Sleep tight, ya morons!

The Catcher in the Rye is a  multi nominated and bestselling novel by J.D Salinger, published in 1951. Roughly 250 000 copies are sold each year all around the world. It’s a book that has been both loved and hated; in 1981, it was the most censored, but also the most taught book in public schools in USA.

The narrator and main character of the book is Holden Caulfield, a teenager who struggles in life as he feels alienated from school and society and frustrated on almost everything. He is expelled from school as he fails in almost every subject. He leaves the school a few days earlier than he should, in the middle of the night and screams “Sleep tight, ya morons!” as his last words. He takes a train back home, New York, but he figures that if he shows up this early, his parents would know that he’s being kicked out, so he decides the spent the few remaining days in the city. He kills the time with the company of alcohol, hotels, smoky bars, a few strangers and a couple of old friends.

There’s no big action filled plot in this book. It’s the unique and strong atmosphere of the book that keeps the reader interested the whole time. It’s written in the first person and you become pretty close with Holden’s thoughts. The book feels like it’s Holden’s journal or a story that he tells to a close friend or family member. It’s quite descriptive and filled with his thoughts and emotions.

The language of the book is a bit rough. At the beginning, Holden admits that he has a poor vocabulary. His language is cynical and quite plain. His frustration is reflected on the writing style too; he finishes a lot of the sentences with words like “and all”. Holden uses funny idioms like “somebody had thrown his cookies” which means that someone had puked. There’s also a big amount of profanity in this book and Holden is often told how he should talk nicer.

This is the kind of book that really takes you away with it. It’s one of those books that you can’t wait to get to read again and you feel sad when it ends because it was so entertaining and terrific. It is popular among teenagers, but I think it’s a book that also adult may find sterling. It’s personal, funny, realistic and exciting. The best book I have read in a long time. A must.

Challenging words:
witty=naseva, nokkela
nauseating=kuvottava
disgression=syrjähyppy, poikkeama
jitterbug=jitterbug tanssi
ostracizing=hylkivä
adhesive=tarttuva, liimautuva
rubbernech=pällistelijä
seesaw=kiikkulauta
Turtleneck sweater=poolopaita

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Johannes.S
    Nov 20, 2010 @ 15:04:52

    Nice review. It was long enough to tell about the book in detail so that’s good. I got a pretty good picture of the book and it’s contents.

    You mentioned that the book doesn’t have a big action filled plot and that it’s the atmosphere that keeps the reader interested. I personally prefer the atmosphere over action so this might be a great book for me…

    You really arouse some interest to this book especially for teenagers as you mentioned yourself.

    Overall Nicely Done!

    Reply

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