Thursday, July 15, 1971

J.D. Salinger The Catcher in the Rye published 20 years ago today

Updated 2/16/2019.

Buy on Amazon

First Publication: July 16, 1951

Category: coming-of-age novel

Sales: 65 million


About the Book:

“Ever since it was first published in 1951, this novel has been the coming-of-age story against which all others are judged.” BN “Originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage angst and alienation.” WK “The novel’s protagonist, Holden Caulfield, has become an icon for teenage rebellion. The novel also deals with complex issues of innocence, identity, belonging, loss, and connection.” WK “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.” AZ

“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.” AZ

“Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, [Holden] 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.” AZ

In July 2018, I became the organizer of the Mission Classic Novels Book Club. Check out the Book Club tab here or Meetup for more information. This is our book for March 2019.

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