The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye

by J. D. Salinger


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The "brilliant, funny, meaningful novel" ( The New Yorker) that established J. D. Salinger as a leading voice in American literature—and that has instilled in millions of readers around the world a lifelong love of books.

"If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth."

The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caufield. 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316769532
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 07/16/1951
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 27,460
Product dimensions: 5.85(w) x 8.25(h) x 1.30(d)

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 Rye; Nine Stories; Franny 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.


Cornish, New Hampshire

Date of Birth:

January 1, 1919

Date of Death:

January 27, 2010

Place of Birth:

New York, New York

Place of Death:

Cornish, New Hampshire


Graduated from Valley Forge Military Academy, 1936; attended New York University, Ursinus College, Columbia University

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The Catcher In The Rye (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1949 reviews.
CC19 More than 1 year ago
J.D. Salinger's coming of age novel The Catcher in the Rye has delightfully captured the attention of readers for decades. Its popularity is primarily, but not exclusively, due to the realism behind the plot, characters, and themes. Although the story takes place during the late 1940s, teenagers everywhere can still relate to the sixteen year old protagonist, Holden Caulfield. The combination of his criticism, bitterness, and pessimism towards society was carefully crafted to create Holden as a unique narrator with many conflicting thoughts. In fact, Holden feels so torn between becoming an adult and staying a child that he essentially alienates himself from those who have conformed to one or the other. The distress and confusion of growing up is the underlying theme that follows Holden throughout the entire novel. From just the first chapter of the novel readers come to learn that Holden is not your typical adolescent boy. He does not hold back when criticizing his "phony" schoolmates, whose obsessions include girls, sex, smoking, and drinking. Although Holden feels compelled to engage in the latter two activities himself, he does not necessarily agree with it. He is merely trying to find a medium between childhood and adulthood. Feeling alone and isolated, Holden carries out the extreme by leaving his prep school to escape those around him already engrossed in maturing into adults. The story follows with a number of events that all contribute to Holden's intriguing journey to understanding himself; a journey many young people in the world today go on themselves. Because Salinger's themes are so universal yet realistic, The Catcher in the Rye is found to be satisfying and relatable to all types of readers. Holden and his struggles bring each reader back to a time in their own lives when they were going through a drastic change. For that reason The Catcher in the Rye can easily be considered timeless. The thought of keeping this novel off libraries' shelves because of its vulgar language, sexual references, and so-called promotion of drug use is ludicrous. Do not let the accusations and believers of censorship keep you from becoming immersed into the world of Holden Caulfield.
JRews More than 1 year ago
I read this book this year for school, I was in a bad mood and I ended up reading half of it in one night. Its a book that's so easy to understand, its so human. There's no action or any thrill much at all besides the everyday life of Holden Caulfield. I recommend this book to anyone who's human. Its enjoyable and relatable. Also, I love the Holden.
KLJoy More than 1 year ago
The novel "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger was written in 1951. However, it is still being read in schools today. Unlike many timeless novels, "The Catcher in the Rye" not only provides a strong message that still resonates today, it also is a fascinating, creative piece of writing. "The Catcher in the Rye" takes place in the 1940s and tells the story of Holden Caulfield, a troubled teenager haunted by the death of his little brother. The story follows Holden as he runs away from private school while hoping to find to find happiness somewhere in the streets of New York. Holden is both the protagonist and antagonist of his story. He is stubborn, rude, and judgmental without a cause. On the other hand, Holden loves his little sister and wants to protect children from the world around them. He is broken and in search of something he can't seem to find. He is searching for love. When his brother died, Holden lost someone who loved him. Even though Holden couldn't see the love depart, he feels it slipping away. Holden's parents are too caught up in their own pain to recognize that Holden is struggling. Holden is forced to bear all of his burdens by himself. It is this struggle that makes the novel timeless. In essence we are all Holden, a little lost and a little broken, but always pushing forward, looking for a glimmer of happiness in the distance. Everyone knows the feeling of being in a place where everyone else belongs. Anyone can relate to Holden's struggle to find himself in a place where people look down on those who differ from the status quo. "The Catcher in the Rye" makes the experience both poignant and humorous. Holden is a teenage boy whose thoughts are often ludicrous and socially incorrect. J.D. Salinger knew that there was more to writing a novel then just getting the message across. He accomplishes it with comedy and intrigue. It is hard not to laugh when Holden is lying to a women about his age while calling those around him phonies. "The Catcher in the Rye" is a classic because it would remain a talented piece of writing even without a moral "point". The novel merges timeless and engaging with an effortlessness that many authors can't achieve.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only read Catcher in the Rye for my english class, but it turned out to be one of my favorite books! I hadn't really read too many classics before and had heard a lot of negative feedback about them, but this was a great surprise! It was funny and packed with wit, and full of self discovery. There was a TON of swearing, but somehow it really fit with the characters. I loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this many years ago when I was a teenager, and then again just recently. It once again reminded me of all of the freedom a young man has compared to an adult and the book brought me back to when I was young. This is a must-read for all teens since it will give them a sort of guide as to what to do and not to do, but it will also entertain them if they are a cosciencious reader.
aiala More than 1 year ago
absolutely amazing. Catcher in the Rye is a wonderful novel by J.D. Salinger. I love how Holden, the main character, narrates the happenings of several of days in his teenage life. So although this book is only a few days time, it did not lack in content at all. I liked this book because when Holden talks, it feels like he is speaking only to you. J.D. Salinger is an amazing writer, and made me laugh throughout the book. He gave Holden a very unique and interesting personality. Holden goes through seemingly pointless events, though he hopes somebody will care. Holden feels hopeless and lonesome, in a world that he thinks is heartless and filled with fake people. It really makes you think about the world as you see it. Holden's beliefs and judgments alone were very amusing. After you read the book, you start thinking about situations in your life and wonder what Holden would do in your place, or at least I did. Throughout this book, Holden gives his opinions and observations on everything he encounters. I didn't ever want to stop reading. There are not many books i'd ever read again, but this book is one that i could read over and over again. There are so many things that didn't make total sense to me, but im sure that if i read it again, it will become more clear. LoVED IT! read IT. So, I loved every bit. I don't think i will ever forget it, great book from the start to finish. read it! if you start reading and it doesn't seem to be your kind of book, keep reading! you may surprise yourself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book! I'm so happy to finally have this on my nook! 5 stars!!
leyendo_aqui More than 1 year ago
I knew that "The Catcher In the Rye" was an older book because my dad had talked about how it was such a classic, even to my grandpaw. I decided to buy it and I finished it the day it was purchased. I usually don't read that quickly but it was very good. Not a lot actually happens within the time it was narrated by Holden, but the best part of the book is how the author is descriptive about things that deserve to be described and leaves out the less important things, which many other authors fail to do, making their books drag on. One of the few books I'll remember for a long, long time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"The Catcher in the Rye" has rigid reaction; you either hate it or you love it. I personally enjoyed it to full extent. Holden Caulfield is a young boy who criticizes those around him and doesn't want to grow up, yet is contradicting himself loads throughout the book. The author writes with real emotion, and doesn't hold back on language. All in all, Holden is really just a kid not ready to take the responsibility of growing up. One of my favorite books.
A_m_R More than 1 year ago
The Catcher in the Rye is not a waste of time, it will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time while reading it. I am one of those people who hate reading to and I could not put this book down. The author is grerat and his originality is amazing. just read the book it will not be a waste of time or a disapointment.
AmnaZ More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, was a depressive depiction of a teenager, Holden. It was too dark and negative for my liking. My AP Language Arts teacher told my class that this story was based on a three-day period of Holden's life and that if a book was written on three days of our life it wouldn't necessarily be positive. One of Salinger's messages in this book was to show the people of the 1950s that life for everyone is not perfect, which is relatable to every generation. Also, this is one of the reasons why we read it in school today. Overall, this book was written well, but I could not relate to Holden's character.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really did not like this book. Listening to this story was as interesting as watching paint dry.
S-Mick More than 1 year ago
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D Salinger, is a coming-of-age book, set for teens and adults, and follows the story of a boy named Holden who faces internal struggles, and travels to different places and thinking about things that happened in his life All of the issues that Holden has faced are shared with the reader as he moves from place to place. This book displays real-life issues, such as drugs and profanity, which is at times uncomfortable, and not enjoyable to read. I did not feel affected by this book at all due to the bland plot. The book develops incredibly slow- and feels like it takes ages to get through one chapter. Overall, there are far better books to read than ones that are so slow, depressing, and about as interesting as watching grass grow. d
Corinna Lopez More than 1 year ago
The Catcher in the Rye is a story by J. D. Salinger, first published in serial form in 1945-6 and as a novel in 1951. Holden is a 17 year old male who is on a journey to find his purpose in life, himself, and love throughout his adolescence. He starts his journey by getting kicked out of Pencey, he sooner goes to New York since he can’t go home or else his parents will know he got kicked out of school. He wondered whether or not the ducks in the pond leave during winter. Holden goes on a date with Sally Hayes(Sally is a girl Holden went out with), but the date does not go so well because she does not agree with all the plans he’s making for their future so quickly. Holden buys Phoebe(Holden’s younger sister) a record, but it drops and breaks as he is walking. He goes to the pond and sees no ducks, but knows that change isn’t permanent, he gains hope because he knows they will come back. Holden sneaks into his home to see his younger sister; one of the conversations they have is how he would want to be ‘the catcher in the rye’. Later on, Holden and Phoebe go to the zoo, Holden watches Phoebe ride the carousel. As phoebe is riding she reaches for a golden ring just like the other kids and that is when Holden realizes he cannot save all kids from losing their innocence. Holden wonders what happens to the ducks in the winter once the Central park pond freezes. His concern over where the ducks go and his joy when they return represent a youthful curiosity and joyfulness in exploring other matters in a character who generally lacks these qualities in other parts of his life. The ducks also convey that change is cyclical rather than permanent. The fact that they return brings hopefulness to Holden as he deals with the death of his brother. The theme “Coming of Age” is one of the main themes throughout the book because Holden is the one trying to keep the kids from losing their innocence, but realizes coming of age is apart of people’s life. This book appealed to me as a teenager going through my own journey and trying to find myself and who I want to be. I recommend this book to all ages because young adults and teenagers might be able to connet to the character(s) more and any age above because it gives them a chance to be able to understand how some younger people think.
Jesus Arce More than 1 year ago
The book by J.D. Salinger, The Catcher In the Rye Book is about a boy named Holden Caulfield (narrating the novel) traveling to the places that he remembers and thinking and wondering about what happened in his life and what was his part in his life. With Holden as the main character and with his sister Phoebe, also including some other people in his life realizing that he was mentally ill and not at home. With all that is happening in Holden’s life, he always manages to go on and go talk to anyone. Which realizing that what he is saying and telling is what happened in the past, or what had already happened to him and he is just retelling it to us. Some parts of the book was fine, but what most people think, was not that interesting and has a slow process to the main point of the novel and some of the parts of the novel are not understandable and you would have to read it again to understand it a bit more. For, people that like slow developing books, this his is a good read. For people who don’t like slow developing books then try to choose something else. The book was entertaining in some ways like the ending of the book, while the others don’t have good progression points. This book was originally made for adults but now for teens, it’s a good read for some person but not everyone will like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"The Catcher In The Rye" was a very interesting story and it was very good as well. It sure seems as Holden has a rough time throughout his life. His name is Holden, Holden sure has faced many obstacles in his journey. But he has had other encounters with people that as well make an impact in his life for good or bad. Although it may seem like a depressing guy, Holden sure can be a good guy at some points. Holden has struggled with education. He sure doesn’t seem to like high school, but he sure likes to read and write so he had a good grade in english. Holden’s life sure is not easy and he yet struggles to let people except for who he really is. As people came and left his life he sure had learned about himself and who he really is. Holden sure had great teachers in the past. They have helped him with some advises to get through his life situations. Basically, Holden knows what life is and he yet doesn’t like some of the “phony’’ people he mentions throughout this story. He wants to protect those innocent children and not let them fall into trouble. Holden may have struggled and everyone does in life too, but he is trying to make a change in these children’s life. To me this book was pretty good. This sure can be a coming of age and loss of innocence genre. But to me this may be a depressing story. I can somehow relate to Holden throughout this story. I recommend to some of you to read this book. It may be great and seem intriguing to some of you, or for others it may not be good at all. The thing is that this book will leave others wondering about their own lives as well.
Elijah Meighan More than 1 year ago
The Catcher in The Rye The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger is a good and in a weird way a satisfying piece. It really helps you open your eyes to how hard it is for people and sometimes they think drugs and alcohol is the only way to go. The main character Holden is a troubled boy going through life without any help. He converts to alcohol and smoking to “soothe his pains”. He smokes so much along with drinking to where it starts to become an addiction. It isn’t something I suggest you read to your five or six-year-old sibling. This book is more suitable for an older more mature audience. This book uses a lot of drug uses and profanity so if you're ok with that you won't have a problem with this book. For those of you who may have a drug problem, this book may help you with it. It may not directly tell you that drugs are bad but they show you the side effects of the drug and how it can affect you later in life. Like I said before this book it a real-life opener and even though the character isn’t real you still feel connected in a way where you want to help him but you know you can’t. The only thing you can do is go through the pain with him and wait it out. I recommend this book to people with an addiction or if you like a lot of drama.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This novel, written by J.D. Salinger is a Coming if Age piece that captures its readers with the life of a teenage boy. The protagonist in the novel is Holden Caulfield, a 16 year old teenager that suffers from depression and wonders the world alone. The story is set in the 1950s and takes place in Pennsylvania, New York City, and California. Throughout the novel, we are introduced to a few main characters; Phoebe and Allie Caulfield, Stradlater, Sally Hayes, Jane Gallagher, Mr. Antolini, and Mr. Spencer. In the narrative, there are many symbolic items and things. For example, Holden's red hunting hat symbolizes alienation and individuality, the Museum of Natural History is a symbol of change, and the carousel symbolizes moving forward and growing up. Salinger uses several literary elements that provide more of an intriguing story such as allusion, alliteration, metaphors, hyperbole, similes, symbols, and themes. He wants us to understand what Holden is going through as a teenager and how he should be cared for, since he is living in his own little world that can cause many difficulties. In the novel, Salinger insinuates that Holden can't keep a friendship because he is always ruining things for himself. I believe that reader, in some way, can relate to Holen and possibly to other characters. I recommend this novel to people that are up for connections to the characters and a view on the life of a teenager.
vla121 More than 1 year ago
The Catcher in the Rye by: J.D Salinger In J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, the plot takes place in New York around the late 1940’s. As the plot unravels, you get the insight to the person behind Holden Caulfield. Holden has many aspects to his personality, known as very sarcastic yet sensitive hearted. He acts the way he does because of the feeling and mindset he has for himself. Holden has a strong belief that as time passes, you mature and innocence fades away. At age 16, Holden believes it’s too late to live in innocence. He’s now stuck in the phony world he lives in without a warning. Salinger uses an abundance of symbols in this literary piece, along with a strong theme of loss of innocence. Holden is written as a character a bit naive, but with everything he goes through he has an idea of what is coming next. As you read the novel, the path of a young boy trying to prevent maturity is unraveled. Many emotions are encountered throughout the novel, by the characters and the reader. In this well written literary piece, you can experience the love and passion Holden has for his little sister that will drive him to do anything for her. To others Holden may be an outcast and one to himself but he definitely has a change of heart to Phoebe. Read along and go through the rollercoaster of emotions to find out what's keeping Holden in one piece.
AZaki More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The timeless classic "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger, revolves around the struggle of youth in Holden Caulfield. His 16-year old self is kicked out of the elite Pencey Prep, an all boys' school that has "been molding boys into splendid young men" since 1888. Holden finds that he can't stay at the phony Pencey a moment longer, and being a teenager he is in no rush to encounter his parents with the news of his yet another expulsion, he rashly heads off to New York. There he spends several days meeting new characters, each who impact him differently, and finding himself. In this coming of age story, Salinger brilliantly captures the teen spirit white his use of profanity, colloquialisms, and constant repetition of phrases. He executes so well the confused and moody typical teenager, which Holden embodies throughout the plot. This book ultimately forces you to face some uncomfortable truths about your past or present teenage self.
LSal More than 1 year ago
Holden is a lost teenage male who isn't sure what to do with his life. He hates school, which is partially why he has been kicked out of so many, and doesn't apply himself to anything. Holden goes through his life doing whatever he wants to do, not caring about anything or worrying about the consequences. Once out of school, Holden makes a trip to New York City. Here, Holden fights his way thorough depression and loneliness while also tackling on the different challenges that this unique city has to provide. Holden's distinct personality and viewpoint of the world makes this book truly like no other. The vivid language thought the novel makes readers feel as if they are inside Holden's strange world. This one of a kind novel provides a countless number of thoughts to the reader, making them question just about everything. This book will keep you up late into the night and is a must read for anyone looking for an adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend reading this book, as it is the only novel I have ever read that perfectly captures the complexity of the adolescent mind. Catcher in The Rye features Holden’s life, following expulsion from Pencey Prep, a prestigious school in Pennsylvania. Holden is reluctant to return home, as Pencey is one of many schools that he has been expelled from. Subsequently, he takes a train into New York, and spends a few days trying to make sense of what he wants to do next in his life. Just like any other teenager, Holden experiences pain, rejection, and loneliness, making him a relatable character to many adolescents. Over a period of a few days, Holden encounters strange situations as he ventures in New York City, ranging from prostitutes, bars, eccentric people, and peculiar hotels. Holden looks to fulfill himself with worldly desires (sex, liquor, bars, social life); however, it comes to no avail. Holden is 16 years old, confused, lonely, and often feels depressed about his life. Undoubtedly, Salinger brilliantly uses Holden’s stream of consciousness to provide insight about different aspects of his life, and motives for certain actions. He always “feels sorry” for people, and is very critical of the actions of others. Although his insight may seem hypocritical and condescending, Holden’s stream of consciousness is brutally honest. Holden doesn’t sugar-coat anything, often using words like “damn” and “hell” to make his points, which may appear blunt to readers. Even though he seems arrogant while discussing the shortcomings of other people, Holden expresses a heart for protecting the innocence of young children. Throughout the novel, Holden establishes himself as the “Catcher in the rye”, in which his job is to protect little kids from accidents. Some readers agree that Holden is an endearing character, as his situations and feelings are relatable. On the other hand, others criticize Holden for being a hypocrite, and scorning his cynical and negative thoughts. Either way, Holden captivates readers in disgust or adoration. Overall, Catcher in The Rye is appealing, and is bound to keep readers on their toes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my Fav Books!
BarbiG More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book.  This book is very true to real life in so many aspects and really taps into a teenage boy's brain.  The reader goes on an unexpected journey with Holden, wondering what he will do next.  I learned to love Holden and wish I actually knew him.  I also found myself relating to him in many different ways.  I think this book will be enjoyed more by a teenager than a young adult.  I encourage you to read this book for fun and not depict the themes/motifs/symbols/etc.  (I understand if you have to read it for school.)  It is hard for me to believe this book was written with specific themes in mind, and I do not think it was meant to be torn apart.