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The Catcher in the RYE


Can someone please inform me what is the premise of this book? I feel that I'm not appreciating the content provided.
I understand Holden is a disconnect troubled teen, who will not conform to the current interests or trends of the 50's. And had great grief for his former brother.

But I feel the content dragged on a fair bit and the quarrelsome demeanour was a little much for a late night read.

Please help put this book in better perspective. I'm failing to understand the environment and substance of the book.

Polly Parrot

Staff member
I can't be of much help I'm afraid, I read it as part of my secondary school curriculum but all I remember is being thoroughly annoyed by the Holden character. I never understood why it has always been touted as such a great book.


New Member
There is no substance. You either like it or not because it's more like a letter from a friend who explains to you what's going on in his life and what are the things that he thinks when or before he takes action. I personally liked it and I've read it many times since the first time but right now I feel like I will get bored if I read it once more, so, I don't. I prefer keeping that feeling I had when I really liked it.
I don't know if that helps


Active Member
^ I agree with the above post. You either like it or you don't. As to why it has had staying power and is considered a book everyone should read, I think that has to with how different it was (from the mainstream) when it was first published. You have to remember that it was published in the 50's and it was much more vulgar, cynical and darkly humorous than much of what was entering the mainstream at the time. Also, I think it speaks to adolescent angst which is a pretty strong universal theme. I might even specify male adolescent angst, and was, again probably one of a very few popular books that illustrated this issue.
It is interesting to me that of the people I know who didn't really care for the novel, many (not all!) are women. Most of the men I know who read the book liked it. I wonder if there is something to that?