“Catcher in the Rye” is about 200 pages long and costs $8 on Amazon.com. On the back of the book are reviews of how it’s a “literary classic” and a “widely acclaimed novel.” Basically, it goes on and on saying how awesome the book is. Well, clearly it’s amazing enough to make literary snobs buy the book and force school kids to read it.

Holden Caulfield is 16 but acts like a 20-year-old, minus the school part. He talks about his lonely, life-changing 24-hour stay in New York City as he experiences the phoniness of the adult world. At the same time he attempts to deal with the death of his younger brother, an overwhelming compulsion to lie and troubling sexual experiences. He’s not that great of a student, basically, because he thinks too damn much. Yet, Holden’s thoughts make the reader realize that we, too, do just as much introspection on our beliefs and emotions. The only difference is that he goes crazy from it. His internal drama just goes on and on while you read and read until it’s simply finished.

It leaves you with the feeling that you have laughed and lived. Only, it sticks with you as old Holden keeps running around in your brain. And you keep living with the book. And you want to run around screaming, “’Catcher in the Rye’ is damn good.” Only if people haven’t read it, they won’t understand; they won’t believe you.

It’s hard to write a book review on “Catcher in the Rye” without having Holden roll his eyes at you, saying, “This is stupid” and “Don’t waste your time.” Salinger is there too, rolling his eyes and repeating the same sentiments. Only, he’s kind of a figment of your imagination too now, considering he died last year. You want to say that it’s a classic that will live on beyond its time, but nowadays, everyone says that about every novel.

That’s phony as hell. It makes you want to puke when you read the book. Holden Caulfield could tell you that. He’s the main character, the type that crawls around in your mind and won’t leave. He’s the one that makes you laugh out loud while you read, making you look stupid in the library or the bus. He’s the one that makes you sad, which, again, is stupid. It’s just a book: black text on white paper. Holden Caulfield isn’t real. I mean, he just can’t be. But still, he makes you laugh, depressed and think–about your life and how you’re living it, and that’s how crazy good this book is.

-Vania Myers

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