Book Review – The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger

This book had been on my radar for some time now.  Then I saw that there was a new film out about Salinger which I wanted to see but I felt I should get on and read his most celebrated work first.

I had thought that given its title the narrative should be set in the countryside, rather like Cider With Rosie, which I have not read but have seen a film adaptation, but I was very much mistaken.  The title comes from a misquoted poem by Robert Burns and the story is set initially in the narrator’s private school then in New York where he navigates himself around this his home city.

He writes in a very adolescent style, reflecting the age of his protagonist and describes his attitude towards the people he meets on his journey and what he perceives is their attitude towards him.  But it is towards the end of the book that the meaning of the title becomes apparent and the reader can decide who the catcher is.

It is a compelling read and on the surface nothing much seems to happen but when I finished reading and gave it some thought I felt the content provided a fascinating commentary on the human condition.  I recommend that book lovers read it and work out any hidden meanings for themselves.

Keith Jahans

 

Published by Penguin in hardback,
paperback and as an ebook

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