The Catcher In The Rye

If I have to tell you what this novel taught me most, it’s the vocabularies. I learned that dough means money, phony means fake person or fraudulent, flits means homosexuals, helluva for hell of a, sonuvabitch for son of a b, etc. It also taught me some phrases. “It killed me” means “that thing is thought-provoking” and you could ignore almost every “old” words in this story.

This is the cover of the novel. If I were Holden Caulfield, I would say “I don’t know why the goddam cover must include a horse.” But as I  read the tale and look at the cover carefully, it might be a carousel horse.

The Catcher In The Rye is a novel by J.D. Salinger, as you can see from the cover. It’s goddam old, a 1951 novel. I bought this to fulfill my goals to read new book other than fantasy and traveling books. So I decided to read old books instead.

The story was told from the eye of Holden Caulfield. He was a teenager. A complicated one. He seems to hate everyone except his little sister, Phoebe.

But I won’t tell you the story.

It was told in a fast-pace with many hyperbole. For example, “He spent around half his goddam life in front of the mirror.” and more.

As a non-English native speaker, at first I don’t know what The Catcher In The Rye means. So I kept reading and found that it’s Holden Caulfield’s interpretation of a person who guarded the innocence of children. Complete explanation? Read it 😉

This is a lovely illustration of Holden with his red hunting hat I found online.

You can always relate to Holden’s confusion, angst, alienation, and rebellion. The character written so you can’t decide your thoughts about him. The verbal tic of Holden (taken from

  • Holden has one. He really does.
  • Holden has a rather annoying habit of calling people “Old” before their name (Old Phoebe, Old Stradlater, etc).
  • He also has a tendency to say “and all” at the end of his sentences.
  • “That killed me.” Given the situation it’s actually a little thought-provoking.
  • His frequent use of ‘goddamn’ and asserting that various people are ‘phonies’ verge on Catch Phrase territory.
  • “I’m not kidding”
  • “If you want to know the truth…”
You can always find a new phrase he made.

Despite its controversy that made it the most censored book in high school and libraries in United States and that some of the murderer of famous assassination said that they were inspired and related by this book, you should read it if you like rebellion story.

This book absolutely a page-turner. Salinger wrote it so well that I somehow got every emotion to everything the main protagonist said and thought and felt, but I hate Holden at the same time. Hahaha.

I give this book 4/5 in Goodreads scale.



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