‘The Catcher in the Rye’

SALINGER, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. 1945-1946.

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Penguin Books' edition, 1994

Penguin Books’ minimalist edition

You may or may not have noticed—depending on whether you have eyes or not—that there’s no extract from the back cover synopsis in this post. The reason is that there’s none. Maybe it’s because a classic this popular doesn’t need an introduction. Unless you’re an ignorant like me.

I’d always pictured a cheesy love story or a thriller on agricultural lands. I couldn’t be more wrong. The novel is about a kid who gets expelled from school and goes back home at the end of the year. More precisely, the book only covers his trip back home, therefore a few days. And it’s told in first person by Holden Cauldfield, the kid himself.

This is probably the key feature of The Catcher in the Rye. Holden is actually telling someone the story. He uses a colloquial language with repetition, hesitation, deviation, fillers and vagueness. Holden is also not an average boy. It’s obvious that his brain doesn’t work as most people’s. I guess nowadays he’d be diagnosed with ADHD or something of the sort.

If you’re looking for a different narrative style, something uncomplicated, natural and beyond introduction-body-and-conclusion, this is definitely a great choice.


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