Steven Perelmuter's Book Review
Steven Perelmuter Smiling Book Review Club
Hi everyone, my name is Steven Perelmuter and I love to read books. I thought I would give everyone the chance to hear my thoughts on this book if they were interested. Anyways, I hope you enjoy my review. Thanks!
J.D Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye"
Released in 1951 and written by J.D Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye is a classic novel that depicts the life of Holden Caulfield after he is expelled from school then forced to learn some hard truths about life. The story is told from the viewpoint of Holden himself as a series of flashbacks while he sits in a mental hospital in Southern California. The tale of how he ended up there began a year prior to his being admitted when he was in a private Prep School in Pennsylvania.
The three-day series of events began with what was supposed to be a simple football game against a rival school. Holden was supposed to make sure that the team's equipment arrived at the game however he lost the equipment on the subway and was subsequently expelled from the school. The news distressed him but he was powerless to stop it from happening.
Holden spent his last day as a student at Pencey Prep in his dormroom reading. He wanted to be left alone however his roommate picked a fight with him and Holden lost miserably. Holden was supposed to stay the final two days of the term but after his fight with his roommate he decided to take a trip to New York City and blow off some steam. While there, he had a series of unfortunate run-ins with hookers, their pimp and a few old flames.
Despite being set over half a century ago, the Catcher in the Rye explores a number of themes that many 21st Century youths can relate to because they face similar challenges as they come of age. The main protagonist is deeply flawed in a way that makes him relatable and funny even though his decision-making skills could do with a lot of work.
Salinger made no attempt to make Holden look like an angel. From the very start you can tell that he's abbrasive, rebellious and lazy. The book is supposed to be for young adults and teens however the sheer volume of profanity in this book is so high that most parents wouldn't let their children read it if it was not considered a classic. Some might say that the heavy use of foul language and adult themes such as prostitution are overused however the excess brings the characters to life and makes them more realistic. The adult themes means that younger readers are excluded from the target audience however the moral issues explored in the book would not be as evident without them. The Catcher in the Rye is designed to show how a man must lose a part of his innocence when he reaches adulthood and that could not be done without showing how dark and dirty the real world can be.
Despite the dark themes, Salinger's book is a brilliant coming-of-age novel and an inspiring read. Holden experiences a lot of bad luck in those three days however his perseverance in the face of hardship will inspire young readers to stay true to themselves and their convictions when dealing with the many evils that the world will throw at them.
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