You Can’t Please Everyone – Catcher in the Rye

One star Amazon reviews of classic movies, music and literature. Today we take a look at Catcher in the Rye:

I am very open minded when it comes to literature (I even read through Mein Kampf without any objection) but I just hated this book! If it wasn’t required reading, I would have stopped on the fourth page! I think Salinger could have done much better!

This book is pathetic. Many people called it a “classic.” It’s the book that killed John Lennon. Oswald had a copy. So I thought “What the heck?” I then embarked on four hours of my life spent reading this complete testacle sack of a book; four hours I will never get back, I might add. The long and short of it is: the writing style is mundane and repetative, the crude language, while could be seen as “liberating” considering the time in which the book was written, becomes more numbing than anything else thereby losing its effect on the reader, and to wrap it all up, the boy is so unbelievably annoying, you find yourself applauding the pimp for slapping the crap out of him. The only reason this book survived to the present day is more because of the folklore surrounding it, rather than the book itself.
J.R.R. Tolkien said to C.S. Lewis concerning Lewis’s first book “Clive, people who are willing to use the word ‘bunk’ are going to call this book ‘bunk.’ They don’t know any better.” I am an educated man, and to call The Catcher in the Rye “bunk” is to give it far too high a praise.


I have heard about this ‘brilliant” work of literture for many years. But until now have never read it. After reading it, I never missed anything. This is nothing but a priviledge wuss trying to be something that he never will be–a mature useful part of society. He constantly whines, projects his uselessness on others and has little to no ability to see that the phoniness his so hates in others is nothing but his own personality reflecting back to him. if he had to actually be responably for one second of his life and didn’t live of the wealth of his parents, maybe just maybe he might amount to something. I wish I had the time i spent on reading this dreck back.

My god, probably the most boring, inconsequential book I ever read. Thank god it’s a short one though. Spare yourself the trouble and read what wiki has to say about it, you won’t take away anything else from this piece of ****. The book makes fun of “Phony” people, well, I say the “Phony” people are all those who recommend this book. They only do it so they don’t feel so bad they were the only ones that read it, kind of like the emperor’s clothes.

Having said that, I dare you to find a book that says “… and all”, “…kills me” and “depressed” more times than this one.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, maybe I missed something, but I thought this was the most pointless, boring, and redundant book I ever read. There was no climax; there was no meaning. The supposed “conflict” was non-existent. Just heed my advice: Don’t read the book. Heck, even if you do, I’m sure you’ll throw it out after the first 10 pages.

I must say that this is one of the most pointless books I have ever read. It seems to appeal to the “typical teenager” who thinks the world is full of hypocrites. The book itself holds no redeeming qualities at all and served no purpose except to waste my time.

I’ve always wondered what about this book makes it a classic so I borrowed it from a friend and got ready to be entertained. But I was sorely and thoroughly dissappointed. I can’t believe this guy actually suckered a publishing house into actually printing this piece of garbage. Unles they did it as an example of just how NOT to write a book. There is no plot, no real character development and the language is instantly droll. If I hadn’t borrowed this book I would have been angry at having been swindled out of good money. Don’t waste your time.

This book was a complete waste of paper. It had some interesting points but, it had no plot. It also turned out to be a major dissappointment because it ended so poorly. It should have been some elaborate lie that he had thought up while telling his sister. His parents should have played a bigger role in the book. The one part I did like was him talking to his brother.

What a load of over-hyped rubbish.The main character seems to just have a problem with everything. I can’t believe I read the whole book, I was waiting for it to get good then, all of a sudden, it was finished ! Some people need to wake up and smell the coffee and this guy’s one of them.

I don’t see how so many people rated this book so highly. I spent precious time reading this, that I’ll never get back. If you want to waste your time reading about some stupid, snotty kid’s boring experience in New York, then go ahead, read it. This book is not a classic and all copies should be burned out of existence, they really should.

Would have rather read something else. I really didn’t like the book. To me the ending just stoped and it left many questions unanswered. Holdens constant whining and complaining really bugged me, and it drove me nuts how he would always repeat himself over and over again. One part that I liked is when he is at home with Phoebe, and they are in her room dancing to the music. Other then that part, the book didn’t interest me that much.

I thought the book was going to be a good read. WEll the book was ok at the begining. As it got further, no plot developed. Reading what Holden was saying got real frustrating because he kepts saying the same things over and over. Like the words. PHONY.. and he used the word “REALLY” 1,000,000 times too many. “I told you I am crazy. I really am.” that line is in the book about 500 times. And aren’t authors suppose to stay on the subject? I found my self skipping over pages at a time, while holden tried to explain something in the past.. Very boring. I wouldn’t recomend reading this garbage. Yea its a classic but who the hell cares it SUCKED!

Holden Caulfield is just a puling spoiled rich brat whinging about a lot of kak. The biggest ‘phony’ in the book is Holden Caulfield. This book’s popularity is due to it’s protagonist’s foul language, which is less pungent than mine was in High School.

This is the worst book I have read in a long time. It’s full of complaints and Holden doing stupid things. Reading it a waste of time. It will put you in a nasty mood and make you feel like there’s less to life than you originally thought. It was reccommended to me by a teacher and I was ready to slap her when I finished the book. I can’t find justification for it being called a classic.

This book was full of profanity and pointless dialogue. It didn’t live up to any of my expectations or my fellow student’s expectations. Catcher In the Rye should not be a classic novel. I strongly suggest looking for a different book that doesn’t constantly refer to Prostitution and loneliness.

If you’re fascinated by the ruminations of some whiny rich kid who thinks the world owes him a living as he ponders Central Park ducks and goes whore-chasing, then maybe you might like this book. No wonder Salinger has kept hidden from the public so long

Perhaps I am too old for it (I am 26) but I found the book extremely boring. Three days in the empty life of a teenager simply do not interest me. Moreover the book is written in a very irritating teenagerish slang. If your novel is about an ox, you should not write as an ox would.

the book is nothing but a democratic self centered view of life. i could care less about reading a book with a cry-baby wining about his life. this is the type of action that drags this country into the black hole of depression. if a book moves a person and it does not have the words holy bible on the front of it, it shows how lost the person it “moved” really is.

I think this book stinks. there were too many stupid curse words. that’s why i disliked this book. if this book is for young adults then why does the author encourage the usage of curse words.

This is a classic example of a book that would be much better as a movie. It really is just a watered down, tame Dawson’s Creek episode. Salinger doesn’t know how to write dialogue or project teenager’s emotions, but some of the visuals and situations would play out well in a film. I could see this starring Freddie Prinze Jr. This screwy book should be stripped from the shelves and turned into a WB show, maybe it could replace Dawson. Two thumbs down, Salinger.

Hi, I’ve read this book, and I must say that I have read the damage that it caused, according to stories I have read. This book was linked with the murders of John Lennon, and actress Rebecca Schaeffer. How could this book be around, when so many nutcases use it for such things?

This is a disgusting, filthy book that should, God-willing, NEVER infect another child’s mind

A 1651 favorable reviews, who the hell could disagree ? Well I’ll try..
Been working in the various college bookstores since 1968, I had a chance to read a few pages from this book. Its literary quality is not that great, the emotional harmony with the increasingly more infantile american public signals the takeover of teeagers of the public life. We all saw the results. This is the basic affect of liberalism, with no positive vision of a possible action. However, even after 9/11/01, my son is compelled by the New York State to read this second rate fiction, alongside with ” The Chocolate War”, “Lisa Bright and Dark” and other “pulp-fictiony” type of “STUFF”.
How about some Faulkner, Hemingway, Dreiser, Dos Passos, Vidal, even Zane.

FIRST OF ALL, IGNORE THE ONE STAR, AMAZON DIDN’T HAVE A SETTING FOR NO STARS. I had to read this trash for school in my ninth grade year. I took a neutral approach, if not a little bit positive, for the book before I read it. I had one of those beatnik teachers who wanted to find the hidden meanings in this worthless waste of time. We were searching in a dark room for a black cat that wasn’t there. There are no hidden meanings in this book, nor are there any sort of points or end destination. Nor will you find anything worthwhile except for the brief moments of shock value when the author uses curses or talks about sex. I have read many books and frankly, this is the worst trash I have set my eyes on. SAVE YOURSELF FROM THIS TRASH, READ CLASSIC LITERATURE!

This was a terrible book! Why is it so interesting to hear about a boy who keeps flunking out of school, is let loose in New York, and can only think about sex? I don’t see why this is such a classic.

I never heard of this book before our daughter said she had to read it for high school English. As soon as the teacher started reading it in class our daughter said it was dumb, she wanted out of English class ,I want to quit school, and why do I have to listen to my teacher read all this foul language including the F word repeatedly. We said you don’t and pulled her from the class. Christian or not if you have any moral compass at all Catcher in the Rye is a book to avoid. The book inspired the murderer of John Lennon. It talks about and seems to condone all sorts of sin,including prostitution. drunkeness, lying,blasphemy, and fornication.It is a very depressing book and is filled with foul language on every page. It doesn’t edify or build up the reader to become a better citizen or self governing individual.It makes every attempt to drag you down to its level, the gutter. The Bible says whatsoever things are honest, true, just , pure, lovely, and of good report, if there be any virtue, think on these things . You can’t think on these things reading “goddamn “245 times in a 200+ page book. Beware Parents. Don’t fall for the line that its on the schools approved reading list or that it is a literary ‘classic’. This book is filth ,pure and simple. Its a sad commentary on our times that it is taught in our public schools. I had to give it a one star rating but it really doesn’t rate to be opened let alone read.


  1. I loved that last review, mentioning it being against god AND the killer of John Lennon (no, a MAN killed Lennon). Therefore, God=Lennon?

    Having just seen Chapter 27, I believe the importance of the book was overstated. People were just looking for a scapegoat.

    Hmm, I can’t wait to see the 1 star reviews for “The Bell Jar” then.

  2. I read this book as a self-absorbed young man and still found Holden Caulfield to be one of the most distasteful characters in all of literary history. Those who sympathize with him are just as pitiable.

  3. Also: I’m REALLY bothered that, as with all the 1-star reviews for anything, that people do not place the book in the proper societal context – this was the first book to bring forward teenage problems – it was a break through for the disenfranchised masses.

    When you have the Jonas Borthers as the voice of the “disenfranchised teenager”, of course Holden Caulfield will sound like a dick.

  4. Maybe I read ‘catcher’ too late as well, in my mid-twenties it did seem to be a overly long whiney diatribe which said nothing that related to my teenage years at all – I might have been as disaffected as Holden Caulfield but I certainly was not as stupid, nor as irritating I am sure – I keep waiting for someone to explain to me what makes the book such a classic and deserving of its hallowed place in American literature.

    if Amanda’s post above accuratly portrays the reason this book is so revered then it makes slightly more sense to me, but it being the first book to express teenage angst doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best or deserves such adoration.

    I read a book when I was much younger by an english author called “The secret Diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 3/4”. I read it at 11 and thought the main character was smart, funny and laudable. I read it again at 13 and thought “this guy is a bit of an idiot at times” then read it again at 15 and realised that Adrian Mole is an incredibly naive and pathetic character, perhaps my opinion of ‘catcher’ would have been different if I had read it when I was younger than Holden Caulfield – and then never read it again.

    Oh and Amanda, todays “disenfranchised teenager” isn’t represented by the Jonas brothers, its represented by Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold….

  5. I liked the book as a female teenager growing up in the northern woods of wisconsin. maybe that is the key. it is all perspective.

  6. Jon. My gosh, I remember Adrian Mole – huge when I was a teenager too.

    Plus my age is showing – yeah, i’d have no clue who is the voice of teens these days 😉

    I’m guessing there will be a generation of kids who saw their teenage angst mirrored in Harry Potter…

  7. When I read it, I too thought it was mediocre and overblown. I would have given it two stars. Maybe.

    Another waste of time was _A Separate Peace_. Forget by whom.

  8. It’s the book that killed John Lennon. Oswald had a copy.

    Historical FAIL.

    I could see this starring Freddie Prinze Jr. I will shoot Fredde Prinze Jr. first.

    Finally, from the first comment:

    I even read through Mein Kampf without any objection Please return your humanity on the way out the door, sir.

  9. @Critic,

    You don’t believe that Oswalt found a copy of Catcher in the Book Depository before shooting John Lennon? Remember Yoko trying to jump out of the back of the convertible?

  10. I looked at this when I was in high school and found it disjointed and incomprehensible; maybe I should look at it again, now I’m older and (hopefully) have better perspective and more patience…

  11. I saw some of these reviews before when buying this book off amazon, i remember curiously going into the profile of one reviewer and finding that he gave 5 stars to every single other book he had read…. and they were all biographies.. Figures!

  12. Never could make it all the way through that book. I think that book is meant to be read in your teens.

    The connections the book has to assassins is freaky though. There are no coincidences.

  13. This book was not assigned to me when I was in school, but my sister had a different teacher, so I tried to get into it when she brought it home, because I thought I “should.” To be honest, I did not really read most books that were assigned while I was in school anyway. I skimmed them or read a chapter or so if it was going to be on the test. Anyway, I put “Catcher in the Rye” down before I was done with maybe 10 pages. Seriously, SHUT UP. Nobody cares.

    I found out later that’s normal. You’re supposed to read this book when you’re a teen, recall it fondly, re-read it for nostalgia a few years later, and get some perspective on all that, perhaps a rude awakening after you’ve lived as an adult for a while. Missing the first step, the book totally does suck. Well, I didn’t read all of it, but I presume it goes on a lot like the beginning. I’ve heard nothing to the contrary. Perhaps some of the youths who don’t like to be forced to read “what’s good for them” in high school can see through it as well, and rightfully hate this book years before they’re supposed to.

  14. This is like “Cynical-C Classic” or “Golden Oldies”, possibly even “retro-C”. Glad to see my comments still reside somewhere in the Interwebs.

    RIP Salinger, you obviously had a massive impact on American literature and its population, and no matter what peoples opinion, you will be remembered in perpetuity.

    On a related note, I’m not sure we ever got Chris’ opinion of the Catcher in the Rye: How about it Chris? and when was the last time you read it?

  15. This garbage is beyond pathetic. Its a winey little brat complaining about his life for 200 pages. I couldn’t even stomach it past pg. 102 so I just stopped reading and wound up getting an A on the test because the whole freakin book is so predictable. R.I.P J.D. Salinger but this work of art I was forced to read made me physically sick and Holden Caulfield, I know you are just some nonexistent waste of brain cells but YOU SUCK !!!

  16. This book is hilarious! Don’t people have a sense of humor anymore? I can see how a weak minded individual could have some problems not recognizing crazy for crazy but what is wrong with kids today where they don’t see the cultural and generational importance of this book? Masterpiece of dark comedy. Think outside the box people. Stop watching T.V. and learn to think for yourselves.

Comments are closed.