J.D. Salinger
Penguin UK
July 16, 1951
Final Verdict

About the Author

Jerome David Salinger was an American author, best known for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, as well as his reclusive nature. His last original published work was in 1965; he gave his last interview in 1980. Raised in Manhattan, Salinger began writing short stories while in secondary school, and published several stories in the early 1940s before serving in World War II.

Salinger struggled with unwanted attention, including a legal battle in the 1980s with biographer Ian Hamilton, and the release in the late 1990s of memoirs written by two people close to him: Joyce Maynard, an ex-lover; and Margaret Salinger, his daughter. In 1996, a small publisher announced a deal with Salinger to publish “Hapworth 16, 1924” in book form, but amid the ensuing publicity, the release was indefinitely delayed. He made headlines around the globe in June 2009, after filing a lawsuit against another writer for copyright infringement resulting from that writer’s use of one of Salinger’s characters from The Catcher in the Rye. Salinger died of natural causes on January 27, 2010, at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire.
Other Works By J.D. Salinger
Nine Stories (1953)
“A Perfect Day for Bananafish” (1948)
“Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut” (1948)
“Just Before the War with the Eskimos” (1948)[167]
“The Laughing Man” (1949)[168]
“Down at the Dinghy” (1949)[168]
“For Esmé—with Love and Squalor” (1950)
“Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes” (1951)[169]
“De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period” (1952)[170]
“Teddy” (1953)[170]
Franny and Zooey (1961), reworked from “Ivanoff, the Terrible” (1956)[171]
“Franny” (1955)
“Zooey” (1957)[172]
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (1963)
“Raise High the Roof-Beam, Carpenters” (1955)
“Seymour: An Introduction” (1959)[173]
Three Early Stories (2014)
“The Young Folks” (1940)
“Go See Eddie” (1940)
“Once a Week Won’t Kill You” (1944)

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

When you hear too much about a book, you know when everyone is calling it a classic; you think, “This is a goddamn phoney book.” And when I started reading it, I thought to myself that this was just another story about just another guy and I’d spent the precious dough on banal things about a stupid guy. If you want to know the truth, I never do that for any guy, even in real life. I just don’t. If I ever dated someone, I wouldn’t randomly gift him things all the time, unless he was someone I really, truly loved. Then too, I would be cautious with my dough. I am just cautious like that.

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If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you probably want to know how the book is and what is the whole deal about Caulfield and why a book written in goddamn 1945, that’s just around the time the Big War ended and all, why a book written around 1945 matter so much today.

Well, for one it’s a confusing book. It’s not entirely neat, but then no book is entirely neat. It’s not a lousy book either and you can pretty much finish it in under a day. I like books that I can finish in under a day. They teach me more in less.

Holden Caulfield, that sonuvabitch can hardly teach me anything though. I always thought of being childish as a little lousy, if you want to know the truth. Caulfield is just the kind of guy I would never feel sexy for, in real life.

He gets kicked out of schools all the fucking time, he wanders around aimlessly, he’s a liar and I pretty much dislike guys who are liars. Caulfield though, that sonuvabitch does this one thing very well; hating things and people. He just doesn’t do anything the right way. So he gets kicked out of Pencey and then wanders around New York for three days, calling Old Sally and Old Carl up for company and then he finds that he has no real company, so he goes to his little sister Phoebe to horse around for a bit, and refill his dough. He loves her. He really does. He is a child if you ask me, and he loves children. That’s about it. You can read what he does by yourself, I ain’t telling you anything. But you will really like Phoebe, she’s a grandkid, she really is.

Except that Old Caulfield and Old Salinger are ruthless. They make you hate, they really do. After I was done with this goddamn book, it’s a good book but it’s goddamn crazy as well.
Anyhow, after I got done with it, I started thinking about the things I hate. I just didn’t think about them, I started to think honestly about them. And not just them, but about myself too.

If you know the truth, you probably know everyone lives under some illusion or something. One day you’ll be more famous, more significant, more beautiful and whatnot. But when you read a book like The Catcher in the Rye, you don’t deceive yourself anymore. I get a big bang out of things that show me a little bit of reality. I hate books that preach it. But I get a big bang out of books that show it if you know what I mean.

So then, after I read the book, I thought of the girls who can walk in the rain without looking ugly, girls who are so pristine that not an inappropriate spec of water touches them, girls who wear shorts and travel in the locals and do not get stared at, girls who always have someone grand to date all the time. I just sort of started hating everything. And after that, I didn’t care. I mean, at first, I would have wanted to be that girl, but after this book, I just didn’t care.

And then I thought about how Old Salinger wrote. Buzzfeed and Donald Trump have the world listening to them because they talk like Salinger did. No, really. You should check it out. Repetitive wording, emphasis on one thing and all that, I am pretty sure they learnt from Old Salinger. It’s nice to read it, easy to read it. What I mean is, when you read things written like that, you remember them. I hate Trump though, I wish he wouldn’t use Old Salinger’s technique. And I wish everybody wasn’t listening to him as much as they are.

What I guess I am saying is, you should read this goddamn book, you really should. You might not feel like it, because you, like me, have put it off for so long. But you should, it’s a grand book. It’s not lousy at all.

Favourite Quote

The Navy guy and I told each other we were glad to’ve met each other. Which always kills me. I’m always saying ‘Glad to’ve met you’ to somebody I’m not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff though.

Recommended Age Group: Anybody above 14 is welcome to read this

*Feature Image Courtesy – State of being

Prakruti Maniar

Prakruti Maniar

Prakruti Maniar is editor and partner of Purple Pencil Project, and hustles as a writer, researcher and more. She is deeply invested in cultural heritage, especially stories, and is committed to saving the literary heritage of India. She has a Master of Arts in Digital Humanities from Loyola University Chicago.

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