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View Full Version : What's the big deal about Catcher in the Rye?



calichix
07-03-2006, 02:52 AM
I just finished reading it because it's one of those books you *have* to read or you're straight ignant, and because if Billy Joel thinks it's important enough to mention in "We Didn't Start the Fire", I figured it was a must-read. Half way through when he hadn't gotten to the point yet I was like, "Uh..." then eventually I was finished and he STILL hadn't gotten to the point. It was funny and that Holden was adorable, but THE GREATEST BOOK OF ALL TIME?Someone set me straight. Was there some really heavy underlying symbolism I didn't understand? Fellas always love The Catcher in the Rye. Almost every dude I know who reads once in a blue moon is madly in love with it. ?????

Izie
07-03-2006, 03:08 AM
I thank you, for now I finally have someone who agrees with me.

Except that Holden kid pissed the shit out of me.

calichix
07-03-2006, 04:02 AM
I thought his bratty 50s lingo was cute.

Vera
07-03-2006, 04:33 AM
I think it was the 50's lingo, the cursing etc that made it a "ooh scandalous!" book and thus THE classic book for any 13 year old to pick up. Holden is puNk!!11

I hated the last half of the book, and the little sister, EURGH fucking die.

Sunny
07-03-2006, 04:54 AM
i dunno, dude, i loved it. 1. he was cute, 2. he was angsty, and cute+angsty is a good mix when you're a teenager looking for a book or character to relate to.

i still like the damn book. mostly cause i liked it so much when i was widdle(er).

Kay
07-03-2006, 06:02 AM
It is trendy to read such a book

Vera
07-03-2006, 06:02 AM
Yeah, it's a book you have to read as a teenager to appreciate properly.

nieh
07-03-2006, 06:38 AM
Yeah, it's a book you have to read as a teenager to appreciate properly.

I generally agree. It's very easy to relate to when you're a teenager but it's just as easy to get pissed at the characters when you're more grown up.

Sin Studly
07-03-2006, 07:29 AM
It's a shitty book, and if I read it as a teenager I'd feel no different.

Mota Boy
07-03-2006, 07:33 AM
I read it as a teenager, during my angstiest, and I still got annoyed at Holden and didn't "get (http://www.offspring.com/forums/showpost.php?p=847131&postcount=599)" the book. I felt like there was vaguely something there, like maybe it told the story of futile teenage rebellion or some junk, but nothing that struck me as worth recommending the book to someone else.

Endymion
07-03-2006, 09:42 AM
i always thought it was 'ok'. my sister was fucking nuts about it for a while so i figured what the fuck, i'll try it. and it was meh. i mean, i don't regret reading it or anything, but if i'd skipped it i wouldn't have missed anything.

BREAK
07-03-2006, 09:58 AM
Holden hates you all.

HornyPope
07-03-2006, 10:00 AM
You really read it at a point of time. I read it when I was 12, I loved it. Best book? No, but it's an important piece of 20th century literature. One of the best American novels.

Rag Doll
07-03-2006, 10:03 AM
I read it when I was 15. I thought it was a good book, but didn't really see why everyone loved it so much. I wanted to...I tried to....but. meh. I just don't get the obsession, I guess.

T-6005
07-03-2006, 10:09 AM
I read it for 10th grade English class. I thought it was alright. Nothing really special, but at least it was a lower-level English class book actually worth reading.

Endymion
07-03-2006, 10:37 AM
i do love the part where he and the cab driver question what happens to the ducks when the pond freezes over.

notoriousdoc
07-03-2006, 10:57 AM
Very meh. I didn't get the point either.

Short_Attention_Span
07-03-2006, 03:06 PM
It's one of those books they make you read for English.

It was good, though.
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Betty
07-04-2006, 01:13 AM
I made a ranty post about this the last time the book came up and NOBODY read it. So, you get the rant again.

***

It's funny... I had a conversation about this the other day.

I REALLY enjoyed Catcher when I first read it... probably when I was 14 or 15 I think. I read it again in school in grade 10 and enjoyed it just as much. I was at the right stage of my life and I could relate, etc. But even moreso, I thought it was absolutely hilarious. Just the way he talked about things I found to be immensely entertaining. I picked the book up again just a few weeks ago and read the first few chapters, and was just as entertained as I was years ago. The way he says "that just killed me" and similar expressions... it just kills me. I love it. I think it's just my bizarre sense of humour coming out, but that's why I like it, personally.

Anyway, in the conversation I was having, I mentionned Catcher in the Rye, and the person with whom I was conversing was all "EVERYBODY likes that book! Blah blah blah. I'm the only one who thinks it's overrated. Blah blah blah." and I was like "NO, everybody who is anybody intellectual decidedly hates that book and qualifies it as rubbish. It is mainstream. Holden Caulfield is the whiniest protagonist, etc, etc. I am the one who is actually going out on a limb to say, at the age of 21, attempting to maintain any intellectual credibility I might have, that I actually think the book is quite good."

***

I musta been in a bad mood that day. Anyway, I suppose I can agree that there isn't really that much to "get," but I still love the way Holden speaks and thinks to death.

Not Ozymandias
07-04-2006, 03:05 PM
It's a great book, and it's better if you read it when you're older.

HornyPope
07-04-2006, 03:32 PM
Michelle nailed it. The book is a victim of its own success; its success laying in its simplicity and how it relates to people. It's very easy to dicredit the last two to say "it's not special" because not every paragraph is genius and thus not "impressive".

If you want genius, read Dostoyevski. But don't lump the two authors together in one league.

Sin Studly
07-04-2006, 09:58 PM
If you want genius, read Dostoyevski.

Whose translation did you read? Cause I find it really makes a difference.

HornyPope
07-04-2006, 10:16 PM
I have at home Brothers Karamazov in french translated by Elisabeth Guertik. The russian versions are at my mom's, circa 70s soviet literature (in the post-1917 alphabet of course). I've no idea if they were censored or abridged at all.

Sin Studly
07-04-2006, 10:37 PM
Karamazov has enough fucking French in it not to need translation.

calichix
07-05-2006, 10:51 PM
I REALLY enjoyed Catcher when I first read it... probably when I was 14 or 15 I think. I read it again in school in grade 10 and enjoyed it just as much. I was at the right stage of my life and I could relate, etc. But even moreso, I thought it was absolutely hilarious. Just the way he talked about things I found to be immensely entertaining. I picked the book up again just a few weeks ago and read the first few chapters, and was just as entertained as I was years ago. The way he says "that just killed me" and similar expressions... it just kills me. I love it. I think it's just my bizarre sense of humour coming out, but that's why I like it, personally.

Anyway, in the conversation I was having, I mentionned Catcher in the Rye, and the person with whom I was conversing was all "EVERYBODY likes that book! Blah blah blah. I'm the only one who thinks it's overrated. Blah blah blah." and I was like "NO, everybody who is anybody intellectual decidedly hates that book and qualifies it as rubbish. It is mainstream. Holden Caulfield is the whiniest protagonist, etc, etc. I am the one who is actually going out on a limb to say, at the age of 21, attempting to maintain any intellectual credibility I might have, that I actually think the book is quite good."

***

I musta been in a bad mood that day. Anyway, I suppose I can agree that there isn't really that much to "get," but I still love the way Holden speaks and thinks to death.

yeah I loved his lingo too. the "that kills me" and the "he's the kind of person who always picks stuff up in your room" and "gorgeous" sort of things were hilarious+adorable. but WHAT about that book inspires serial killers and the guy who killed john lennon and why is it so incredibly important? I'm embarrassed to be on the "omg the catcher in the rye suxxxx" side, I'm trying to make the importance of it click. then I'll murder someone.

Betty
07-06-2006, 02:11 AM
Oh my god, I absolutely adore Holden.

In a way Laura, I can compare you to Holden because I absolutely adore your expressions as well. If you wrote a book, I'm sure it would be excellent, regardless of the "message."

Honestly though, I think the reason people are deeply affected by it is totally based on the stage of their lives at which they read the book. Either (a) they are younger and it is one of the first books they've read to stray a little from the norm or (b) they are older and apparently haven't read very much. I don't imagine any well-read 30 year old would be deeply affected by the novel.

BREAK
07-06-2006, 07:13 PM
I find it difficult to dislike a protaganist so utterly contemptous of everyone he encounters.

Also, anybody who listens to anybody who says that anything is the best ANYTHING ever is a fool. Yeah, you heard me right.

BREAK
07-06-2006, 07:57 PM
Oh man, when I finish this book I'm writing, it's going to be the BEST BOOK EVER. Ba-leed it!

calichix
07-07-2006, 12:02 AM
In a way Laura, I can compare you to Holden because I absolutely adore your expressions as well. If you wrote a book, I'm sure it would be excellent, regardless of the "message."


aw jeeze. that totally made me blush. thank you, my little chia pet. :]