Thursday, 14 May 2009

The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger - The ultimate teen angst novel!

Advantages: Allows for much self reflection, young or old.

Disadvantages: none, a great read

The Catcher in the Rye is a novel by J. D. Salinger, published in 1951. 

Were you ever a hung up teenager? Could you not make sense of the world? Your family? The opposite sex? Were you cynical? 

This has to be the ultimate teen angst novel! The teen in question is Holden Caulfield 

This book is set in the changeover from the 1940s to the 1950s. 

The book tells us of the death of a brother, values, the concept of "phoniness", girlfriends, possession, jealousy, bastard room-mates, family respect, sexual experience, suicide... 

The book was criticised for its profanity, and although was aimed at an adult audience, it has been a staple in secondary schools since the nineteen sixties. 

Firstly this book should be read by all teenagers as a kind of catharsis, a way of understanding themselves, or at least seeing themselves from the point of view of another. Without a doubt, even the luckiest of teenagers goes through periods of doubt, and a read of this book is a reassurance that at least you are not alone. The fact that the book is set outwith the present, in a time that lacked playstations, drugs and the internet, the feelings of doubt and the struggle to understand life are the same now as they have been over time. 

Secondly, all adults should read this book, as there may be a few epiphany moments for those who never quite got to grips with who they are or why they turned out the way they are. 

I haven't said much about the story - this book is one where the feel is more important than the narrative, go get yourself a copy!

Summary: Time for some self appraisement

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