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My Favourite Book: Naomi Toseland
The Catcher In The Rye
J.D. Salinger
Book Summary:
The Catcher in the Rye is often described as the great American novel. It follows the musings of Holden Caulfield, a teenager riddled with issues and humorous observations, his misinterpretation of Burns’ Comin’ Through the Rye and his relationship with his sister over a specific two days. The book is popular among young adults due to its ideas of identity and belonging, as well as losing a younger sibling and other difficult subjects.
Why I Like It:

What some people think it may lack in plot, it more than makes up for in wit and character development. Although Holden only decides to let us in on two specific days from the previous December, you learn an awful lot. J.D. Salinger forces you to draw your own conclusions about Holden, whether you think he’s a complete nutcase with serious issues, or a confused teenager trying to make the best of his situation is entirely up to you. The events are incredibly blunt but you interpret what you can about Holden from his actions and the way he deals with people, especially his sister Phoebe. You are forced to do some work, it’s not all just handed to you on a platter.

There is something extremely satisfying about finishing a book where you’ve drawn your own conclusions and opinions, you feel like you’ve really worked for it, and deserve the glorious euphoria of completion. There is also the issue of deciding whether Holden is a reliable narrator or not. Is there even any truth in his story? He is in a mental institution and we don’t know exactly what for. He could really be a 40 year old housewife and you wouldn’t know for sure. You don’t find out what you want to, nothing is concrete. He only tells you what he wants to. It is a lot like real life, but more entertaining. We all know someone like Holden, and if you don’t then it’s probably you.

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