Just finished this novel by J.D. Salinger and, despite the critical acclaim it has received, I am not thoroughly impressed. It is written from the perspective of a 17 year old boy recounting a week of trouble he had with school the past year. He narrates his feelings of rebellion against everything and the trouble it finds him. Some of it is quite humorous - when you hear how crass he becomes and the constant lies he uses to cover the pain he feels over not fitting in, you feel like you are there with him. The whole story is totally believable and there is never a dull moment, but his disdain for everyone and everything became a little annoying after awhile.
Read to the next section only if you don't mind a spoiler. BTW I give it 3 out of 4 stars only because he began to annoy me after awhile.
Spoiler: Finally, in the second to last chapter, his little sister saves the whole story with the way she handled him. If you can get through all of his running away from the world and hating everyone in it to where he finally connects with his sister, then you are rewarded with a very touching scene. She shows him her love and even takes his side, packing her bags to run away with him; yet she also shows that she does not approve with a bevy of cold shoulders. But she never leaves his side. The cover shows a horse reminiscent of the final scene where he watches her riding the carrousel, and finally gives in to reason.
Partially, it reminded me of my own reaction to my current life situation in that I decided to run away from what people want from me. But I don't hate them like he does. I even miss them, but I will still go my own way as long as they continue to try and control me.
Again, I give it 3 out of 4 stars only because he was so annoying.
Tue, Jan. 18th, 2005, 01:51 pm
What am I going to do with my life? I have no idea. All I see are limitations. But away from these limits I see a wonderful life. Under these limits, I can't seem to find a way to live a life I love...