This book is on International ray. I got it from taniazed, Australia, and will travel next to Wandering-B, Hong Kong. It had 8 journalers before me. I also read it for the discussion at thereadinglounge.com
I got really annoyed at the beginning of how much the main character (a 16 years old kid) use damn, goddamn, and “… and all”. Not because they’re damn swear words. It’s just that he used it too goddamn much and all. You know the voice in your head when you read and all? I needed to change it to a certain damn pitch. A 16 years old with goddamn thick old American accent. Otherwise I would get goddamn annoyed as hell. After a while his “voice” stuck in my head though and I got through the novel more easily :)
I had no idea what the book was about when I first started, so I had no expectation whatsoever. Do you see the white cover there? That’s exactly how the book is. No blurb at the back cover or anything. I kept waiting for something to happen but nothing did. After a few chapters I just enjoyed the boy’s musings and observations of everything around him and things happened in his life. They’re brutally honest and often downright funny.
My favorite part is probably when Holden (that’s the main character’s name) told a story about his roommate that had a cheap suitcase. How he said people with uglier suitcase depressed the hell out of him.
“At first he only used to be kidding when he called my stuff bourgeois, and I didn’t give a damn- it was sort of funny, in fact. Then, after a while, you could tell he wasn’t kidding any more. The thing is, it’s really hard to be roommates with people if your suitcases are much better than theirs- if yours are really good ones and theirs aren’t. You think if they’re intelligent and all, the other person, and have a good sense of humor, that they don’t give a damn whose suitcases are better, but they do. They really do. It’s one of the reasons why I roomed with a stupid bastard like Stradlater. At least his suitcases were as good as mine.” ~ chapter 15 pg109
I can’t explain why I like this part. Maybe because he’s innocently honest. Things that we don’t want to admit as adults. It’s social strata, starting right there. It’s there and even if you pretend it’s not.
I also found it interesting that the whole book just covered about 2 days. It felt like a lot of time had passed for Holden. Or like how he’d say it, it’s like 50 million years had passed lol.
Ratings: 3.5 out of 5
As good as the book is, Holden’s experience is not something I can relate to. I wasn’t born in New York 1950s. I was born in one of the most dangerous countries in the world. If I had decided to run away from home as a teenager and roam around in streets and cheap hotel, somebody probably would’ve stolen my kidney and sold me to beggar pimp or something. Holden is a spoiled brat. The number of times he took cabs and referred to how he “felt like” or “didn’t feel like” to do stuff almost drove me crazy. But I guess any reader would agree that this main character is not exactly likeable :)
“The trouble with girls is, if they like a boy, no matter how big a bastard he is, they’ll say he has an inferiority complex, and if they don’t like him, no matter how nice a guy he is, or how big an inferiority complex he has, they’ll say he’s conceited. Even smart girls do it.” ~ Holden, pg136
“The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” ~ pg188