Written on: 11/04/2009
The general plot, if you don't read the book, seems reasonably promising. In the hands of a decent author it might perhaps have made quite an interesting short story.
A prime example of the 'emperor's new clothes' phenomenon that seems to be plague the overly pretentious literary world. The Catcher in the Rye is an absolutely terrible book. It is self indulgent twaddle written by some overly angsty man who must be incredibly self obsessed. You learn very little about the human condition from it, and the style of writing is terrible. Yes I know it's deliberate, I know Salinger is trying to write from the perspective of a teen, but he doesn't do it terribly well. Most teens have a reasonable control of grammar and are not halfway retarded, as he seems to make out we are.
Sadly the literary crowd will like anything they're told is 'a classic'. I'm pretty sure if somebody wrote this today and showed it to a publisher or an english professor they'd be laughed out of the room for being so pretentious, but because it's been accepted into the literary canon, those people instead hype it up as a piece of genius. I hope very much that in 300 years time with hindsight people will look back and laugh at Salinger for writing such tripe, and laugh at us for buying into it.
A book about the difficulties of becoming an adult, written from the perspective of a disillusioned teen.
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