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The Catcher in the Rye The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger


My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say about this book that hasn't been said a thousand times before? Well, this, actually:

I first read The Catcher in the Rye when I was in school; it might have been late elementary school, or it could have been junior high. In any case, it was in the late 1970s. And I believed that it was a contemporary book. Years later, I discovered that it had been published in 1951. That simply amazed me.

Some of it certainly went over my head as a young teen, of course. I was fairly innocent back then. Now I get it, of course. But even now, in early middle age, I can't help but feel that Holden is a friend.

I see I'm wandering into cliche.

One thing: I did find a book which is remarkably similar in tone to The Catcher in the Rye. It's fundamentally different, mind you; I certainly don't want to imply that there was plagiarism involved. Not at all! The Teddy-Bear Habit was written in the 1960s, is written for the 10-16 year old age group (roughly speaking), and includes a lot of humor as well as action and suspense; the hero has problems, but they're nowhere near as serious as Holden's. On the other hand, the book is set in Greenwich Village.

But something about the internal narration by young George Stable is so reminiscent of Holden's inner voice that in my memory I've sometimes mixed the two together. So if you love The Catcher in the Rye, you may want to give The Teddy-Bear Habit a try. See if you can pick up one of the older editions, illustrated by New Yorker illustrator Lorenz; they complement the text wonderfully.

View all my reviews >>

Date: 2009-08-24 03:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oldwolf.livejournal.com
*taunting* Banned book! banned book! banned book!

About 20yrs ago Stockon Unified came out with a list of "banned books" that the teachers were not suppose to teach the students about.

This was one of them.

That same week our local B. Dalton Booksellers put up all the books on display in their window. (good on them.)

Although I've never read it, do you know if there's a list of "banned books" that I could get so that I can read them all???

Date: 2009-08-27 01:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bobquasit.livejournal.com
There was a meme of them that was popular on LJ for a while. I might have posted it...I'll check.

Date: 2009-08-27 01:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oldwolf.livejournal.com
Yeah, cool. I also got to thinking of getting them for my nephew as his B-day is in Sept.

Date: 2009-08-25 01:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tonysalieri.livejournal.com
Eh. I liked Catcher In The Rye the first time I saw it on the Web, when it was called "Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog".

;-)

(But seriously, I do have a friend who teaches English who uses Doctor Horrible when he has his kids read Catcher...)

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