The Catcher in the Rye


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The Catcher in the Rye ePUB

Catcher in The RyeAnyone who has read J.D. Salinger’s New Yorker stories–particularly A Perfect Day for BananafishUncle Wiggily in ConnecticutThe Laughing Man, and For Esme With Love and Squalor–will not be surprised by the fact that his first novel is full of children. The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield.

Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

Review

“In Mr. Salinger we have a fresh voice. One can actually hear it speaking, and what is has to say is uncannily true, perceptive, and compassionate.”―Clifton FadimanBook-of-the-Month Club News

“We read The Catcher in the Rye and feel like the book understands us in deep and improbable ways.”―John Green

“A contemporary master–a genius…Here was a man who used language as if it were pure energy beautifully controlled, and who knew exactly what he was doing in every silence as well as in every word.”―Richard YatesNew York Times Book Review

“Salinger’s work meant a lot to me when I was a young person and his writing still sings now.”―Dave Eggers

About the Author

J. D. Salinger was born in New York City on January 1, 1919, and died in Cornish, New Hampshire, on January 27, 2010. His stories appeared in many magazines, most notably The New Yorker. Between 1951 and 1963 he produced four book-length works of fiction: The Catcher in the RyeNine StoriesFranny and Zooey; and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour–An Introduction. The books have been embraced and celebrated throughout the world and have been credited with instilling in many a lifelong love of reading.
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