The Catcher in the RyeBook - 1951
Holden Caulfield, knowing he is to be expelled from school, decides to leave early. He spends three days in New York City and tells the story of what he did and suffered there.
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.
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
I hope to hell that when I do die somebody has the sense to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetary. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.
“Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”
"I can't explain what I mean. And even if I could, I'm not sure I'd feel like it."
What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.
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...
(Salinger, 273 – 274)
"Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around—nobody big, I mean—except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff...I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all."
(Salinger, 224 – 225)
"I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful. If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. It's terrible."
"The mark of an immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one."
“Don't ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody.”
“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.”
― J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Age SuitabilityAdd Age Suitability
white_human_110 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 13 and 19
Coarse Language: There is a LOT of cursing through the book. Holden's favorite term seems to be G-d and uses it constantly. Towards the end of the book he finds the phrase F-you a few times.
Sexual Content: While nothing happens sexually, there is a lot of talk and the main character (Holden) does attempt to purchase a hooker for the evening with the intention of sleeping with her but chickens out after she arrives.
SummaryAdd a Summary
When a boy gets kicked out of his school, he wanders into New York to avoid the wrath of his mother. During this time, he reflects on his memories and catches up with old friends.
Holden Caulfield is trying to transition into the adult world. He leaves his prep school; Pencey, and goes to New York City for three days in attempt to relax before going home. Holden has many encounters with people that give us insight to his view of the world and the people around him.
This story is about a college dropout... well, kicked out boy who takes his time getting home over the span of a few days before he has to break the news to his parents that he was kicked out of school. Again. This story is about what he does in the time being while in the north east coast exploring the cities.
Events that occur in the days after Holden Caulfield gets kicked out of highschool.
Holden Caulfield is a 17 yr old boy has been kicked out of Pencey, wants to save children from adulthood by metaphorically being the Catcher in the Rye.
Basically a summary of Holden Caulfield's uneventful life for three days. He gets kicked out of his High School and journey's back home for Christmas.