The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D.Salinger

Salinger's landmark 1951 novel, The Catcher in...
Book cover

The Catcher in the Rye is, apparently, a classic of (American) English literature. It appears on reading lists in schools all over the world. Will someone please explain to me why?

The writing style is – I suppose – not too bad. It’s written very conversationally in the first person from the viewpoint of a young man who’s just been expelled from his umpteenth private school. He’s obviously short of a few brain cells as well, judging by his attitude to a lot of things.

Set in, I guess, the 1950’s means the language is a little archaic but I don’t mind that – I’m currently ploughing through more Conan Doyle and loving it. It’s the repetition, and the rambling nature of the prose that gets so tiring after a while. Oh, and the fact that bugger all really happens.

It’s “a day in the life” of someone I really don’t care about. I didn’t at the start, and I still don’t now I’m finished it. Had it been much bigger, it would have been discarded by the time I got past the mid-point.

Mind you, I guarantee my old English teacher likely got a hard-on reading it. But that guy was a ******* freak who seemed to love everything that you’re “supposed” to love – Shakespeare, Chaucer and the like.

If you want to read a classic, check out the Sherlock Holmes stories – although even they get a little tired after a while, around the time Doyle himself was writing them purely for cash. I’d only read this if I had to as part of an English course. And even then I’d shop around to see if there was another tutor with a different reading list.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]