The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

I wouldn’t be exaggerating by saying how famous this book is within the world of Literature, regardless of its age. I don’t remember how I came to know of this book but I spontaneously decided to read it at the beginning of my summer vacation. Luckily I found a copy at the Virgin Megastore branch in the airport.

Aside from the striking cover of what seems to be a demon possessed horse clad in red (it is actually one of the horses found on a merry go round which is brought up later in the book.) Another feature struck me. No blurb.

Look at that bold horse
My copy of The Catcher in the Rye.

“Ah, shit.”

This is a very personal preference of mine. I appreciate a good blurb to help me make a proper decision. If there is no blurb, I will most probably buy the book based on my judgement of the cover and whatever I have heard about the book. Only recently did I start tackling blurb-less books by noting down the book’s title and then searching for the blurb or reviews. However the thought didn’t cross my mind back when I was at the airport. Airports make me anxious. So along with five other books (with blurbs) I bought The Catcher in the Rye.

Even after buying the book I still went out looking for a blurb without spoilers.

The Catcher in the Rye is a timeless tale of a teenager struggling with society and himself. Holden Caulfield is a teenager who hates his own life. He believes that every single person in the world is phony. One day, he decides to leave school. His life changes when he decides to go to New York for three days.-Vivid Skies, Yahoo answers.

A relatively simple plot compared to some books I have read in the past. I did feel an ounce of disappointment but it was completely washed away by the time I reached the third chapter.

The author’s writing style, the protagonist, and how the plot unfolded are the three main aspects of this novel that captivated my attention until the last page. The novel’s content is rich in irony, sarcasm, and insights into the protagonist’s thoughts and feelings. The book deals with themes of sexuality, premarital sex, hypocrisy, and the internal battle of finding a path in life while indulging the readers with scenes of drollery and flashbacks.

I honestly feel that the image of New York is dramatically changed in this book. I have never been to New York so my thoughts of The Big Apple ranges from “making it big” to the glorification of the life of a struggling artist living in a run down apartment hoping to make his or her dreams come true. The novel adds a whole new perspective of New York: a harsh cold place filled with “phonies” (I’m sure there are decent people too).

Overall, this novel is a remarkable piece of literature and I hope you give it a chance if you ever see it on one of the shelves at your local bookstore.

Daniel Dalton wrote the article 36 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About “The Catcher in the Rye” to commemorate the author’s 63rd birthday. I wanted to share it specifically for those who have already read the book since the article contains a few spoilers.