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101 Books to Read Before You Die : Catcher in the Rye

 You know, sometimes a book just comes along at just the right time. I’m not saying that at any other time it wouldn’t have been a decent book, but if it arrives at just the right time then you can take a little more of it with you, you know. Well, Catcher in the Rye was like that. I can’t say I was too excited about reading Catcher, I’d heard some pretty bad reports about it and those things tend to stick in your mind. I mean, I try to be an open minded kind of guy, but it’s hard when people keep filling up your open mind, that’s all. Well, I got Catcher and I wasn’t keen as I said, but I read it anyway ‘cause it was on the list and all and you know what? It was pretty good. Pretty great actually. I was only a couple of pages in I was really feeling this Holden character who is the main guy. He’s not like the hero or anything like that. He doesn’t go around and beat people up and save princesses and show off some phony smile, but he’s a nice guy. Well, even though he’s a nice guy he’s having some problems cause he’s just been kicked out of school and it’s not the first time, you know what I mean? Anyway, it probably wasn’t a bad thing that he was kicked out of that school because this school he was in was basically lousy with phony guys; teachers and pupils. So this Holden guys been kicked out and he decides to spend the weekend in New York before going home. He lives in New York, so it’s not out of his way, but he just doesn’t want to face his parents; you understand I’m sure. That’s the whole plot really. The whole book takes place in those 48 hours. It’s kind of a different book cause the way it’s written it’s like you can hear this Holden guys thoughts. Wait, it’s not quite like that, it’s more like he’s just telling you his thoughts and even though it’s his thoughts he still isn’t completely truthful, but who is you know? Anyway, the more you listen the more you understand what’s eating him up inside and maybe he’s wrong about some things but the stuff he’s feeling, that’s right, I mean, it’s something that people feel and think about. He might be a little bit of a messed up kid, but he’s a good guy, someone who loves his family and cares about people, not in a phony sort of way, but in a real way, a way that seems to sit in his chest like a solid thing. It’s kind of sad, cause of a couple of things that I don’t want to tell you right now, but in the end this is the story of what happens when you think about life and try to understand your place in it, which is something that sounds all stupid and philosophical, but which is something that really does plague a lot of us. So that’s what it is, this sixteen year old kid just revealing himself by talking long enough about whatever comes to mind. Man, it was good. Some people might be a little offended cause he swears a bit, but he’s sixteen you know, that’s what sixteen year olds do. But he doesn’t mean it, cause if you look at what he thinks of Jesus and God and that sort of stuff, he’s kind of respectful and all. So I thought it was okay. I just really sympathized with this guy who was so lonely and cared about his family, but just had no idea where he fits in in the world.  So it was a good book and I’m not like, trying to force you to read it or anything, but if you did maybe it would be good for you and your doubts about, well, about yourself. I know it was for me.


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