Quote of the Week

I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by… I don’t care if it’s a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place, I like to know I’m leaving it.

-J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

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#16 The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye

Does anyone NOT like this book? OK, fine, probably. But are they HUMAN?

The story is as bewilderingly simple, as straightforwardly complex, as its main character, Holden Caulfield. Holden’s style of narration reads like a stream-of-consciousness retelling of the weekend after he is kicked out of private school. Digressions abound, to the extent that he even shares an anecdote re: digression:

You could tell he was interested, so I told him a little bit about it. “It’s this course where each boy in class has to get up in class and make a speech. You know. Spontaneous and all. And if the boy digresses at all, you’re supposed to yell ‘Digression!’ at him as fast as you can.”

It should come as no surprise that Holden fails this speech class. But, as he himself points out, sometimes digression is entertaining AF—like when you get to hear about your classmate’s uncle’s polio. And when Homer Simpson says anything ever.

This book is also proof that if you want people to like your male protagonist, you should give him a dog or a younger sibling so he can show how affectionate he is toward dogs and younger siblings. Works every time.

Is It One of the Greatest Books of All Time?

Is polio a laughing matter?

Favorite Quotes:

I don’t exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it.

The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was… Nobody’d be different. The only thing that would be different would be you.

I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by… I don’t care if it’s a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place, I like to know I’m leaving it.

Read: 2005