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Friday, February 3, 2023

The Catcher in the RyeThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Third re-read.

There's something really powerful about this novel. I mean, sure, it's horribly depressing and almost everyone is super vapid and phony and nearly mindless. That's also true for Holden. He may be going on a little insipid self-destructive rampage across NYC, being just as bad a phony as all the others, but here's the thing: Holden is still right.

He may be blind as a bat to his own repressed rage or how much he is just like everyone else in this horribly artificial 1950's America, but his observations about this fake America is still TRUE.

As true then as it is now.

His search for beauty is just a symptom of that emptiness and I admit I recognize a lot of that same horror in myself. Always have, ever since the time I first read this as a kid or now as an adult.

Maybe the themes here are old hat now, but I think this classic was the one that really laid the groundwork for so many other YAs about disillusionment. And maybe the random wandering through NYC is rather tame by today's standards, but the heart is real and Holden's desperation and his love for his sister is just as real.

I admit it, this is a fantastic novel. :)

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