Halfway through the book I couldn’t make up my mind if I was really liking it or hating it. When I finished about 80 percent of the book, it became interesting to the point where you start reading faster. What’s my verdict? I think that it captures the essence of being a teenager beautifully.
Holden Caulfield is a teenager who keeps getting kicked out of schools. He rambles about random shit, constantly complains about people he meets or knows, he thinks everyone is phony and quite clearly, he has no aim in his life. Why? Because he is bored and nothing interests him whatsoever. He has too many thoughts in his head and he keeps drifting away to his dream world more than many times, these thoughts are not even organized. Isn’t this the case with most teenagers all around the world? They lack the maturity to understand goals of their lives, they don’t even know what they like the most or which profession would they like to pursue.
Holden seems too whining for a while, but later in the book, I started to sort of relate to him and it wasn’t difficult to like him once you see him interact with Phoebe, the one person he truly cares about. I think that helped me change my perspective of Holden. It’s true, most people won’t be able to stand this book, others might think it’s just a mediocre read. I felt the same way right until the end but somehow the last few chapters were the ones I enjoyed reading the most.
At whatever age you read this book, if you have gone through a troubled teen phase or know of someone who has, then you will very well relate to Holden’s story. If not, you will straight away hate it. The reviews could be extreme. The narration is in the simplest of forms, nothing fancy, plain old teen dialect. It shouldn’t even take long to finish reading, so if you are looking for a light-read then I strongly suggest you go for this one.
Favorite Quotes from the book:
“The mark of the 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.”
“And I have one of those very loud, stupid laughs. I mean if I ever sat behind myself in a movie or something, I’d probably lean over and tell myself to please shut up.”
“If you do something too good, then, after a while, if you don’t watch it, you start showing off. And then you’re not as good any more.”