Wednesday, 6 January 2016

The Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger

A Penguin modern classics paperback from 1951. Reprinted 1972.<br />

$6.99 at Amazon, used copies from $0.93.

The Catcher in the Rye - J D Salinger

Since his debut in 1951 as The Catcher in the Rye,  Holden  Caulfield has been synonymous with "cynical  adolescent." Holden  narrates the story of a couple of days in his  sixteen-year-old life,  just after he's been expelled from prep school,  in a slang that sounds  edgy even today and keeps this novel on banned  book lists. It begins,

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably   want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like,   and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all   that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into   it, if you want to know the truth. In the first place, that stuff  bores  me, and in the second place, my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything pretty personal about them."

His constant wry observations about what he encounters, from teachers   to phonies (the two of course are not mutually exclusive) capture the   essence of the eternal teenage experience of alienation.

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