Wednesday, April 13

Book: The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger Click for more info

As much as I hate to admit it, I suspect that The Catcher in the Rye is a book for guys. I'm uncomfortable with such an assertion because I reckon good books in particular should be gender-neutral, but my anecdotal evidence indicates that while guys seem to lap it up girls just don't get it.

Why this is, I can only guess. A lot of my particularly clever guy friends although hardly as rebellious as the main protagonist seem to have been through the phase of doubt and mistrust in themselves and others, fuelled by a high level of cynicism which eventually made them conclude that everyone (including themselves) is a fake. Caulfield's lack of direction should be recognised by most people though.

The lack of any kind of plot means that the book instead has to rely on its characters, and in this case it does very well. Despite cringing at how pathetic Caulfield could get, I did find myself understanding what he was going though, and feeling his pain as he got through the week

But despite the sophistication of his character, he also goes to show just how simple guys are - despite his contempt for women he has a soft spot for them, and the things he gets annoyed and distressed about are very obvious and in some cases trivial; there's no apparently emotionally led behaviour with him and although everything annoys him, they annoy him for a clear reason.

The Catcher in the Rye is a small and very easily read book that is more about a single guy than the story he's in. If you're into characterisation in novels then it's an utmost treat, but if not (or if you're a girl) then you might want to give it a miss. Personally though, I loved it.