• Lucid Dreaming - Dream Views




    Results 1 to 5 of 5
    1. #1
      Old Seahag Alex D's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 2004
      Gender
      Posts
      2,374
      Likes
      7
      So, unimportant things first, the voting system was crap, so from now on it's a nice case of reading whatever good suggestion I get given. For next month I've chosen Alice because quite a few people seem to enjoy it... should be fun times. Feel free to just flood me with suggestions guys.

      Anyway, onto the real thing, Catcher in the Rye!

      It's the only book I've ever read that gets worse and worse upon each read. I first read it when I was fourteen and loved it to bits, but as I've gotten older the book has just lost it for me. Maybe I've gotten less cynical over rime, maybe more. But anyway, Holdens little comming of age story just felt a little empty to me reading it though yet again.

      The book I feel is very much of its time (yeah I know it was banned), it was written when tehre wasn't really a concept of teenager, so Holden is like an archetype I suppose. Probelm is now most teenagers are little Holdens, or seem to aspire to be. That said there is some awesome characterisation with Holden and I like the character of his little sister. I'll write something more detailed when I get the chance.

      So anyway, what did you lot think?

    2. #2
      Member Kaniaz's Avatar
      Join Date
      Jan 2004
      Gender
      Location
      England
      Posts
      5,441
      Likes
      9
      Well I've read it. I didn't reread it like I was planning to, but that doesn't stop me from being able to make my comments now. RIGHT?

      I didn't really like the book that much. Perhaps Alex D is right in that it had more of an impact and effect when teenagers weren't all "little Holdens" - but it read to me like a story of angst, angst and then some more angst. It was not so much a teenager's struggle, but more his insistence at projecting this 'phoniness' onto every person he met. It was, for me, just repetitive.

      And perhaps a little depressing. Some parts were (unfortunately?) rather lucid, like at the start of the novel when he goes to see the old teacher. It got off to a depressing start, it was predictable, Salinger what a piece of crap.

      Maybe there's something good about it. But for me I wasn't able to see past the 'theme', or should I say obsession of Holden's with 'phoniness'. The ending was alright, and at least he didn't exactly feel good about himself for being the way he is. I really didn't enjoy it, though.

      Onward with Alice, I say.

    3. #3
      Member The Blue Meanie's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 2006
      Gender
      Location
      Mostly Harmless
      Posts
      2,049
      Likes
      6
      Eh. Okay, I had to read catcher back in high school. I've read (or tried to) read it once since. To be completely honest, I don't like the book, at all. Bear in mind I'm working from memory here.

      Holden Caulfield came off, to me, as a hollow and weak central character. As Kaniaz said, his obsession with "phoniness" is hard to look past. He also came off as listless, confused, etc. A lot of this is arguably part of the book's theme and purpose, as a book of teenage angst. I suppose to some extent, in order to convey teenage angst and the sort of critical period most people go through, of sort of listless angst - it;s neccessary to have a character who is... angsty. With no direction, etc. But, regardless of all this literary justification of Holden's nature as a weak and hollow chracter, I still just plainly don't think the book is that well written.

      Catcher in the Rye was originally famous because it was controversial. Swearing, prositution, alcohol abuse, and homosexual undertones and some points. But since society has changed so much over the past 50 years, I think the only actual aspect of the book that was in any way exceptional, being its controversiality, has pretty much faded away. Leaving us with a book that is basically as hollow and uninspired as Holden's character. Catcher in the Rye simply hasn't withstood the test of time.

      On the other hand, take something like Tolstoy's War and Peace. Despite being centered around a totally different culture, time period, and even LANGUAGE... it HAS withstood the test of time. Even without being part of the audience Tolstoy originally wrote for, and despite not understanding many of the cultural undercurrents of the book, we still are entranced by it. Because it's a masterpiece. It has soul. And it manages to convey "angst" much better than Salinger's hollow piece of rubbish. With the controversiality stripped out of Catcher, it's just a hollow piece of teenage-angst trash paperback fiction.

    4. #4
      Member nina's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 2004
      Gender
      Posts
      10,788
      Likes
      2590
      DJ Entries
      17
      Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
      For next month I've chosen Alice because quite a few people seem to be borderline obsessive over it... should be fun times.
      [/b]



    5. #5
      Old Seahag Alex D's Avatar
      Join Date
      Dec 2004
      Gender
      Posts
      2,374
      Likes
      7
      Quote Originally Posted by Aquanina View Post

      [/b]
      Actually it wasn't you at all. And I should edit that, makes me sound like a twat.

      On the topic of the book, one thing I find interesting is the relationship between Holden and the author. Holden wanted to get away from societry, JD did. Holden hated society as a whole, so did JD. To me Holden is kind of an idealised vision of the authors self. I hate it when people do that.

    Bookmarks

    Posting Permissions

    • You may not post new threads
    • You may not post replies
    • You may not post attachments
    • You may not edit your posts
    •