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Thursday, October 4, 2012

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, A TIMELESS COMING-OF-AGE TALE






As my contribution to Banned Books Week, hosted by Sheila, at Book Journey, I am reviewing a classic tale.

After you read the review, please comment and leave your contact information, as I am giving away my copy of this book.







Paperback: 288 pages
* Publisher: Back Bay Books; Reissue edition (January 30, 2001)
* Language: English

The world that surrounds Holden Caulfield is full of excruciating disappointments, like the phonies who attend his prep school. And like the adults who teach there. Parents are often portrayed with all of their flaws, too, as Holden very diligently examines the world he sees and describes it for the reader in his first-person narrative.

Almost from the opening paragraph, the reader can feel what Holden feels; see the world through his eyes; and begin to completely relate, even if the reader is an adult. When this sixteen-year-old shares his thoughts and feelings, we are reminded of our own adolescence. And while we may not have been prep school students living in New York, the feelings are universal.

Not belonging. Doubting everyone around us. Questioning the realities we see.

Holden has been expelled from still another school, and he has until the following Wednesday before his parents find out. He grabs the opportunity for freedom and leaves school early. On the streets of New York, his observations of life continue as he seeks out old friends who make him feel "not so depressed." One by one, they manage to disappoint him in some way, however, until finally he reconnects with his younger sister. And with her, he shares his passion to be someone who protects and saves other children from the disasters of life. He envisions them running toward a cliff in a field of rye and he "catches" them.

Sometimes I found Holden very depressing, but, of course, his feelings were coming through. His disillusionment was intense. I especially felt for him when the one adult he turns to near the end, a mentor and favorite teacher, does something he perceives as appalling, thus crushing still another idol in his mind.

A glimmer of hope presents itself near the end as the rain falls in the park and everything seems cleansed. Like a new start.

Beautiful and evocative, The Catcher in the Rye is a timeless coming of age tale. Five stars.


Why was The Catcher in the Rye banned?

The challenges generally begin with vulgar language, citing the novel’s use of words like “goddamn,” with more general reasons including sexual references, blasphemy, undermining of family values and moral codes, Holden’s being a poor role model, encouragement of rebellion, and promotion of drinking, smoking, lying, and promiscuity.

24 comments:

  1. Totally one of my favorite books! I first read it when I was about 11, and have read it at least once a year ever since. I don't know why I like it so much, but I do!

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  2. This was my first time to read it! I can't believe I missed it when I was younger. Thanks for stopping by, Nicki.

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  3. i read this book in high school...and loved it...thanks for the chance to read it again.

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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  4. Thanks, Karen....hope you enjoy it the second time around. Glad you could stop by.

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  5. I love this book. I haven't read it in over 30 years. Goodness. Thanks for doing this, Laurel!

    cluculzwriter at yahoo dot ca

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  6. This was my first read of the book, Joylene, and I was definitely glad I read it. Thanks for stopping by.

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  7. laurel this is a great review! I have never read it but I want to. I am going to fix this link now (I just got home) When you originally filled out the form on line you put the other blog down. :)

    Thank you so much for being a part of banned book week!

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  8. Thanks for stopping by, Sheila; I enjoyed this book and had fun participating in this event.

    I don't recall putting the other blog down...sorry about the confusion.

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  9. Hi Laurel - just seen your post this morning - I seriously updated last night but now I see it didn't go through. I am adding you to today's now so to hopefully bring some people your way.

    I even double checked the original sign up form today to make sure I wasn't goofy - you linked the other blog fr the review but we are fixing it all now! YAY! :)

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  10. Good to know, Sheila...and I must have been in a trance when I filled out the form, because all that stuck in my mind was this site! lol

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  11. Thanks for this giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. I did read it many years ago but would again and treasure it. Thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  13. Thanks for visiting, traveler...hope you enjoy it again!

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  14. Petite, sometimes rereading old favorites does feel like a treasure reclaimed. Thanks for visiting.

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  15. *sigh* Yet another book that has been sitting dejectedly on Mt. TBR just waiting for me to notice it again. I'll get to it someday! I must! :)

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  16. I've never read THE CATCHER IN THE RYE. Another banned book on my reading list.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  17. Thank you so much for a fantastic post! I would love to have the oportunity of reading this book, that looks increadible. Thank you so much. x

    Email: lfountain1(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

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  18. Rachel, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks for stopping by!

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  19. Mary, glad you could visit...hope you get to enjoy this one soon!

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  20. Lucinda...glad you liked the review; hope you enjoy the book, too.

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  21. I haven't read this since high school, but it was a book that I really enjoyed. Thanks for the chance to win! I definitely need to try to re-read a lot of my favorites from back in high school.

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  22. I have to admit that I don't enjoy this book very much, but I certainly think it is everyone's right to make that decision for themselves. Thanks for highlighting a banned book!

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  23. Bookienook, it will be interesting to see if your views have changed since your first read it. Thanks for visiting.

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  24. Lindsey, thanks for stopping by...and yes, not everyone enjoyed this one.

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