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The hero narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it There are many voices in this novel children s voices, adult voices, underground voices but Holden s voice is the most eloquent of all Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep J.D Salinger s classic novel of teenage angst and rebellion was first published in 1951 The novel was included on Time s 2005 list of the 100 best English language novels written since 1923 It was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English language novels of the 20th century It has been frequently challenged in the court for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and in the 1950 s and 60 s it was the novel that every teenage boy wants to read. Well, this was a pain to get through.First of all, this is a shitty way to start a novel no matter how you want to introduce your main character 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 That is easily one of the saddest, most pathetic introductions to a book As I started this book, I wondered if the introduction is like this, how will the rest of the book be This is what the rest of the book looked like He was also the nicest, in lots of ways He never got mad at anybody People with red hair are supposed to get mad very easily, but Allie never did, and he had very red hair I ll tell you what kind of red hair he had I sort of used to go to Allie s baseball matches It was around ten thirty, I guess, when I finished it I can imagine Holden as this very insipid, boring little kid with no life in him whatsoever Also, Holden thinks everyone besides him is a phony and a moron And he makes it very clear because he mentions it, like, every two pages Literally every damn time I read some of the comments regarding how I didn t understand this book because I didn t relate to it That may be true Very, very true Regardless, I still think to this day that this book is a drag and has an unlikable main character and a dry, boring writing style Perhaps I will read it again when I am older and maybe I ll enjoy it. journal entrytoday i am 15 years old everything is all bullshit, as usual i can t believe how fucked everything is around me like i m surrounded by zombies i can t talk to any of my so called friends, i can t talk to jamie, i can t talk to my parents who would bother listening anyway i cannot wait to leave orange county this place makes me fucking sick everyone is a hypocrite everything is so goddamn bright and shiny and sunny and meaningless FUCK, life is so full of crap.there is one good thing in my life though just read this book Catcher in the Rye blown away i don t know how a book written decades ago could say exactly what i would say it is like the author was reading my thoughts and put it all down in this book things i didn t even realize i felt were right there on the page I LOVED IT i think this is my favorite novel of all time which is not saying a whole lot because there is a ton of pretentious bullshit out there and i bet mrs durham will force us to read it all man i hate that bitch.journal entrytoday i am 20 years old life is great as usual just enjoyed my wednesday morning wake and bake session with j p, the sun is shining, the san diego weather is beautiful, and tonight i m off to rob gregg s to destroy them at bullshit love that game gregg says that joelle will be there yes but she ll probably bring that prick pete with her one of these days i m going to lose it and kick his ass i m in a band fuck you, pete i will never spin your records.all i have on the agenda today is to go to the gym and then off to keracik s american lit class it is not a bad class, although it is nowhere close to gender studies with halberstam or davidoff s survey of modern postmodernism last semester now that was a class it blew my mind so many things to think about the reading in american lit has been okay but we ve been assigned to read Catcher in the Rye and it is terrible can t believe i ever liked this book caulfield is a whiny little bitch the book has no depth there is literally nothing going on with the narrative, style, theme, characterization, it is just one rote clich after another he thinks he is such a rebel without a cause but in reality he is just another tired representation of rootless, stereotypical masculinity and gender essentialism completely inane and without meaning i think my essay will use some acker style postmodernist techniques to show how simplistic this trite classic truly is i m going to deconstruct the shit out of this novel, baby journal entrytoday i am 25 years old another gray, drizzly san francisco morning i wish christopher would wake up, i really need to talk to him after all that shit last night notes on my pillow, really time to grow up dude, i will never complete you well actually i m glad he s still asleep, my throat is too sore to get into it right now with him plus Food Not Bombs is happening this morning and i have to get the kitchen ready john is probably hard at work already, typical over achieving behavior i bet the wisconsin kids are still crashing on our living room floor it s time for them to leave they ve seen The Vindictives at every single Epicenter or Gilman show now and it is time for them to hit the road or learn to take a shower this apartment is not the world s crashpad i woke up early this morning and thumbed through A Catcher in the Rye i remember hating this book in college for some reason probably wasn t po mo enough for me or challenging feh what a pretentious idiot i was this is a beautiful book it changed my life as a kid, i m not sure how i would have survived orange county without it just re reading parts of it brought back all that old angst about all the fucked up shit in the world that kids have to deal with i m not sure there is another book as insightful or as meaningful or funny that part with the clipping of the toenails is hilarious ackley is such a douche this book is the foundation of every zine that i have ever loved a perfect novel it is so human , i guess.journal entrytoday i am 30 years old man my head hurtsso hungover my birthday party last night was awesome even got to spend some time on the turntables thanks kraddy for actually relinquishing a tiny bit of control for once i must have made out with a half dozen people sadly, no real action i think last night s party will be the last big party i will ever throw things have got to change no partying like the world is about to end, i still have my entire life ahead of me tomorrow i am going to go into AIG and hand in my notice i am not an entertainment insurance underwriter, that is not me fuck them if erika can get me that job working with homeless kids at Hospitality House, than i am set although moving from the biggest room in the flat to the water heater closet will be no fun i m 30 years old now for chrissakes still, i ve got to do something meaningful with my life it cannot all be about booze, drugs, hooking up, and paying everyone s rent when they re broke things have got to change.i cracked open A Catcher in the Rye yesterday before the party and read some of my favorite parts what an inspiration seriously, that is a classic novel it is packed with meaning i m twice caulfield s age but i still somehow connect with him in a very direct way my life is going to change and the attitude expressed in that book is at the heart of that change i love you, holden caulfied it s not too late for me to learn from you, to find some meaning in life.journal entrytoday i am 35 years old another intense, sad, but deeply fulfilling week has passed every day something meaningful happens, something so emotional and real sometimes i find myself just losing it in a fetal position because of the things i ve seen working with people who are drug addicted or who have been abused or who are dying is HEAVY but it is also beautiful it s hard to believe i am dealing with all of that and supporting my folks too thank God i have good friends to talk to about these things anyway so now marcy wants to have a kid i just don t know how i feel about that this is such a fucked up world, do we really want to bring new life into it i dunno it seems.selfish, somehow she should just quit her job with the d.a s office and get back to her roots in the public defender s office instead does she think that having a child with me will bring meaning into her life my life has meaning enough already and i really am not sure i can handle that responsibility on top of everything else.i skimmed A Catcher in the Rye yesterday, after an awkward talk with marcy about having a baby it was not an inspiring read caulfield is so full of misplaced angst i m not sure i even understand him any why is he so pissed off he s seen nothing of the world and what the world can actually do to people i want to like him, i want to re capture that feeling of affection i had for him, but now his contempt and his anger just seem so meaningless, so naive he really does not have it so bad there is so much worse out there i don t know how i would handle a kid like that i hate to say it, but i constantly rolled my eyes when reading it oh the emotional self absorption of youth just you wait, caulfield it sure gets a hell of a lot complicated once you grow up.journal entrytoday i am 40 years old when did i become a boss it is like i woke up one day, mysteriously transformed into an old man am i really a leader what does that even mean sometimes i feel like i am just faking it all and someone is going to figure it out and blow the whistle on me last week i made a huge play on the Council, i had all my ducks in a row, and all the votes came in just as i had planned everyone has their own agenda and the way to get things done is simply to recognize and engage with that disappointing fact some folks got up and started clapping and then the whole room joined in, even council members who voted against my motion feh, phonies the experience was sort of amazing but it also made me feel very odd, almost disconnected from myself is this who i am now, a public policy figure, a community advocate, a mayoral appointee ugh, i can t stand the mayor i don t feel like me there is accomplishment there, and some satisfaction but i am missing something, something visceral, something real sweet Jesus, is this what a mid life crisis feels like it is a weird feeling, like i know everything that i need to know about the world, about the people around me, how everything connects, but yet i still feel like i know so little about life oh, such angst, mark surely you ve outgrown this i ve started re reading A Catcher in the Rye it s so strange, during different parts, i felt like crying a wonderful and moving novel i feel like i really understand holden, like he is my guide, my son, my brother, my friend myself i think of him and i know that change in the world and changing myself can still happen it just has to happen that s life after all, right I was worried as hell about reading this book again The last time I read it was about a thousand years ago when I was just a kid I was lousy with angst just like good old Holden back then I really was Now that I m a crummy old guy I figured that I wouldn t like it any That s the one thing about crummy old guys, they always hate books that kids like Every time I reread a corny book that I really liked when I was a kid it makes me want to give the writer a buzz and ask what the hell is going on It s like they are trying to give you the time in the back of a cab when you don t feel like getting the time at all It s damn depressing, I swear to God it is If you want to know the truth, you probably couldn t even talk to a phony writer on the phone You would just end up talking to his butler or some snobbish person like that and asking if they would give the writer your message He probably wouldn t even do it The thing with guys like that is that they will never give writers your messages That s something that annoys the hell out of me Turns out this is still a damn good book Salinger kid is a great writer He really is Maybe I m still just an angst ridden sonuvabitch, but this part kills me All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she d fall off the goddam horse, but I didn t say anything or do anything The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything If they fall off, they fall off, but it s bad if you say anything to them p.211I ll bet everyone is going to think that I m just horsin around or trying to be all sexy talking like this The reason for this corny review is because a thousand other people have already written reviews for this book and I ll bet that they have already said everything that I want to say It s pretty depressing It really is That s about all that I m going to talk about Now I just hope that no one writes fuck you on this review That s the thing with some people, they are always sneaking up and writing fuck you on your book reviews when you are not looking They really are. I read this book for the first time in the 8th grade I had to get my mom to sign a permission slip because of the cursing Before I began reading, I had so many expectations Back then, I read Seventeen Magazine, and back then, Seventeen Magazine ran brainy features about books and poetry There was one feature where they asked people what book changed their lives, and something like than half said Catcher in the Rye I think there might have been some celebrity comments in there, too At any rate, it was a ringing endorsement.So you can imagine my disappointment when I hated it Not only did I hate Holden, but I hated everything about the novel There was nothing I enjoyed I did my book report where I confessed my hatred which led my teacher to confess that she did, too , but I couldn t let it go I honestly felt that my loathing of a novel that so many others found life changing indicated some deep and horrible flaw I felt like hating Catcher in the Rye was my dirty little secret.Time passed, and my self loathing mellowed I began to think that perhaps I d come at it too young, so after my first year of college, I decided to re read it, go at it with fresh eyes, and see if my opinion had changed.Here s the thing it hasn t I get it I get that Holden is supposed to be loathsome I get that he is the hypocrite he hates I get that almost all teenagers go through the kind of thinking he experiences I get it I do I just don t like it.Oh, and I m not ashamed any.