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Timofei
The Catcher in the Rye

Today I've finished one of the most famous novel in English "The Catcher in the Rye" by Salinger. To say the truth, it was the second book in English, I've ever read. I can advise this novel for English learners due to quite simple language, interesting content and all, but I was a bit annoyed at lots of slang and abbreviations. This novel is a story about a 17-year old teen and his comlicated relationships with society. I've found out that this novel was prohibited at American schools, and a murderer of John Lennon,Mark Chapman, was obsessed by this book. Have you ever read "The Catcher in the Rye"? Did you like it? What about your reading currently?

15. Jan 2015 01:46
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If you want an unforgettable American novel, I'd recommend 'To Kill a Mockingbird'.  I first read it for my school exams when I was 14 years old, and I'm in the process of reading it again, many years later.  Like Catcher in the Rye, it's a picture of mid-twentieth century America from the point of view of its young narrator. Set in Alabama in the 1930s, it portrays the racism and injustice of small-town society through the innocent eyes of a child. Yet it's also funny, and gentle, and heartwarming. Everybody should read it at least once.

16. Januar 2015

I love it when I read it in the mid-1960s and I still love it--I think it's a great book.

It wasn't necessarily prohibited in all U.S. schools. In the U.S. education is governed at the state and local level. It was prohibited fairly often, and the main reason is simply that it contained the f-word. The irony is that the context is that Holden Caulfield sees "f--- you" written on a wall, and is upset by it because he hates the idea of children like his sister Phoebe seeing it. He wipes it out, and wishes he could wipe out all the "f--- you" signs in the world.

At the time, it felt as if Salinger captured some kind of truth about how people speak and act that nobody had ever captured before.

Yes, you need to be careful if you are learning English, because most of the book is the narrator's speech, and it is informal, colloquial, spoken U.S. English of the mid-1900's. I've always thought he captured that speech pattern very accurately.

It isn't uneducated English, however. Holden Caulfield is a very "WASP-ish" (white Anglo-Saxon Protestant) kind of name, and it is clear that he comes from a wealthy family and is attending an elite "prep school"--an expensive private secondary school whose graduates are expected to attend one of the socially prestigious universities:

"All those Ivy League bastards look alike. My father wants me to go to Yale, or maybe Princeton, but I swear I wouldn’t go to one of those Ivy League colleges, if I was dying, for God’s sake."

And as I read that sentence, it's amazing: that is almost perfectly correct English grammatically, and does not contain any actual slang--and yet the word and phrase choices are 100% colloquial, spoken English.

15. Januar 2015

'To Kill a Mockingbird'!  I second that. It is by far my favorite American novel; I don't know how someone could read it only once.  

 

Harper Lee seamlessly weaves young Scout's voice with the adult narrator's voice, creating a novel that is one of a kind on many levels.  Unfortunately, sometimes I have to "assist" my students over the beginning chapters as Scout describes her ancestors and how they settled in Macon. It is integral to the story, but seems to be a stumbling block for less patient readers.

 

A Catcher in the Rye is also a good novel.  I am saddened that sometimes I have to be cautious to whom I recommend it to as parental wrath is not always worth the risk.  The soul can grow weary fighting such battles.

16. Januar 2015

The "once" was not made in reference to you, dear Su.Ki. :)

Parental wrath... where do I start?

I live in the Bible Belt, the southeastern part of the United States.  Parents in our county have objected to this book because of its "defamatory" remarks to God, women, and minorities to begin with. Of course others jump on the bandwagon and object to the course language. "Catcher in the Rye" went through a review process in the public schools of this area as recently as 1992. While it has remained on our high school library shelves, there are still plenty of objections if a teacher "recommends" it. 

 

Yes, I live in the Bible Belt of the United States.  Progress here is a little slow. We learn to live dual lives and survive as best as we can. I have lived elsewhere, so I know how it could be...

16. Januar 2015

The Catcher in the Rye is probably one of my favourite books :) It amazes me that a book written 80 years ago can describe so many different feelings that many adolescents of todays world can relate to. I think it says a lot about being human! 

Personally i didn't like to Kill a Mockingbird.. But everyone says it's amazing, so yes, you might like it :) 

One book that i really enjoyed is 'A Clockwork Orange' by Anthony Burgess. It has a lot of slang and is written in a sort of funny manner, so it might be a little difficult to read for non-foreigners. But i think it's very entertaining and at the same time raises questions to some serious topics! And for those of you who just saw the movie, the book is so much better :) 

16. Januar 2015
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Timofei
Language Skills
English, Russian, Ukrainian
Learning Language
English