Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Book that took a Year to Read

In that, I'm referring to The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Yes, it took me a year... more or less. I picked up this book from the library in the beginning of August, 2009. I read through two and a half chapters before band camp started, so I returned the book, and hadn't gotten back to it.

Then one day this summer, I was going through a little shopping spree on Amazon, and what do you know, I realized I had an opportunity to read the book again if I bought it really cheap. (Because if I got it from the library again, I wouldn't finish it... again.)

I didn't get back into the book until literally a year later.

So now here's what I have to say about it.


If I can sum it up in one words it is "phew!" It's definitely not like anything I've ever read before. It's not bad, but it's not as gripping as I thought it would be. For all the praise it's gotten, I thought I'd get more interested in it. The beginning I liked, but the middle bored me. I didn't get into it again until the end, but that might have been just because I was reaching the finish line on the book.

I will praise the book though. The fact that it follows Holden Caulfield's stream of consciousness is interesting. It threw me a few times, but it was different. However, I kind of wanted to punch the kid in the face. He annoyed me.

With that, I do think it's worth a read. It's something you don't see anywhere, so from the perspective of a writer and a reader, it will help expand what you know about prose. (Somehow I feel like everyone around me has already read this book.)

And another thing... after reading it for a little while, I get the sudden urge to talk and curse like him. It's amazing what immersing yourself in a different text can do to your personality. Don't worry, I'm quickly coming out of it.

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