination

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby reflectia » Sun Jan 03, 2010 1:48 am UTC

I personally disliked Catcher, although I suppose I can see why people who might sympathize with Holden as an off-the-wall character (in either sense of the the term).

What I don't understand is how some people see Holden as attractive. Apparently Holden made "Top 10 Characters We'd Like To Date" or something like that on a blog that I have lost the link for. I was confused. For me, at least, there's a difference between enjoying the writing style, enjoying the plot, and sympathizing with the main characters. I just can't see where the physical/emotional appeal of Holden is. Certainly not the emotional appeal, as he's unable to form any emotional attachment whatsoever to anyone but his siblings.

Someone please enlighten me.
I accidentally divided by zero and my paper burst into flames.

User avatar
Quantum Sunshine
Posts: 43
Joined: Sun Nov 08, 2009 4:58 am UTC
Location: Missouri
Contact:

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby Quantum Sunshine » Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:16 am UTC

Personally I found the book bad, not that I hated it.

I love books that have a good mixture of plot and characters, Catcher in the Rye contained no substantial plot and not the best character ever, which is why I didn't like it. BUT, if you like a book with a weird hidden moral I guess it might be a decent book. The moral of the story, I think, is that people don't want to change after they've lost their innocence, which my English Teaches explains as experiencing something kids aren't supposed to experience. Before the book even started Holden had lost his innocence when his brother died so he got stuck at whatever state he was in, which is why he's such a bad character.

But that's just my thoughts, I'm outta here.

sje46
Posts: 4730
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:41 am UTC
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby sje46 » Sun Jan 03, 2010 4:36 pm UTC

Good books don't need "substantial plots". At least, not in the sense of physical things happening. Some great books don't involve any significant "physical" events, and are concerned entirely with the character's mind. Books like The Bell Jar and Ethan Frome and Ulysses don't involve great plot twists and world changing events. Good books don't even need a climax or things to end differently than they started. Neither do they need interesting characters! Even though that would certainly help. It all depends on the point of the novel.

And you don't usually lose your innocence suddenly from one event, although one event can trigger it. He loses his innocence throughout the book, he slowly comes to terms with it.
General_Norris: Taking pride in your nation is taking pride in the division of humanity.
Pirate.Bondage: Let's get married. Right now.

User avatar
aMan
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:08 pm UTC
Location: Balkans

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby aMan » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:16 pm UTC

reflectia wrote:I personally disliked Catcher, although I suppose I can see why people who might sympathize with Holden as an off-the-wall character (in either sense of the the term).

What I don't understand is how some people see Holden as attractive. Apparently Holden made "Top 10 Characters We'd Like To Date" or something like that on a blog that I have lost the link for. I was confused. For me, at least, there's a difference between enjoying the writing style, enjoying the plot, and sympathizing with the main characters. I just can't see where the physical/emotional appeal of Holden is. Certainly not the emotional appeal, as he's unable to form any emotional attachment whatsoever to anyone but his siblings.

Someone please enlighten me.


[I don't consider this "enlightening" you, for I respect your opinion, and have no intentions in making you change it. :)
This is just what I think.]

I would like to draw a parallel between the situation in the book and this one, people don't understand/sympathize/like Holden.
Everyone who has read the book, knows the situation, Holden talking to his little sister* and, when trying to negate her statement that "He doesn't like anything", thinks of what he really likes : and then he remembers the boy who rather died then take back what he said; but knows that he can not explain that to her.
See, look it like this : his sister is a normal child, without doubts Holden has. She's functioning well in family, in school, in life, generally. Obviously, Holden does not. Why? His sister has never been brought into a situation to question why should she do these things she does. Holden, on the other hand, is emotionally unstable, he hardly stood the loss of one brother, the other one being "a prostitute"** He's afraid, he's alone, he does not know how to fit in, and all the values of the adult world, he considers phony : so, in the act that boy did "not taking his word back" if it costs him his life, he finds honor, a value unknown to most (phony) people. I'm not going to explain why is it important to stick to your words, most people nowadays don't do that (that's the phoniness of our world) because, just like Holden can not explain, neither can I. You can either agree or disagree with the rightfulness of the boy's act: but that doesn't mean that you are right one or the other way : it's just the system of values you have.
So, in a way, Holden and I share the same "system of values" in which, to stick to the things you say is something you respect; and writing movie-scripts (when you could write things of artistic and not consumer value) isn't.


*he has feelings for other people too : the girl (Jane? is that her name?)
** meaning he wrote movie scripts in Hollywood, thus selling his writing talent for money : which Holden finds dishonorable.

User avatar
kjsharke
Posts: 70
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 3:53 pm UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby kjsharke » Tue Jan 05, 2010 11:58 pm UTC

Kendo_Bunny wrote:Also... I'm an English teacher (next year, after I get my license). I'd rather assign my students to read Crime and Punishment than Catcher in the Rye. I think it's a far more mentally improving work and has more merit.


While I agree with you, I'd be impressed if you got a (non-self-selected) high school class to read/enjoy Dostoevsky. The fact that CitR is easy and (arguably, I guess) substantive makes it ideal for required HS reading (like "The Stranger" or "Farewell to Arms").

I liked CitR (and "Bananafish" but nothing else by Salinger). IIRC: Holden sees the adult world as empty (edit: "phony"!) (a la Crass's "End Result"), so he is looking for meaning, but never finds it. Also he wants to be a good person (a "catcher in the rye"), but once again, is very bad at it. I don't think you are supposed to relate to not having friends, or being a selfish, lazy prick (though that is true of Holden), but Holden's search for meaning. And his frustration, of course.

For those of you that didn't like it, I'd be curious if you liked other books/movies that had a similar feel to me -- "The Razor's Edge", "Brideshead Revisited", "The 400 Blows", "Igby Goes Down", etc. I just started "Demian", perhaps that would go here too.

User avatar
King of Frogs
Posts: 422
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:14 am UTC
Location: Scotland, The Matrix
Contact:

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby King of Frogs » Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:43 am UTC

I read Cather in the Rye when I was about 17 or 18 (because I thought it was a "Classic" and therefore I had to read it) and I found it extremely dull and with a very non-compelling central character. In fact one of its few redeeming factors for me was the fact that it was short.

Also, I found the narrative slightly confusing (a frustration I also felt when reading Joyce for school), everything is all so bundled up with Holden's internal monologue, that events don't seem to have any real structure. Well, I say "events" in the loosest possible use of the word because of course as has been mentioned earlier, nothing happens. I undersand that there are those who find the bildungsroman compelling, the story focussed on one character's personal development through the often normal stages of life, but to be honest, this kind of story just leaves me cold. The constant obsessive focus with one central character's internal life leaves any possible interesting interactions with others and their lives often rather stunted.

But to be fair, it has a possible angle of interest for me, if one reads it as a story about a young man strugging to cope with the world whilst suffering from some kind of asperger's syndrome or high-functioning autism, though told badly. Having read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime I did see some slight similarities between the two characters (though the boy from CIDN is an infinately more sympathetic and interesting character), the feeling of being threatened by the world, the obsessive tendancies, the attitude which can appear to be aloof and the constant misunderstanding of the world around him. Not sure if this is at all valid, but its the only vaguely constructive thing to have come out of my reading of this book.
The first one to fall asleep when the revolution comes.
Cheese wrote:We should never talk ever again. Ever.

michaelandjimi wrote:"No, cease your sexual activities! The communists will invade!"

User avatar
reflectia
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:51 am UTC
Location: A figment of your imagination

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby reflectia » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:04 am UTC

aMan wrote:So, in a way, Holden and I share the same "system of values" in which, to stick to the things you say is something you respect; and writing movie-scripts (when you could write things of artistic and not consumer value) isn't.
*he has feelings for other people too : the girl (Jane? is that her name?)
** meaning he wrote movie scripts in Hollywood, thus selling his writing talent for money : which Holden finds dishonorable.

I found Holden's descriptions of "prostitution" to be self-excluding, though (I'm not really sure if that's the best way to put it in English, but the way I think of it.) For instance, he undertakes "relationships" (not really) with several girls - Sally(?) in particular is one he views as extremely shallow and self-absorbed (as when she wants to go to the ice skating rink) - yet he goes on a "date" with her, knowing he doesn't intend to respect her in any way but his appreciation of her physical attractiveness. To me, this sounded a bit like his prostituting himself for the sake of the "adult" appearance of always having a girl on his arm.

Jane and Phoebe are in a separate category - they're people he actually values for their innocence (Jane's kings in the back row, Phoebe's his kid sister), and he actually does have feelings for them, as you mention. There's a distinct difference between his actions towards them (more genuine) and towards most other people he meets (prostituting himself for the iconic "adult" image). The second group he doesn't seem to give a care about, other worrying what their perceptions are towards him.

kjsharke wrote:While I agree with you, I'd be impressed if you got a (non-self-selected) high school class to read/enjoy Dostoevsky. The fact that CitR is easy and (arguably, I guess) substantive makes it ideal for required HS reading (like "The Stranger" or "Farewell to Arms").

Agreed - the length and the diction of Dostoevsky scares most HS students away. I know several AP students at my school who have attempted it and failed. The appeals for a lot of people for just starting Catcher were the colloquialisms and casual tone.
I accidentally divided by zero and my paper burst into flames.

User avatar
cephalopod9
Posts: 2030
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:23 am UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby cephalopod9 » Sat Jan 09, 2010 10:47 am UTC

reflectia wrote: found Holden's descriptions of "prostitution" to be self-excluding, though (I'm not really sure if that's the best way to put it in English, but the way I think of it.) For instance, he undertakes "relationships" (not really) with several girls - Sally(?) in particular is one he views as extremely shallow and self-absorbed (as when she wants to go to the ice skating rink) - yet he goes on a "date" with her, knowing he doesn't intend to respect her in any way but his appreciation of her physical attractiveness. To me, this sounded a bit like his prostituting himself for the sake of the "adult" appearance of always having a girl on his arm.

I'd say it's a ways beyond him not wanting to have something more serious with Sally,; he's unable to.
Throughout the story, he's trying desperately to find someone to connect with. I mean, he hires a prostitute to talk with her.
I'm not sure where respect fits in, since they're struggling just to communicate at all, it's hard to put down either way.

There are places where he tries to look more adult, but that's part of gaining access to adult places, and recognition.
Image

User avatar
El Spark
Posts: 238
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 6:34 pm UTC
Location: Lower nowhere

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby El Spark » Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:25 pm UTC

I'm really not a fan of the book. I'm a teen librarian, and the second-fastest way to make me put down a book that looked interesting is to read a blurb that begins with "Just like Catcher in the Rye, this..." etc. (The fastest way is to write a vampire romance).

On a slight side note, anyone who's not a fan might be interested in Frank Portman's book King Dork. The main character points out that CitR ends up looking like a cult: some teachers were once kids who were forced to read it, and now they force their students to read it because it's a "classic." Of course, that argument can be made for many books, but he only applies it to CitR in that particular book.
Check out my short horror story "No One Rents 203," available in Kindle and Nook formats.

dg61
Posts: 287
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:30 am UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby dg61 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:39 am UTC

I found the book decent but not great. Here's the thing. Yes, Holden is not really supposed to be sympathetic. But we still need to give a damn about him. Someone mentioned Dostoyevsky, and that seems apt for the wrong reason. If you want to see the difference between decent-to-mediocre literature and brilliant literature, read Catcher in the Rye and then read Notes from Underground. While the latter does have a unpleasant narrator, that narrator is also capable of forcing us to pay attention to him by being self-aware. The Underground Man(the protagonist of Notes From Underground) knows he's an angsty prick and takes advantage of that knowledge to constantly nettle the reader. The result is a character who is at once repulsive and utterly entrancing. Holden Caulfield mopes around without being aware he's moping around and not moping in a particularly interesting way. Also, almost nothing happens in Notes from Underground(at least for the first half), but the narrator's ramblings have a magnetic enough effect that it doesn't matter.

User avatar
justaman
Posts: 498
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 1:53 am UTC
Location: in ur walls eatin' ur internets

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby justaman » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:18 pm UTC

R.I.P. J.D. Salinger. Died age 91 on Wednesday in New Hampshire.

New report here
And this is why we have News and Articles.. for stuff that's News. -ST
Felstaff wrote:"deglove"? I think you may have just conjured the sickest image within my mind since I heard the term "testicle pop".

umbrarchist
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:01 pm UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby umbrarchist » Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:11 pm UTC

It was an out of date bore in the 60s.

The fact that they still have kids reading it sure says some peculiar thing about the people that teach English literature.

They say kids are supposed to be the future. Reading sci-fi back in the 60s was more useful than the English literature class.

um

hawkmp4
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:44 pm UTC
Location: Colorado, US

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby hawkmp4 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:26 am UTC

After reading the book I felt like I really didn't take anything away from it. I didn't enjoy it while reading it, nor did I learn anything after reading it. Forget all the analysis of plot and character. I just didn't enjoy the book and I feel like I didn't learn anything or take anything away from it. That's why I thought it was a poor book.
Computer Science: A place to discuss the spirituality of Pornography Storage Apparatuses and programs, from algorithms to computability.

Formal proofs preferred.

doglive
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:04 pm UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby doglive » Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:05 pm UTC

For me Holden is just like Ignatius Reilly from A Confederacy of Dunces, is a great character, but not exacly meant as the guy you want to hang around with.

User avatar
Alobar
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:04 pm UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby Alobar » Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:34 pm UTC

I still have to read this book. It's been on my list for a while and now that Salinger recently died, I feel obligated to read his best known work.

User avatar
Lucrece
Posts: 3558
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2008 12:01 am UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby Lucrece » Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:04 am UTC

I dislike the book because I dislike bullies, especially bullies who have experienced perceived victimization but have no problem proceeding to victimize other people.

Reminds me of a girl in high school who felt all clever with her sardonic and mordant demeanor to just about anyone. Lived up to the stereotype of spiteful girl with a past of rape that evolves into girl who is aggressive (physical and verbal) and mean spirited against the whole world. Everyone in her eyes is a "poser". Being a contrarian is her job.

Holden reminds me of that girl. Only that he was even more financially well off, whereas our school had mostly low income people.

As Rosie O' Donnell described the novel in Ferguson's show, "He's a privileged kid whining about life."

I dislike people who don't develop a sense of empathy through their hardships, and therefore I disliked Holden and his development in the book.

Someone mentioned hating characters becoming saintly. I don't need the character to necessarily be dynamic. I need a REASON as the book develops to find that after I finish reading the book, there was something past being subjected to the musings of a disgruntled teeny-bopper. Instead, the whole book was about his behavior.
Belial wrote:That's charming, Nancy, but all I hear when you talk is a bunch of yippy dog sounds.

User avatar
cephalopod9
Posts: 2030
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 7:23 am UTC

Re: Catcher in the Rye stinks or is it just me?

Postby cephalopod9 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:20 am UTC

I feel like if you don't see him as empathetic, then you're missing a lot of the book. True, he doesn't express sympathy, or any of his emotions well, but the book's only superficially about what he does.
But, what can I say? The value of it just seems obvious to me, but I can't give anyone else that appreciation (I think step one is not being required to read it).
Image


Return to “Books”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests