Scathing Reviews of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger is the kind of book you hear about in the general culture even before High School, when most of us read it. I heard about in Elementary School and thought, for the longest time, that it was about baseball (no joke.)
Then in High School, it didn’t get assigned to us. (Got lucky and read To Kill a Mockingbird). Then, when I was in the Army and had lots of time for reading, I decided to read it and frankly, didn’t see what was all the fuss about.

Holden Caulfield seems like a nice enough kid for being as screwed up as he is, but the thing I remember years later is the visit to his favorite teacher where the guy was trying to make it look like he was pinching his nose when he was actually picking it (yeah I know, disgusting). I’ll avoid any similes to these reviews and that particular image, though, oh how it tempts me:

This book is found in just about every maniacs glove compartment after they blow up a building or something. So i decided to give it a shot and see what the hell was so special about it. Well, the answer is nothing…

…and:

Yeah, he makes the occasional intelligent comment, but the book doesn’t even have a plot, okay?

…and:

A quick summary? “An emo pity party”;

…and:

Who decides books are classic? What school board comprised of ancient individuals so out of touch with children decided that this book was literature, and therefore had to be forced down the throats of every teenager? This book is TERRIBLE.

…and:

I quickly tired of the protagonist’s well-heeled puerile whining . I kept thinking, “Grow up, for God’s sake.”

…and:

Old Holden kid is about as interesting as a toothache. Personally, I’ve read cereal boxes that were more compelling and enlightening than this novel.

…and:

This book is pathetic. Many people called it a “classic.” It’s the book that killed John Lennon. Oswald had a copy. [sic] So I thought “What the heck?” I then embarked on four hours of my life spent reading this complete testacle [also sic!] sack of a book; four hours I will not get back, I might add.

…and, this review, written from the point of view of Beaver Cleaver as Holden Caulfield:

Hi, I’m Holden Caulfield, but I come off more like the great lost episode from the last year of Leave it to Beaver. They cancelled my crumby show, even if it was phony, and now I’m forced to write this god*** book about the aftermath because I went from a cute kid to an ugly monster who still bats my eyes.

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