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The Catcher in the Rye

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It's Christmas time and Holden Caulfield has just been expelled from yet another school...

Fleeing the crooks at Pencey Prep, he pinballs around New York City seeking solace in fleeting encounters—shooting the bull with strangers in dive hotels, wandering alone round Central Park, getting beaten up by pimps and cut down by erstwhile girlfriends. The city is beautiful and terrible, in all its neon loneliness and seedy glamour, its mingled sense of possibility and emptiness. Holden passes through it like a ghost, thinking always of his kid sister Phoebe, the only person who really understands him, and his determination to escape the phonies and find a life of true meaning.

The Catcher in the Rye is an all-time classic in coming-of-age literature- an elegy to teenage alienation, capturing the deeply human need for connection and the bewildering sense of loss as we leave childhood behind.

J.D. Salinger's (1919–2010) classic novel of teenage angst and rebellion was first published in 1951. The novel was included on Time's 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923. It was named by Modern Library and its readers as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. It has been frequently challenged in the court for its liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality and in the 1950's and 60's it was the novel that every teenage boy wants to read.

277 pages, Paperback

First published July 16, 1951

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About the author

J.D. Salinger

159 books14.5k followers
Works, most notably novel The Catcher in the Rye (1951), of American writer Jerome David Salinger often concern troubled, sensitive adolescents.

People well know this author for his reclusive nature. He published his last original work in 1965 and gave his last interview in 1980. Reared in city of New York, Salinger began short stories in secondary school and published several stories in the early 1940s before serving in World War II. In 1948, he published the critically acclaimed story "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" in The New Yorker, his subsequent home magazine. He released an immediate popular success. His depiction of adolescent alienation and loss of innocence in the protagonist Holden Caulfield especially influenced adolescent readers. Widely read and controversial, sells a quarter-million copies a year.

The success led to public attention and scrutiny: reclusive, he published new work less frequently. He followed with a short story collection, Nine Stories (1953), of a novella and a short story, Franny and Zooey (1961), and a collection of two novellas, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (1963). His last published work, a novella entitled "Hapworth 16, 1924", appeared in The New Yorker on June 19, 1965.

Afterward, Salinger struggled with unwanted attention, including a legal battle in the 1980s with biographer Ian Hamilton. In the late 1990s, Joyce Maynard, a close ex-lover, and Margaret Salinger, his daughter, wrote and released his memoirs. In 1996, a small publisher announced a deal with Salinger to publish "Hapworth 16, 1924" in book form, but the ensuing publicity indefinitely delayed the release.

Another writer used one of his characters, resulting in copyright infringement; he filed a lawsuit against this writer and afterward made headlines around the globe in June 2009. Salinger died of natural causes at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire.

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Profile Image for mark monday.
1,645 reviews5,102 followers
March 14, 2016
journal entry

today i am 15 years old. everything is all bullshit, as usual. i can't believe how fucked everything is around me. like i'm surrounded by zombies. i can't talk to any of my so-called friends, i can't talk to jamie, i can't talk to my parents. who would bother listening anyway. i cannot wait to leave orange county! this place makes me fucking sick. everyone is a hypocrite. everything is so goddamn bright and shiny and sunny and meaningless. FUCK, life is so full of crap.

there is one good thing in my life though. just read this book Catcher in the Rye. blown away! i don't know how a book written decades ago could say exactly what i would say. it is like the author was reading my thoughts and put it all down in this book. things i didn't even realize i felt were right there on the page! I LOVED IT. i think this is my favorite novel of all time. which is not saying a whole lot because there is a ton of pretentious bullshit out there and i bet mrs. durham will force us to read it all. man i hate that bitch.

journal entry

today i am 20 years old. life is great as usual. just enjoyed my wednesday morning wake-and-bake session with j-p, the sun is shining, the san diego weather is beautiful, and tonight i'm off to rob & gregg's to destroy them at bullshit. love that game! gregg says that joelle will be there (yes!) but she'll probably bring that prick pete with her. one of these days i'm going to lose it and kick his ass. "i'm in a band"...fuck you, pete! i will never spin your records.

all i have on the agenda today is to go to the gym and then off to keracik's american lit class. it is not a bad class, although it is nowhere close to gender studies with halberstam. or davidoff's survey of modern postmodernism last semester. now that was a class! it blew my mind. so many things to think about. the reading in american lit has been okay. but we've been assigned to read Catcher in the Rye and it is terrible. can't believe i ever liked this book. caulfield is a whiny little bitch. the book has no depth. there is literally nothing going on with the narrative, style, theme, characterization, it is just one rote cliché after another. he thinks he is such a rebel-without-a-cause but in reality he is just another tired representation of rootless, stereotypical masculinity and gender essentialism. completely inane and without meaning. i think my essay will use some acker-style postmodernist techniques to show how simplistic this trite "classic" truly is. i'm going to deconstruct the shit out of this novel, baby!

journal entry

today i am 25 years old. another gray, drizzly san francisco morning. i wish christopher would wake up, i really need to talk to him after all that shit last night. notes on my pillow, really?? time to grow up dude, i will never "complete you". well actually i'm glad he's still asleep, my throat is too sore to get into it right now with him. plus Food Not Bombs is happening this morning and i have to get the kitchen ready. john is probably hard at work already, typical over-achieving behavior. i bet the wisconsin kids are still crashing on our living room floor. it's time for them to leave! they've seen The Vindictives at every single Epicenter or Gilman show now and it is time for them to hit the road. or learn to take a shower. this apartment is not the world's crashpad!

i woke up early this morning and thumbed through A Catcher in the Rye. i remember hating this book in college for some reason. probably wasn't po-mo enough for me. or "challenging". feh. what a pretentious idiot i was. this is a beautiful book. it changed my life as a kid, i'm not sure how i would have survived orange county without it. just re-reading parts of it brought back all that old angst about all the fucked-up shit in the world that kids have to deal with. i'm not sure there is another book as insightful or as meaningful. or funny! that part with the clipping-of-the-toenails is hilarious. ackley is such a douche. this book is the foundation of every zine that i have ever loved. a perfect novel. it is so...."human", i guess.

journal entry

today i am 30 years old. man my head hurts...so hungover! my birthday party last night was awesome. even got to spend some time on the turntables (thanks kraddy for actually relinquishing a tiny bit of control for once). i must have made out with a half-dozen people. sadly, no real action. i think last night's party will be the last big party i will ever throw. things have got to change. no more partying like the world is about to end, i still have my entire life ahead of me! tomorrow i am going to go into AIG and hand in my notice. i am not an entertainment insurance underwriter, that is not me. fuck them. if erika can get me that job working with homeless kids at Hospitality House, than i am set. although moving from the biggest room in the flat to the water heater closet will be no fun. i'm 30 years old now for chrissakes! still, i've got to do something meaningful with my life. it cannot all be about booze, drugs, hooking up, and paying everyone's rent when they're broke. things have got to change.

i cracked open A Catcher in the Rye yesterday before the party and read some of my favorite parts. what an inspiration! seriously, that is a classic novel. it is packed with meaning. i'm twice caulfield's age but i still somehow connect with him in a very direct way. my life is going to change and the attitude expressed in that book is at the heart of that change. i love you, holden caulfied. it's not too late for me to learn from you, to find some meaning in life.

journal entry

today i am 35 years old. another intense, sad, but deeply fulfilling week has passed. every day something meaningful happens, something so emotional and real. sometimes i find myself just losing it in a fetal position because of the things i've seen. working with people who are drug addicted or who have been abused or who are dying is HEAVY. but it is also beautiful. it's hard to believe i am dealing with all of that and supporting my folks too. thank God i have good friends to talk to about these things. anyway. so now marcy wants to have a kid. i just don't know how i feel about that. this is such a fucked up world, do we really want to bring new life into it? i dunno. it seems....selfish, somehow. she should just quit her job with the d.a.'s office and get back to her roots in the public defender's office instead. does she think that having a child with me will bring more meaning into her life? my life has meaning enough already. and i really am not sure i can handle that responsibility on top of everything else.

i skimmed A Catcher in the Rye yesterday, after an awkward talk with marcy about having a baby. it was not an inspiring read. caulfield is so full of misplaced angst! i'm not sure i even understand him anymore. why is he so pissed off? he's seen nothing of the world and what the world can actually do to people. i want to like him, i want to re-capture that feeling of affection i had for him, but now his contempt and his anger just seem so meaningless, so naive. he really does not have it so bad. there is so much worse out there. i don't know how i would handle a kid like that. i hate to say it, but i constantly rolled my eyes when reading it. oh the emotional self-absorption of youth! just you wait, caulfield. it sure gets a hell of a lot more complicated once you grow up.

journal entry

today i am 40 years old. when did i become a boss? it is like i woke up one day, mysteriously transformed into an old man. am i really a "leader"? what does that even mean? sometimes i feel like i am just faking it all and someone is going to figure it out and blow the whistle on me. last week i made a huge play on the Council, i had all my ducks in a row, and all the votes came in just as i had planned. everyone has their own agenda and the way to get things done is simply to recognize and engage with that disappointing fact. some folks got up and started clapping and then the whole room joined in, even council members who voted against my motion - feh, phonies. the experience was sort of amazing but it also made me feel very odd, almost disconnected from myself. is this who i am now, a public policy figure, a community advocate, a mayoral appointee? ugh, i can't stand the mayor. i don't feel like me. there is accomplishment there, and some satisfaction... but i am missing something, something visceral, something real. sweet Jesus, is this what a mid-life crisis feels like? it is a weird feeling, like i know everything that i need to know about the world, about the people around me, how everything connects, but yet i still feel like i know so little about life. oh, such angst, mark. surely you've outgrown this?

i've started re-reading A Catcher in the Rye. it's so strange, during different parts, i felt like crying. a wonderful and moving novel. i feel like i really understand holden, like he is my guide, my son, my brother, my friend... myself. i think of him and i know that change in the world and changing myself can still happen. it just has to happen. that's life after all, right?
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11k followers
April 3, 2011
5.0 stars. I LOVE IT when I go into a book with low expectations and it ends up knocking me on my ass. Admittedly, this is tougher to do with "classics" but it certainly happened in this case. I remember first reading this in school (like many of us) and not thinking it was anything special. However, having first read it almost 25 years ago, I knew I had to read it again before I could feel justified in actually reviewing it. Of course, I didn’t hold out much hope that my feelings would change and was expecting a fairly painful reading experiece.

In fact, as I started reading, I was already thinking about what my amazingly insightful, completely “isn’t it cool to bash on the classics” 1 star review was going to focus on. I thought maybe I could bag on the less than spectacular prose used by Salinger (making myself feel really smart in the process). Or maybe I could take some jabs at the less than exciting narrative pacing (and throw in a few references to "watching paint dry").

In the end, I thought my most likely avenue for attacking reviewing this anthem of teen angst was that it was utterly yawn inspiringno longer relevant today because of the GLUT of teen angst that the recent generations have been exposed to ad nauseam growing up. I mean we live in a time in which teen angst is EVERYWHERE and even has its own sub-genre label now. You can find it in:

Cather-Rye-Kurt Cobain
Fast times and Breakfast club
Twilight paper
*** Literature is a serious stretch, but I must admit that these books do IN FACT fill me with ANGST!!!
So what happened to all of the preconceived notions I had before I starting reading this book?

Instead, I found myself completely drawn into the rich, nuanced story of Holden Caulfield. I found myself empathizing with Caulfield almost from the beginning (something I did not expect to do). His "annoying", "pseudo rebellious" and "just don't care" exterior were so obviously manufactured and so patently hiding a seriously sad and lost boy that I was transfixed on finding the real Holden Caulfield.

Despite the book being written "in Holden's own words" the reader was still able to discern that Holden's surface response to a situation was hiding a much deeper, emotional resposne. For Salinger to be able to infuse that kind of nuance into the sparse prose of Caulfield’s narrative was nothing short of brilliant in my opinion.

Caulfied is lazy. He is stubborn. He is immature. He is unfocused. He is untruthful. He is dangerously short-sighted and he is lost in his own world or unrealistic expectations. Sounds like that could certainly be a not unsubstantial portion of the male 16 year old population.

However, after reading this book, I learned a few other things about Holden that I though were fascinating and that are not as often discussed:

1. He is desperately lonely (he even goes so far as ask his cab drivers to join him for a drink);
2. He is generous with his time and his things (he writes an essay for his roommate despite being upset with him and even lets him borrow his jacket);
3. He is extremely sensitive and longs for an emotional (rather than just a physical) commitment (he mentions several times his need to “be in love” in order to be physical and his experience with the prostitute certainly bears this out);
4. He is intelligent (despite being lazy and unfocused, Holden displays great insight and intelligence regarding books he has read and displays at the museum); and
5. Despite being unable to process it correctly, he is full of compassion and has a deep capacity for love, which he shows most notably for his sister (this was one of the most powerful parts of the story for me as it was Holden’s desire to avoid hurting Phoebe that keeps him from running away at the end of the book).

Taking all of the good and the bad together, I was left with the feeling that Holden is an adolescent on the cusp of adulthood who is achingly afraid of the loss of his childhood and the responsibility and commitment that he sees as required to make it in the “adult” world. He is compassionate, intelligent and deeply emotional and yet is unable (or unwilling) to focus that energy on those steps that he sees as leading him away from his “happy memories of childhood” and closer to the “scary world of the adult.”

I think this is superbly shown in Holden's expressed dream of wanting to being the “Catcher in the Rye.” Quick side note: I had no idea what the title to the book referred to until I just read the book. Here is a person so afraid of growing up and so averse to giving into the pain and sadness that he sees as the result of becoming an adult that he wants nothing more than to spend his life protecting others from losing the innocence of childhood. Big, crazy, “I want to save the world” dreams are a wonderful part of childhood and it is a shame that such ideas and beliefs are too often destroyed under the barrage of “you really need to grow up” rather than having such dreams transitioned and re-focused into daring the improbable within the world of the possible.

A great and moving reading experience and one that I give my HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!
25 reviews
March 26, 2008
I read the end of The Catcher in the Rye the other day and found myself wanting to take Holden Caulfield by the collar and shake him really, really hard and shout at him to grow up. I suppose I've understood for some time now that The Catcher in the Rye -- a favorite of mine when I was sixteen -- was a favorite precisely because I was sixteen. At sixteen, I found Holden Caulfield's crisis profoundly moving; I admired his searing indictment of society, his acute understanding of human nature, his extraordinary sensitivity (I mean, come on, he had a nervous breakdown for God's sake, he had to be sensitive). At sixteen, I wanted to marry Holden Caulfield. At forty, I want to spank him. After all, Holden's indictment of society boils down to the "insight" that everybody is a phony. That's the kind of insight a sixteen year old considers deep. A forty year old of the grown-up variety recognizes Holden's insight as superficial and banal, indulging in the cheapest kind of adolescent posturing. It suggests a grasp of society and of human nature that's about as complex as an episode of Dawson's Creek. Holden and his adolescent peers typically behave as though the fate they have suffered (disillusionment and the end of innocence) is unique in human history. He can't see beyond the spectacle of his own disillusionment (and neither can J. D. Salinger); for all his painful self-consciousness, Holden Caulfield is not really self-aware. He can't see that he himself is a phony.

Compare Salinger's novel of arrested development, for instance, with a real bildungsroman, Great Expectations. Holden Caulfield is an adolescent reflecting on childhood and adolescence; Pip Pirrip is an adult reflecting on childhood and adolescence. Holden Caulfield has the tunnel vision of teendom, and he depicts events with an immediacy and absorption in the experience that blocks out the broader context, the larger view. Pip Pirrip has the wonderful double vision of a sensitive adult recollecting the sensitive child he used to be; he conveys at the same time the child's compelling perspective and the adult's thoughtful revision of events. While Holden Caulfield litters his narrative with indignant exposes of phonies and frauds, Pip Pirrip skillfully concentrates on "the spurious coin of his own make" -- that is, without letting the child Pip and the adolescent Pip in on the joke, he exposes himself as a phony. Pip Pirrip grows up. Holden Caulfield has a nervous breakdown.

I suppose the only reason I begrudge him his breakdown is that so many in our culture -- many more, unfortunately, than just the legitimate adolescents among us -- seem fixated on Holden as a symbol of honesty and socially-liberating rebellion. We view nervous collapse and dysfunction as a badge of honor, a sign -- to put it in Caulfieldian terms -- that we are discerning enough to see through all the crap. Our celebration of overwrought disaffection reminds me of the last sentence of Joyce’s Araby: “Gazing up into the darkness I saw myself as a creature driven and derided by vanity; and my eyes burned with anguish and anger.” Here is the adolescent pose non-pareil. Equally self-accusing and self-aggrandizing, it captures the adolescent at the precise moment when his own disillusionment becomes the object of his grandiose and self-dramatizing vision. That’s the kind of crap that Holden Caulfield (and J. D. Salinger) cannot see through. And it is often the kind of crap that we “adults” like to slosh around in.

The Barney beating of several years ago is another symptom of our arrested adolescence, our inability to ride the wave of disillusion into the relatively calm harbor of adulthood -- as though flailing around in the storm and raging at the wind were in themselves marks of distinction and a superior sensibility. I remember a news story about a woman in a Barney costume being seriously injured when a rabid (and probably drunken) anti-Barney fanatic attacked the big purple dinosaur at some public event. Now, I don’t know the age of the Barney-beater, but the act itself is a supremely adolescent one, in which the impulsive response to disillusionment is to lash out at those symbols of childhood which made the biggest dupes of us. At the dawn of adolescence, when Barney begins to appear cloying and false, it seems natural to want to beat up on him, as though it was Barney himself who pulled one over on us instead of our own poignant and necessary misapprehension of the nature of things. I could see Holden Caulfield beating up on Barney (at least rhetorically), and I could see Holden Caulfield missing Barney (as he misses all the “phonies” at the end of the book), but I cannot see Holden Caulfield accepting the postlapsarian Barney on new terms, as a figure who is meant for children and not for him. For all his touching poses about wanting to be the “catcher in the rye,” what Holden really wants is not to save children but to be a child again.
Profile Image for Matt.
94 reviews308 followers
July 13, 2009
I was worried as hell about reading this book again. The last time I read it was about a thousand years ago when I was just a kid. I was lousy with angst just like good old Holden back then. I really was. Now that I’m a crummy old guy I figured that I wouldn’t like it anymore. That’s the one thing about crummy old guys, they always hate books that kids like. Every time I reread a corny book that I really liked when I was a kid it makes me want to give the writer a buzz and ask what the hell is going on. It’s like they are trying to give you the time in the back of a cab when you don’t feel like getting the time at all. It’s damn depressing, I swear to God it is. If you want to know the truth, you probably couldn’t even talk to a phony writer on the phone. You would just end up talking to his butler or some snobbish person like that and asking if they would give the writer your message. He probably wouldn’t even do it. The thing with guys like that is that they will never give writers your messages. That’s something that annoys the hell out of me.

Turns out this is still a damn good book. Salinger kid is a great writer. He really is. Maybe I’m still just an angst-ridden sonuvabitch, but this part kills me:

“All the kids kept trying to grab for the gold ring, and so was old Phoebe, and I was sort of afraid she’d fall off the goddam horse, but I didn’t say anything or do anything. The thing with kids is, if they want to grab for the gold ring, you have to let them do it, and not say anything. If they fall off, they fall off, but it’s bad if you say anything to them.”p.211

I’ll bet everyone is going to think that I’m just horsin’ around or trying to be all sexy talking like this. The reason for this corny review is because a thousand other people have already written reviews for this book and I’ll bet that they have already said everything that I want to say. It’s pretty depressing. It really is. That’s about all that I’m going to talk about. Now I just hope that no one writes “fuck you” on this review. That’s the thing with some people, they are always sneaking up and writing “fuck you” on your book reviews when you are not looking. They really are.

Profile Image for Shana.
81 reviews110 followers
December 4, 2013
I read this book for the first time in the 8th grade. I had to get my mom to sign a permission slip because of the cursing. Before I began reading, I had so many expectations. Back then, I read Seventeen Magazine, and back then, Seventeen Magazine ran brainy features about books and poetry. There was one feature where they asked people what book changed their lives, and something like more than half said Catcher in the Rye. I think there might have been some celebrity comments in there, too. At any rate, it was a ringing endorsement.

So you can imagine my disappointment when I hated it. Not only did I hate Holden, but I hated everything about the novel. There was nothing I enjoyed. I did my book report where I confessed my hatred (which led my teacher to confess that she did, too), but I couldn't let it go. I honestly felt that my loathing of a novel that so many others found "life-changing" indicated some deep and horrible flaw. I felt like hating Catcher in the Rye was my dirty little secret.

Time passed, and my self-loathing mellowed. I began to think that perhaps I'd come at it too young, so after my first year of college, I decided to re-read it, go at it with fresh eyes, and see if my opinion had changed.

Here's the thing: it hasn't. I get it. I get that Holden is supposed to be loathsome. I get that he is the hypocrite he hates. I get that almost all teenagers go through the kind of thinking he experiences. I get it. I do. I just don't like it.

Oh, and I'm not ashamed anymore.
3 reviews8 followers
February 21, 2021
Edit: stop liking and commenting on this review. It's 2021. And the book is still shit.

If I could give this book a zero, I would. I absolutely hated it. Generally, I don't hate books, either. Usually it's a very strong dislike, and generally, I give them a second chance. But no, I will never be reading this book again.

In my opinion, Holden is the worst character in the English language. Salinger tried just too damn hard to make him 'universal', to the point where he becomes unrealistic. His train of thought is annoying and repetitive, and God, those catchphrases of his. Can someone shut this kid up? Holden is almost the anti-Gary Stu. Nearly every thing's wrong with him. The one good thing about him being his love for his younger sister.

The plot is one of the worst I've ever read. It's boring, and it, like Holden, is unbelievably and painfully repetitive. Holden calls up an old friend, has a drink. Holden calls up a girl, has a drink. Holden dances with a girl. Then he drinks. Was there a climax to this book? I must have missed it. Maybe it was Holden nearly freezing to death (um, what?) in Central Park? No, no, maybe it was when Holden called up that hooker! Maybe not. The plot is so fuzzy and flat I couldn't tell when to peak my interest.

And that's just it, it never did.

So buh-bye, Holden! Your book's been gathering dust on my shelf for the past two years and it'll stay that way. Until I decide to sell it, of course.
Profile Image for Richard.
40 reviews116 followers
May 29, 2008
My theory as to this book's unusually polarizing nature: either you identify with Holden Caulfield or you don't.

Those who see themselves (either as they were or, God help them, as they are) in Holden see a misunderstood warrior-poet, fighting the good fight against a hypocritical and unfeeling world; they see in Salinger a genius because he gets it, and he gets them.

Those of us who don't relate to Holden see in him a self-absorbed whiner, and in Salinger, a one-trick-pony who lucked into performing his trick at a time when some large fraction of America happened to be in the right collective frame of mind to perceive this boring twaddle as subversive and meaningful.
Profile Image for emma.
1,825 reviews48.5k followers
April 3, 2023
a lot of people say this book sucks because holden is annoying and complains all the time, but that's actually why it's good.

nothing could be more relatable.

and also it's the story of a heartbreakingly empathetic CHILD coping with coming of age and the death of his brother while being betrayed by every authority figure and person he trusts, and his main takeaway is still loving his sister and appreciating the world around him and missing everyone he's met.

what book did these people read???

part of a series i'm doing in which i review books i read a long time ago

reread updates

reading this on the train so no one talks to me
Profile Image for Madeline.
775 reviews47k followers
September 24, 2007
In my hand I hold $5.
I will give it to anyone who can explain the plot of this book (or why there is no plot) and make me understand why the hell people think it's so amazing.
Profile Image for Kat.
265 reviews79.6k followers
October 23, 2020
so sorry, guess im a phony
Profile Image for J.G. Keely.
546 reviews9,776 followers
October 31, 2011
Sometimes truth isn't just stranger than fiction, it's also more interesting and better plotted. Salinger helped to pioneer a genre where fiction was deliberately less remarkable than reality. His protagonist says little, does little, and thinks little, and yet Salinger doesn't string Holden up as a satire of deluded self-obsessives, he is rather the epic archetype of the boring, yet self-important depressive.

I've taken the subway and had prolonged conversations on the street with prostitutes (not concerning business matters), and I can attest that Salinger's depiction is often accurate to what it feels like to go through an average, unremarkable day. However, reading about an average day is no more interesting than living one.

Beyond that, Salinger doesn't have the imagination to paint people as strangely as they really are. Chekhov's 'normal' little people seem more real and alive than Salinger's because Chekhov injects a little oddness, a little madness into each one. Real people are almost never quite as boring as modernist depictions, because everyone has at least some ability to surprise you.

Salinger's world is desaturated. Emotions and moments seep into one another, indistinct as the memories of a drunken party. Little importance is granted to events or thoughts, but simply pass by, each duly tallied by an author in the role of court reporter.

What is interesting about this book is not that it is realistically bland, but that it is artificially bland. Yet, as ridiculous a concept as that is, it still takes itself entirely in earnest, never acknowledging the humor of its own blase hyperbole.

This allows the book to draw legions of fans from all of the ridiculously dull people who take themselves as seriously as Holden takes himself. They read it not as a parody of bland egotism but a celebration, poised to inspire all the bland egotists who have resulted from the New Egalitarianism in Art, Poetry, Music, and Academia.

Those same folks who treat rationality and intellectual fervor like a fashion to be followed, imagining that the only thing required to be brilliant is to mimic the appearance and mannerisms of the brilliant; as if black berets were the cause of poetic inspiration and not merely a symptom.

One benefit of this is that one can generally sniff out pompous faux intellectuals by the sign that they hold up Holden as a sort of messianic figure. Anyone who marks out Holden as a role-model is either a deluded teen with an inflated sense of entitlement, or is trying to relive the days when they were.

But what is more interesting is that those who idolize Holden tend to be those who most misunderstand him. Upon close inspection, he's not depressive, not consumed with ennui or an existential crisis, he's actually suffering from 'Shell Shock'--now known as 'Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder'.

The way he thinks about his brother's and classmate's deaths--going over the details again and again in his mind, but with no emotional connection--it's not symptomatic of depression, but of psychological trauma. He is stuck in a cycle, unable to process events, going over them again and again, but never able to return to normalcy.

It takes a certain kind of self-centered prick to look at someone's inability to cope with the reality of death and think "Hey, that's just like my mild depression over how my parents won't buy me a newer ipod!" It's not an unusual stance in American literature--there's an arrogant detachment in American thought which has become less and less pertinent as the world grows and changes. As recently as The Road we have American authors comparing a difficult father-son relationship to the pain and turmoil of an African civil war survivor--and winning awards for displaying their insensitive arrogance.

Perhaps it's time we woke up and realized that the well-fed despondence of the white man should not be equated with a lifetime of death, starvation, war, and traumas both physical and emotional. And as for Salinger--a real sufferer of Post-Traumatic Stress who was one of the first soldiers to see a concentration camp, who described how you can never forget the smell of burning flesh--I can only imagine how he felt when people read his story of a man, crippled by the thought of death, and thought to themselves "Yes, that's just what it's like to be a trustafarian with uncool parents". No wonder he became a recluse and stopped publishing.
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
402 reviews3,514 followers
May 22, 2023
It was one of the best books and one of the worst books that I have ever read.

Here is the link to my more in-depth review:

On the one hand, we have a character, Holden, who is not incredibly likeable. On the other hand, the book is really about some incredibly deep topics without being preachy at all. There is quite a bit of mild swearing so if that is something that you are sensitive about, this book is not for you.

Often touted as a coming of age book, I beg to differ. This book is about loss and grief, struggling. Well worth the read at least once.

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Profile Image for Roohdaar.
165 reviews1,780 followers
July 31, 2016
Well, this was a pain to get through.

First of all, this is a shitty way to start a novel no matter how you want to introduce your main character.

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

That is easily one of the saddest, most pathetic introductions to a book. As I started this book, I wondered... if the introduction is like this, how will the rest of the book be?

This is what the rest of the book looked like:

"He was also the nicest, in lots of ways. He never got mad at anybody. People with red hair are supposed to get mad very easily, but Allie never did, and he had very red hair. I'll tell you what kind of red hair he had."

"I sort of used to go to Allie's baseball matches."

"It was around ten-thirty, I guess, when I finished it."

I can imagine Holden as this very insipid, boring little kid with no life in him whatsoever.

Also, Holden thinks everyone besides him is a phony and a moron. And he makes it very clear because he mentions it, like, every two pages. Literally... every damn time.

I read some of the comments regarding how I didn't understand this book because I didn't relate to it. That may be true. Very, very true. Regardless, I still think to this day that this book is a drag and has an unlikable main character and a dry, boring writing style. Perhaps I will read it again when I am older and maybe I'll enjoy it.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
July 31, 2021
(Book 529 from 1001 books) - The Catcher In The Rye, J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger.

Holden Caulfield, a teenager from New York City, is living in an unspecified institution in southern California near Hollywood in 1951.

Story of Holden Caulfield with his idiosyncrasies, penetrating insight, confusion, sensitivity and negativism.

The hero-narrator of "The Catcher in the Rye" is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield.

Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.

The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices -- but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all.

Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure.

However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بار نخست ماه آگوست سال 1982میلادی، بار دوم در سال 2001میلادی و سومین بار در ماه ژوئن سال 2005میلادی

عنوان: ناطور دشت؛ نویسنده: جروم دیوید (جی.د.) سالینجر؛ مترجم: احمد کریمی؛ تهران، فرانکلین، 1345؛ در 354ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، اشرفی، 1371؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، ققنوس، 1381؛ در 326ص؛ شابک 9643112543؛ چاپ چهارم 1385؛ چاپ پنجم تهران، علمی، فرهنگی، 1386؛ در326ص؛ شابک 9789643112547؛ چاپ ششم 1387؛ چاپ هفتم 1388، هشتم 1389؛ سال 1393؛ چاپ دیگر 1393؛ در 256ص؛ شابک9786001215930؛ موضوع نوجوانان فراری - داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

عنوان: ناتور دشت؛ مترجم: محمد نجفی؛ تهران، نیلا، 1378، در 296ص؛ چاپ چهارم 1381؛ چاپ پنجم 1384 در 207ص؛ هفتم 1388؛ هشتم 1389؛ چاپ نهم 1393؛

داستان جوانی جسور و جستجوگر، در پی مفهوم زندگی است؛ «هولدن کالفیلد»، نوجوانی هفده ساله، که در آغاز رمان، در یک مرکز درمانی بستری است، و ظاهراً قصد دارد، آن‌چه که پیش از رسیدن به مرکز درمانی را، از سر بگذرانده، برای کسی بازگو کند، همین ‌کار را هم می‌کند؛ رمان بر همین پایه شکل می‌گیرد؛ در زمان رخداد رویدادهای داستان، «هولدن» یک پسر بچه ی شانزده‌ ساله‌ است، که در مدرسه ی شبانه‌ روزی «پنسی»، درس می‌خواند، و در آستانه ی کریسمس، به علت ضعف تحصیلی، از دبیرستان اخراج میشود، و باید به خانه‌ شان در «نیویورک» برگردد؛

همه ی رویدادهای داستان، طی سه روز، که «هولدن»، از مدرسه، برای رفتن به خانه خارج می‌شود، رخ می‌دهند؛ او می‌خواهد «تا نامه ی مدیر، مبنی بر اخراجش، به دست پدر و مادرش برسد، و آب‌ها از آسیاب بیفتد به خانه ی خویش پا نگذارد»؛ به همین ‌خاطر از زمانیکه از مدرسه خارج ‌میشود، دو روز را به سرگردانی سپری می‌کند؛ این دو روز نمادی است، از سفر «هولدن»، از کودکی به دنیای جوانی؛ رمان اصلی در سال 1951میلادی منتشر شده، برگردان فارسی رمان، یعنی همین کتاب با عنوان «ناطور دشت»، با ترجمه ی جناب «احمد کریمی»، در دهه ی پنجاه هجری خورشیدی منتشر گردیده است؛ سپس برگردان دیگری با عنوان «ناتور دشت»، با ترجمه ی جناب: «محمد نجفی»، در دهه ی هفتاد هجری خورشیدی نیز منتشر شده است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 27/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 07/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
July 30, 2021
The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger.

A classic novel originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage angst and alienation. It has been translated into almost all of the world's major languages.

The novel's protagonist Holden Caulfield has become an icon for teenage rebellion. The novel also deals with complex issues of innocence, identity, belonging, loss, and connection.

The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices -- but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure.

However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «ناطور دشت»؛ «ناتور دشت»؛ «دشت‌بان‏‫»؛ «ناتوردشت»؛ «تارلانتی»؛ نویسنده: جروم دیوید (جی.د.) سالینجر؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه آگوست سال1982میلادی، بار دوم سال 2001میلادی؛ و سومین بار ماه ژوئن سال 2005میلادی

عنوان: ناطور دشت؛ نویسنده: جروم دیوید (جی.د.) سالینجر؛ مترجم: احمد کریمی؛ تهران، فرانکلین، 1345؛ در 354ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، اشرفی، سال 1371؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، ققنوس، 1381؛ در 326ص؛ شابک 9643112543؛ چاپ چهارم 1385؛ چاپ پنجم تهران، علمی، فرهنگی، 1386؛ در326ص؛ شابک 9789643112547؛ چاپ ششم 1387؛ چاپ هفتم 1388، هشتم 1389؛ سال 1393؛ چاپ دیگر 1393؛ در 256ص؛ شابک9786001215930؛ موضوع داستانهای نوجوانان از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

عنوان: ناتور دشت؛ مترجم: محمد نجفی؛ تهران، نیلا، 1378، در 296ص؛ چاپ چهارم 1381؛ چاپ پنجم 1384 در 207ص؛ هفتم 1388؛ هشتم 1389؛ چاپ نهم 1393؛

عنوان: دشت‌بان‏‫؛ مؤلف جروم‌ دیوید سالینجر؛ مترجم حسین مطیع؛ ویراستار ندا بحیرایی؛ قم، بوکتاب، 1398؛ در 232ص؛ شابک9786226518550؛

عنوان: ناتوردشـت؛ نویسنده جی.دی سلینجر؛ مترجمها امیرحسین آشوری، وحید حسنی؛ تهران: موسسه آموزشی تالیفی ارشدان‏‫، ‏‫1398؛ در 270ص؛ شابک9786009957996؛

عنوان: تارلانتی؛ دئیوید سالینجئر؛ چئویریب، توتوشدوروب، اویقونلاشدیران: آیهان میانالی؛ قم، یاس بخشایش، سال 1398؛ در 336ص؛ شابک9786226827188؛

عنوان: ناتور دشت؛ نویسنده دیوید سالینجر؛ مترجم زهرا ذوالقدر؛ تهران، نشر گستر، 1389؛ در 254ص؛ شابک 9786005883145؛

عنوان: ناتور دشت؛ جی‌دی سالینجر؛ مترجم مژده میرزایی؛ تهران آریا تبار، 1397؛ در 200ص؛ شابک 9786008072263؛

عنوان: ناتور دشت؛ نویسنده جی‌.دی سلینجر؛ مترجم سعید دو��؛ ویراستار مهدی احشمه؛ تهران، روزگار، 1397؛ در 230ص؛ شابک9789643748449؛

عنوان: ناتور دشت؛ نویسنده جی.دی سلینجر؛ برگردان مریم صالحی، مهدی آذری؛ مشهد: امید مهر، ‏‫1392؛ در 232ص؛ شابک9786001541681؛

عنوان: ناطوردشت؛ جی دی سالینجر ؛ مترجم الیزا معماریان؛ تهران، انگیزه مهر، 1398؛ در 300ص؛ شابک 9786008325444؛

عنوان: ناطوردشت؛ جروم دیوید سلینجر؛ مترجم مریم فیروزبخت؛ تهران، آریایی 1400؛ در 289ص؛ شابک9786229695036؛

مترجمهای دیگر خانمها و آقایان: «رضا زارع، قم آثار نور، سال 1397؛ در 224ص، چاپ دیگر قم الفبای سخن؛ 1398؛ در 256ص»؛ و بسیاری دیگر که هرچه مینویسم کنترلچیها با لطف خود پاکش میکنند

داستان جوانی جسور، و جستجوگر است، در پی مفهوم زندگی؛ «هولدن کالفیلد» نوجوانی هفده ساله، که در آغاز رمان، در یک مرکز درمانی بستری ست، و ظاهراً قصد دارد: آن‌چه که پیش از رسیدن به مرکز درمانی را، از سر بگذرانده، برای کسی واگویی کند، همینکار را هم می‌کند؛ رمان بر همین پایه، شکل می‌گیرد؛ در زمان رخداد ماجراهای داستان، «هولدن» یک پسر بچه ی شانزده‌ ساله‌ است، که در مدرسه ی شبانه‌ روزی «پنسی» درس می‌خواند، و در آستانه ی «کریسمس»، به علت ضعف تحصیلی، از دبیرستان اخراج، و باید به خانه‌ شان در «نیویورک» برگردد؛ همگی ماجراهای داستان در سه روز، که «هولدن» از مدرسه برای رفتن به خانه، خارج می‌شود، روی می‌دهند؛ او می‌خواهد: تا نامه ی مدیر، مبنی بر اخراجش، به دست پدر و مادرش برسد، و آب‌ها از آسیاب بیفتد، به خانه ی خویش پای نگذارد، به همین ‌خاطر از زمانیکه از مدرسه خارج ‌میشود، دو روز را به سرگردانی سپری می‌کند؛ این دو روز نمادی، از سفر «هولدن» از دوران کودکی، به دنیای جوانی است.؛

رمان اصلی در سال 1951میلادی منتشر شده، برگردان فارسی رمان، یعنی همین کتاب، با عنوان «ناطور دشت» با ترجمه ی جناب «احمد کریمی»، در دهه ی پنجاه هجری خورشیدی سده چهاردهم هجری منتشر شده است.؛ سپس برگردان دیگری، با عنوان «ناتور دشت»، با ترجمه ی جناب «محمد نجفی»، در دهه ی هفتاد سده ی چهاردهم هجری خورشیدی نیز منتشر شده است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 23/05/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 07/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
1 review18 followers
May 8, 2008
J.D. Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye’ was published on July 16, 1951. It was his first novel. It became very popular among young adolescents yet not so popular with older generations. I personally thoroughly enjoyed every part of this book. I felt very close to Holden Caulfield, the main character in the story, as I read it.
Holden Caulfield, a sixteen year old boy from New York, was quite unlike kids his age. He had no interest in being popular or social. From the very beginning he lets us into part of his personal life. His parents are very touchy and his mother is especially protective. It becomes clear very quickly where Holden’s interests lie and where they start to veer off. He tends to lean away from the fake in the world and is a teller of what is real.
Holden is not a fan of the movies at all. He saw his brother, D.B., throw away his natural writing talent all for a large Hollywood check. Any other boy Holden’s age would have been absolutely ecstatic to have a sibling working amongst the stats in Hollywood, but not Holden. It was all far too “phony” for him; and phony is his worst enemy.
Salinger’s use of sarcasm and irony is beautiful and hilarious. As I read through each chapter I found myself highlighting funny, sarcastic things Holden would say or think (and trust me, there are DOZENS of time where this occurs.) One specific time in Chapter 8 he is talking to a cab driver who is acting like a real fool. Holden says to the readers, “He certainly was good company. Terrific personality.”
Salinger’s character Holden is actually a lot like Salinger in his real life. Like Holden, Salinger was known for his reclusive nature. Uninterested with the fakeness of the world, Holden keeps his distance from phony people. After Salinger’s success of ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, he slowed down his publishing and slowly but surely drifted out of the public eye. To this day Salinger refuses any offers to have ‘The Catcher’ put on the big Hollywood screen. Salinger’s ex lover, Joyce Maynard, even once said that, “The only person who might ever have played Holden Caulfield would have been J.D. Salinger.” It seems to me that it is no coincidence that Holden is no fan of Hollywood and that Salinger in real life and doesn’t want anything to do with turning his popular novel into a movie. Holden says, “If there’s one thing I hate, it’s the movies, Don’t even mention them to me.”
Since I have learned more about Salinger’s personal life, I recognize a lot of Salinger’s personality in Holden. In the story, Holden has overbearing parents much like Salinger’s parents. Salinger said his mother was over protective. Salinger has one sibling, a sister, which is ironic because it is Holden’s sister Phoebe who has a profound influence on Holden. He often talks about her with very high regards.
Holden is not a character who tried to sugarcoat the way he sees the fakeness around him. Holden, making fun of the people around him, often says things like “you would’ve puked” and “it was very phony”. I think that is another one of the reasons I like his character so much. For example, he is quite upset with the fact that his brother D.B. is selling his work to Hollywood instead of using his talents for his own pleasure. Holden even says that his brother is his favorite author. Salinger himself is a man who wrote for his own pleasure and likeness.
I made a similar connection to a girl named Sally that Holden likes in the book, to a real life lover of Salinger’s named Oona. Oona O’Neil was self-absorbed and stuck up, according to Salinger, yet he still phoned and wrote her letters quite often. Holden’s “Oona” in the story was a girl named Sally Hayes. Though he found her extremely irritating he thought she was very attractive as well. After spending a day with her, he pointed out about a dozen instances where he thought she was being “phone as hell”. By the end of their only meeting in the book, Holden says to Sally, “You give me a royal pain in the ass if you want to know the truth.” The real life Oona O’Neil ended up breaking it off with Salinger and married the famous actor, Charlie Chaplin.
Despite Holden being a sixteen year old teenage boy he acts much older than his age. One time in the story he has the chance to be with a prostitute but instead of acting like a pig, he starts to feel sorry for her and instead tried to have a conversation with her. He even offers to pay her for good conversation instead of for sex. He also stays alone in hotels randomly, drinks at bars and clubs often, and even tells people he’s older than he really is. But the reason I find his character mature and intellectual is for other reasons.
Holden does not hold money or material things to be really important. He is more excited to hang out with his kid sister than he is any other time in the entire book. He is content with something that would probably be boring to other guys his age.
Like many teenagers, Holden is often depressed. The way he deals with it most times actually breaks my heart in a way. He likes to talk to his deceased kid brother, Allie. He will take a real event that he can remember where he was talking with him and pretend he is talking to him again. He says, “I started talking out loud to Allie. I do that sometimes when I get very depressed.” It is really very heart wrenching to hear Holden talk about his brother. One of my favorite moments in the book is when Holden and Phoebe are talking in Phoebe’s room and she points out that Holden doesn’t like anything. Holden responds quickly by saying, “I like Allie. And I like doing what I’m doing right now. Sitting here with you and talking and thinking about stuff…” Phoebe says to Holden, “Allie’s dead-you always say that! If somebody’s dead and everything, and in heaven then it isn’t really--”. Holden interrupts her with his final comeback, “I know he’s dead! Don’t you think I know that? I can still like him, though, can’t I? just because somebody’s dead, you don’t just stop liking them, for God’s sake- especially if they were about a thousand times nicer than the people you know that’re alive and all.”
One of the most beautiful things about ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ is the way Salinger uses symbolism. From Holden’s red hunting hat, to Jane Gallagher’s checker playing technique, Salinger wrapped up more than meets the eye into things you never would have dreamed. The main thing that drew me into this story is the realness of Holden’s character. He is a teenage boy with a teenage boy’s mind but seems to have far more common sense than anyone else around him. He is not a jock. He is not a math whiz or a science whiz. He is not really interested in sports. He sort of makes up his own category; a category that I call ‘the genuine’. He is on his own a lot and loves it at first, but happiness and love are meant to be shared with others. It has a much less meaning when by itself and he realizes it by the end of the novel. He is growing intellectually little by little throughout the whole book. He realizes what really makes him happy. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone and everyone who would like to read a story that could possibly change the way they view the world. I have honestly laughed outloud to myself as I read this story. Yes, there is talk about drinking, sex, and lots of cussing, but if you are going to avoid reading this story because of that then your missing out on a beautiful masterpiece.
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,196 reviews9,473 followers
November 8, 2007
A spell in the army would do that young man a power of good! Or maybe a couple of bags of heroin. Anything to stop that whining voice....
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
August 1, 2021
(Book 529 from 1001 Books) - The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye is a story by J. D. Salinger, first published in serial form in 1945-6 and as a novel in 1951. Story of Holden Caulfield with his idiosyncrasies, penetrating insight, confusion, sensitivity and negativism.

The hero-narrator of "The Catcher in the Rye" is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days.

The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it.

There are many voices in this novel: children's voices, adult voices, underground voices -- but Holden's voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure.

However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران : «ناطور دشت»؛ «ناتور دشت»؛ نویسنده: جروم دیوید (جی.د.) سالینجر؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه آگوست سال 1982میلادی، بار دوم سال 2001میلادی و بار سوم ماه ژوئن سال 2005میلادی

عنوان: ناطور دشت؛ نویسنده: جروم دیوید (جی.د.) سالینجر؛ مترجم: احمد کریمی؛ تهران، فرانکلین، 1345؛ در 354ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، اشرفی، 1371؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، ققنوس، 1381؛ در 326ص؛ شابک 9643112543؛ چاپ چهارم 1385؛ چاپ پنجم تهران، علمی، فرهنگی، 1386؛ در 326ص؛ شابک 9789643112547؛ چاپ ششم 1387؛ چاپ هفتم 1388، هشتم 1389؛ سال 1393 ؛ چاپ دیگر: 1393؛ در 256ص؛ شابک 9786001215930؛ موضوع نوجوانان فراری - داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20م

عنوان: ناتور دشت؛ مترجم: محمد نجفی؛ تهران، نیلا، 1378، در 296ص؛ چاپ چهارم 1381؛ چاپ پنجم 1384 در 207ص؛ هفتم 1388؛ هشتم 1389؛ چاپ نهم 1393؛

داستان جوانی جسور و جستجوگر، در پی مفهوم زندگی، «هولدن کالفیلد» نوجوانی هفده ساله، که در آغاز رمان، در یک مرکز درمانی بستری است، و ظاهراً قصد دارد آن‌چه که پیش از رسیدن به مرکز درمانی را از سر گذرانده، برای کسی بازگو کند، همین ‌کار را هم می‌کند؛ رمان بر همین پایه شکل می‌گیرد؛ در زمان رخداد ماجراهای داستان، «هولدن» یک پسر بچه ی شانزده‌ ساله‌ است، که در مدرسه ی شبانه‌ روزی «پنسی» درس می‌خواند، و در آستانه ی کریسمس، به علت ضعف تحصیلی از دبیرستان اخراج میشود، و باید به خانه‌ شان در «نیویورک» برگردد.؛ ماجراهای داستان طی سه روز که «هولدن» از مدرسه برای رفتن به خانه خارج می‌شود، رخ می‌دهند؛ او می‌خواهد: تا نامه ی مدیر، مبنی بر اخراجش، به دست پدر و مادرش برسد، و آب‌ها از آسیاب بیفتد، به خانه ی خویش پا نگذارد، به همین ‌خاطر از زمانی که از مدرسه خارج ‌میشود، دو روز را به سرگردانی سپری می‌کند؛ این دو روز نمادی است از سفر «هولدن»، از کودکی به دنیای نوجوانی؛ رمان در سال 1951میلادی منتشر شده، برگردان فارسی رمان یعنی همین کتاب، با عنوان: «ناطور دشت» با ترجمه ی جناب «احمد کریمی» در دهه ی پنجاه هجری خورشیدی منتشر گردیده است؛ سپس برگردان دیگری با عنوان «ناتور دشت» با ترجمه جناب «محمد نجفی» در دهه هفتاد هجری خورشیدی نیز منتشر شده است؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 03/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 09/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Orsodimondo.
2,152 reviews1,688 followers
November 30, 2022


E via dicendo e discorrendo, and all, vattelapesca, tutto il resto e roba del genere, sonovabitch, crap, moron, ass, phony, lousy, traduzione nuova, vecchia o metatraduzione, questo libro è e rimane un capolavoro.

Un diecistelle, magnifico, stupendo, meraviglioso, grandioso, sublime, incredibile, eccellente, sorprendente, incantevole, mirabolante, indicibile, strabiliante, indescrivibile, prodigioso, sbalorditivo, ineffabile, portentoso, stupefacente, eccezionale, magico… Ma non splendido.
Splendido no, perché il vecchio Holden detesta questa parola, dice che è da ipocriti e vomita ogni volta che la sente.


Un romanzo che è scritto ieri, ma anche oggi, e domani, dura nel tempo, viene da lontano e va lontano.

Non solo per quelli che hanno più domande che risposte.
Non solo per quelli che non sanno dove vanno le anatre quando il laghetto di Central Park South è ghiacciato.
Non solo per quelli che identificano la condizione umana nella solitudine.
Non solo per quelli che l’adolescenza è uno stato dell’essere non un periodo della vita, e Peter Pan non è mai stato adolescente.
Non solo per quelli che si specchiano in queste pagine e sentono che il vecchio Holden Caulfield è il fratello che avrebbero sempre voluto.
Non solo per quelli che Holden Caulfield sono io.
Non solo per quelli che la vita è una partita un cazzo, alla faccia della partita se si sta dalla parte dove di forte non c’è nessuno.
Non solo per quelli che scelgono sempre il momento migliore per inciampare in una stupida valigia.
Non solo per quelli che sono un po’ atei, Gesù è simpatico ma di tutta l’altra roba che c’è nella bibbia non importa granché e gli apostoli stanno proprio sulle palle.

”Paranoid Park” di Gus Van Sant, 2007.

Non solo per quelli che il cuore batte così forte che a momenti volano fuori della stanza.
Non solo per quelli che si dispiacciono di più quando ammazzano il vecchio Mercuzio di quando muoiono Giulietta e Romeo.
Non solo per quelli che non sanno spiegare cosa vuol dire essere diverso e anche se ci riuscissero non è sicuro che gli andrebbe di farlo.
Non solo per quelli che non riescono a trovare niente praticamente in niente e sono conciati da far schifo.
Non solo per quelli che non ci saranno posti meravigliosi dove andare dopo che avranno fatto l’università e tutto quanto.
Non solo per quelli che finiscono per odiare il genere umano, giuro.
Non solo per quelli che non si amano e non si ammirano.

"Last Days” di Gus Van Sant, 2005.

Non solo per quelli che come la vecchia Phoebe ascoltano sempre quando dici una cosa.
Non solo per quelli che non c’è bisogno che uno sia una cattiva persona per farti venire la depressione, può anche essere una bravissima persona e fartela venire lo stesso, specie se si mette a dare un sacco di consigli da ipocrita.
Non solo per quelli che non mi piace quando uno rimane in argomento sempre, troppo perché è bello quando uno va fuori tema.
Non solo per quelli che è una cosa che mi manda in bestia quando ti dicono che il caffè è pronto e invece no.
Non solo per quelli che secondo me uno bisogna lasciarlo in pace se almeno dice cose interessanti e si entusiasma per qualcosa.
Non solo per quelli che non sono mica tanti quelli che odio, e li odio di tanto in tanto, magari per un po’ ma non dura mai molto.
Non solo per quelli che è brutto dover dire roba nuova alla gente di cent’anni.
Non solo per quelli che dio come odio quando mi gridano buona fortuna mentre me ne vado da un posto.
Non solo per quelli che pensano di saperlo ma alla fine che ne sanno.
Non solo per quelli che mi spiace averlo raccontato a tanta gente…

"Resteless - L’amore che resta" di Gus Van Sant, film del 2011

Il linguaggio è ben diverso, ma qui siamo dalle parti di una tragedia del grande William da Stratford-upon-Avon.
A strati, come tutta la grande arte, Holden è un mito, come Ulisse, è una pietra di paragone, è un personaggio collettivo.

Mi sa che mi manca pure quello scemo di Maurice.

Ma perché Mark David Chapman aveva in tasca proprio questo libro al numero 1 della 72nd Street West alle 22.51 dell’ 8 dicembre 1980?

Ancora da "Resteless - L’amore che resta" di Gus Van Sant.
August 6, 2022
Reading this book was one of the biggest wastes of my time in the past twenty years. Holden Caulfield's problem is that he is the biggest phony he knows. Count the number of times he lies or behaves like someone he's not and then try to convince me otherwise. This is not a book about teenage alienation. It's about a smart-ass who can't deal with who he really is and spends almost 300 pages ranting about it - most likely to a doctor in a psych ward.
Profile Image for Henry Avila.
458 reviews3,241 followers
April 8, 2023
Holden Caulfield is a mixed- up cynical teenager, getting kicked out of another prestigious school, Pencey Prep, in Pennsylvania, the irony is that this obviously intelligent, privileged, 16 year- old, is somehow flunking out, why? He doesn't care about anything, especially education, bored and feeling neglected by his wealthy, New York City family . At least Caulfield passed English class, he's always reading, his big problem, he's so unmotivated, nothing seems important to this kid (set in 1949). Holden has no real friends in school, or liking anyone there, and the sentiment is very mutual, everything is "phony", his favorite word, which he speaks and thinks constantly. When Holden's younger brother Allie, died three years ago, it marked him forever, afterwards, the boy was changed and stops believing . Getting into a fight with a much stronger opponent, his roommate Stradlater, and losing naturally no surprise to Holden, ( punishment he craved) just before sneaking out of Pencey, an institution he hates, with a fervent passion. Taking the train to New York City, his hometown, but Holden doesn't go back to his uncaring family, his father, a well- to- do lawyer, too busy for Holden, nervous mother, she wants quiet, please, older brother D.B. a Hollywood writer, younger sister Phoebe, his only confidant, and the person he loves. Checking into the Edmont Hotel in the "Big Apple", a rather shabby, rundown place, (I wouldn't recommend staying there) and then the elevator operator the sleazy Maurice , gets him a prostitute, Sunny, she's Holden's age and he kind of feels sorry for her. Gives the lady of the night, five dollars just for talking, sends her away, good deeds are always rewarded, Maurice, comes back with Sunny for more money, a dispute arises, but they leave with an extra five, and a sock in the stomach of the poorer, but wiser Holden. Chain smoking with gusto and delight, drinking in bars, (dives) like a man, where people aren't too concerned about a customers age just the color of his dough, going to a Broadway play with a very accommodating girlfriend, attending the loathsome movies and seeing all those phonies, the actors, fighting with unsmiling cab drivers , the kid is having a good time, living like a grown-up, as long as the cash lasts. But what will he do, runaway or go back and face the music...his remote parents? The bible for disgruntled teenagers, and a must read for every new generation.......P.S. the title comes from a Robert Burns poem
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,425 reviews3,387 followers
March 28, 2023
When you’re young it always seems that the world is against you so you revolt and try to fight back and it takes time to discover your own place in the sun.
Just as someday, if you have something to offer, someone will learn something from you. It's a beautiful reciprocal arrangement. And it isn't education. It's history. It's poetry.

There always must be someone between you and an abyss who wouldn't let you make a fatal step.
Mark David Chapman after he had shot John Lennon remained at the scene reading The Catcher in the Rye until the police arrived and arrested him – books aren’t a remedy for madness.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,084 reviews17.5k followers
September 14, 2017
Holden Caulfield is a character many, many people hate. And trust me, I get it. He's a posturing hypocrite. He's a dick. I wanted to hit him in the face for at least a hundred pages. We know this. But he's a character that, for some strange reason, resonates with thousands of people.


Well, simply put, it's because he's written like this on purpose. But I think that doesn't quite get to the heart of it. Holden is a fifteen-year-old kid on the verge of an emotional breakdown. He's an asshole. He's a liar. He's a hypocrite.

And he's also... really relatable.

See, as a preteen, I struggled with severe emotional issues. I had depression and anxiety, although I didn't know it yet. I was going through major emotional issues with my parents, ones far worse than teen angst. I was on the lowest rung of the social pole at school.

And God, I was an asshole. I was whiny and I was a hypocrite. I knew it, too, and I cried myself to sleep thinking about it. In the daylight, I told myself everyone else was terrible and that's why my world was falling apart. I was just as hypocritical and torn up inside as Holden is.

Holden is an asshole, granted. But he is an asshole that it's hard not to relate to.

So all this is to say that I completely understand why so many hated this book. But it resonates with me, and with so many people I know, for the exact reason that it will be polarizing.

This is the kind of book that's going to be incredibly divisive. This is the kind of book that should maybe be taught by a teacher who loves it (thanks, 9th grade English teacher who hated me.) And this is the kind of book that sticks in my head, a year after I first read it.

VERDICT: I really do recommend this, even knowing at least half its readership will despise it. It's truly worth the read.
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,202 reviews40.7k followers
August 19, 2022
“Catcher in the rye” is one of most debatable, argumentative, complex novels of the century.

Some people think it’s a masterpiece: great approach of corruption, phoniness of people’s characteristics which is reflected by the perspective of Holden Caulfield who feels and sees so much for his young age.

And some of the other reviewers think this book is incredibly boring and Holden is such a sassy, arrogant, pretentious little bastard who has no idea about real life, its challenges, struggles without any proper experiences you may only have when you get aged and connect with people without thinking their phony, fake or artificial.

In my opinion, if you read this book at several different time lines of your lives, you get different impressions, taste and your undeniably hate to the character may turn into empathy or understanding because I can honestly say every person in his/ her own life has a Holden phase: you start criticizing the people who lost their innocence long time ago by building mandatory, insincere relationships.

You feel like you’re alone in the crowd, walking alone in the dark, keep screaming but no sound comes out. This book is not only about a teenage, know it all, irritating boy’s silent scream, it’s our own challenge to face how to be grown up, how to wear our new aged characteristics like wearing a two sized bigger human coat.

As soon as you catch your inner Holden during your read, his words will start to talk directly to your soul and heart at the same time.

I personally read this book four times. At first time it was for my school work and as you may imagine I hate the guts of the character but second reading of mine was completely different. I felt like I was the one talking through character’s mouth.

I read it for third time for few years back for my book club ( they threw me out because I started to read 6 books instead of 1 weekly and gave so much spoiler!) and today I chose it as my flashback Saturday read for fourth time reading!

It’s still quite remarkable coming of age novel about teenage angst, innocence, loneliness, growing pains. It always awaken different feelings you have no idea they exist. But as I say before, don’t read this book only one time. Just give it a chance, try several times at different phases of your life. And don’t you dare to kill your inner Holden! Sometimes being rebellious is better than being obedient without questioning anything further.

Here are my favorite quotes of the book:
“I don’t care if it’s a sad good-bye or a bad good-bye, but when I leave a place I like to know I’m leaving it. If you don’t, you feel even worse.”

“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.”

“The best thing, though, in that museum was that everything always stayed right where it was. Nobody’d move. You could go there a hundred thousand times, and that Eskimo would still be just finished catching those two fish, the birds would still be on their way south, the deers would still be drinking out of that water hole… Nobody’d be different… The only thing that would be different would be you.”

“People always clap for the wrong reasons.”

“I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy.”
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
795 reviews3,621 followers
April 30, 2023
One of the most overrated, hyper drivel YA classics ever

See, it was published in 1951 by a young (one trick pony?) author
who wrote his higher rated (better?, see ratings) works after The Catcher. And who was, as so many authors of the time, first primarily specialized in short stories and, gosh, The Catcher exactly is a short story collection with

A protagonist staggering from one boring episode to the next
Because there is no real freaking action, antagonists except everything the protagonist is interacting with, and no real sense except a teenager rebelling against everything. This all would be fine and entertaining, if there

Would be any wit, more complex characters, and less introspective fringe philosophy of a first person narrator
Who has some controversial thoughts and feelings about life and sexuality. It did a good job at fighting conservative intolerance to get some more open, progressive thinking out into the world, but it just hasn´t the quality and depth needed to be a universal milestone of literature. For young readers of the 20th century, it might have been a mind opening, controversial read that understood them, but

It didn´t age well
Except for the important message of not trying to proselytize kids and teens for outdated ideologies and faith stigmatizing anything kinky, what´s left? Well, depressingly long periods of boredom, because the novel just doesn´t deliver and Salinger is so egocentric to absolutely not care about the millennia old rules of good storytelling and creative writing. One has to suffer with the protagonist who exactly delivers nothing except of some outrageous actions. Other authors like Roald Dahl, Mark Twain, etc. wrote funny and deep novels with real plots that subtly and ironically integrated different topics, issues, and controversies in their work and were loved by audiences of all ages because they were well written. Or the even bigger load of modern YA authors who write dystopian novels in the Orwellian and Huxleyian tradition. But not funny, boring, first person drivel about the stereotypical teenage rebellion against a restrictive, bigoted system? Not so much,

Because it bores the heck out of the readers
I forced myself to finish this overhyped story idea collection and couldn´t even detect some sophisticated message behind the seemingly superficial plot. And what always annoys me the most is that each country around the world has similar patriotic tendencies to pick average and bad books and declare them the gold standard because the author is a proud author citizen. As good as the intentions were and as important the works might have been in creating a more open and tolerant society, today they are the main reason why many young people, tortured with the modified, individualized trash of each big culture and country, hate reading after school. Because they think that reading is associated with boredom and having to find deeper meanings where there are none.

Subjectivity overkill
And it seems that, because of the weaknesses, The Catcher has become a completely subjective, absolutely not universally acclaimed great, experience, depending on the question of if one likes or dislikes the protagonist. Good literature shouldn´t depend on that single factor.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Dr. Appu Sasidharan (Dasfill).
1,145 reviews2,179 followers
February 23, 2023
There are some areas in this book that we might question the actions of Holden, especially if we reread this book after we have grown up. But still, I think that this is one of the best coming of age novels I was lucky enough to read in my life.

“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.”
Profile Image for Luís.
1,863 reviews520 followers
February 11, 2023
There are books that we love without knowing why. Is it their form, content, writing quality, or the story they tell? We read them, cry or smile, and even remember them years after finishing them. The Catcher in the Rye is, for my part, in this category. A great classic that I read late but fortunately not too late. Does he awaken in me this adolescent that we have all more or less buried in us? Surely. Did he seduce me with this natural shade? Is this language written down on paper as it comes out of the mouth and the young man's mind searching for himself? Indeed, but after all, whatever. Holden Caulfield takes us to bourgeois America in the 1950s, from his college, where he just has been dismissed, to New York Central Station. Scrolling through friends, families, and acquaintances, and delivering us, by freeing ourselves, his wounds and joys, his loves and dislikes of people and things, of life, of his teenage life. But enough talk - "Digression"!! (you will understand by reading it) - read on.
Profile Image for Guille.
757 reviews1,549 followers
June 5, 2022

Ustedes conocen el síndrome de Stendhal, pues Holden Caulfield, narrador y protagonista de esta historia, bien podría perfectamente prestar su nombre a ese sentimiento de emoción extrema que él mismo experimenta ante un acto de verdadera bondad, más si proviene de un niño, pues no se puede dudar de la sincera bondad de un niño bondadoso (Salinger subestima la mala baba de los niños tanto como sobrevalora su felicidad). Un síndrome que tiene su cruz en el sentimiento contrario que experimenta al ser testigo de la hipocresía, el fingimiento y la petulancia con la que actúan los adultos en su mundo insustancial y egoísta.
“Me paso el día imponiéndome límites que luego cruzo todo el tiempo.”
Y entre esa niñez y esa adultez anda Holden, expulsado nuevamente de un colegio, cabreado con su hermano mayor por haberse vendido al cine de Hollywood y abatido por la muerte de su hermano Allie, “el muchacho más simpático, inteligente y entrañable del mundo”. Tampoco es que esté muy contento de sí mismo, condición más que suficiente para odiar a todos, aunque no soporte estar solo, y hasta para dudar de sus propias intenciones, por muy buenas que estas sean.
“… si de verdad te pones a defender a tíos inocentes, ¿cómo sabes que lo haces porque quieres salvarles la vida, o porque quieres que todos te consideren un abogado estupendo y te den palmaditas en la espalda y te feliciten los periodistas cuando acaba el juicio como pasa en toda esa imbecilidad de películas? ¿Cómo sabes tú mismo que no te estás mintiendo? Eso es lo malo, que nunca llegas a saberlo.”
Holden encarna como nadie al adolescente que no sabe quién es ni dónde encaja, que descubre un mundo, el de los adultos, que no le gusta y, lo que es peor, que no tiene solución.
“Eso es lo malo. Que no hay forma de dar con un sitio tranquilo porque no existe. Cuando te crees que por fin lo has encontrado, te encuentras con que alguien ha escrito un joder en la pared… aunque dedicara uno a eso un millón de años, nunca sería capaz de borrar todos los joder del mundo. Sería imposible.”
Holden es un Peter Pan que solo se siente a gusto entre niños, encarnados en su hermana Phoebe, a cuya protección frente a ese mundo horrible que está descubriendo dedicaría su vida.
“¿Sabes que me gustaría ser? (…) Muchas veces me imagino que hay un montón de niños jugando en un campo de centeno. Miles de niños. Y están solos. Quiero decir que no hay nadie mayor vigilándolos. Solo yo. Estoy al borde de un precipicio y mi trabajo consiste en evitar que caigan por él. En cuanto empiezan a correr sin mirar adónde van, yo salgo de donde esté y los cojo. Eso es lo que me gustaría hacer todo el tiempo. Yo sería el guardián entre el centeno”
Holden puede ser muy dulce, divertido, considerado, pero también un tocapelotas capaz de llamarte por teléfono a cualquier hora, de despertarte en mitad de la noche, de rondar incesantemente a tu alrededor como una mosca cojonera o, sin conocerte, de abordarte abusivamente con un desparpajo impropio de su edad. Es cobarde, mentiroso, bebe mucho, fuma más, querría follar, no solo follar, no aguanta halagos, todo le suena a falso, todo y todos le deprimen, todo el mundo es hipócrita, todo le saca de quicio o le fastidia o le revienta, todos son cretinos que no saben apreciar lo bueno y que se vuelven locos por lo malo… y al mismo tiempo, puede sentir una lástima insoportable por toda esa gente o echar de menos al más cretino de sus amigos al poco de separarse de él.
“…había como un millón de chicas esperando a su pareja: chicas con las piernas cruzadas, chicas con piernas preciosas, chicas con piernas horrorosas, chicas que parecían estupendas, y chicas que debían ser unas brujas si de verdad se las llegaba a conocer bien. Era un bonito panorama, pero no sé si me entenderán lo que quiero decir. Aunque por otra parte era también bastante deprimente porque uno no podía dejar de preguntarse qué sería de todas ellas. Me refiero a cuando salieran del colegio y la universidad. La mayoría se casarían con cretinos, tipos de esos que se pasan el día hablando de cuántos kilómetros pueden sacarle a un litro de gasolina, tipos que se enfadan como niños cuando pierden al golf o a algún juego tan estúpido como el ping-pong, tipos mala gente de verdad, tipos que en su vida han leído un libro, tipos aburridos..."
El libro es divertido, tanto como tierno y conmovedor, su lenguaje es muy fresco, directo y sencillo demostrando que la claridad de la prosa no está reñida con la complejidad de lo expuesto. Todos (casi) podemos recordar sentimientos parecidos, experimentar el síndrome Caulfield en algún momento, reconocernos en las peripecias de este inolvidable Holden Caulfield, que, por ello mismo, desde su aparición es el gran arquetipo del adolescente atormentado.
Profile Image for Licia.
17 reviews11 followers
February 6, 2008
I know there are people who thought this book changed their lives and helped them find their unique way in the world, but coming from a non-white, non-middleclass background, as a kid, I really resented having to read about this spoiled, screwed up, white, rich kid who kept getting chance after chance and just kept blowing it because he was so self-absorbed and self-pitying. I felt at the time there was no redeeming value in it for me. I was born on the outside trying my best to get in. I felt no sympathy for him at all. I didn't even find him funny. It just made me angry. I guess it still does.
Profile Image for Agir(آگِر).
437 reviews493 followers
December 27, 2017
ناتور دشت رو میشه بارها خوند و بارها همراه هولدن کالفید در برابر یک جامعه‌ی مزخرف طغیان کرد...لذتِ دوباره و دوباره‌ی ایستادن و تسلیم نشدن...هولدن منو بیش از هرکسی یاد تراویس بیکل (نقش رابرت دنیرو در فیلم راننده تاکسی) میندازه...هردو از اجتماع بیزار شده و مجبور به طرد شدن گشته اند و شاید تراویس بزرگسالی هولدن باشد...شاید هولدن هم راننده تاکسی شود و دوس دخترش را بدون هیچ نیت بدی به سینمای پو+رن ببرد...می تونه همچون تراویس با شرارت های جامعه روبرو بشه اما هنوز پسرکی شریف و بی غل و غش بمونه

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یکی از تاثیرات بزرگ و جنجال برانگیز این کتاب قتل جان لنون اسطوره بی همتای موسیقی راک و موسس گروه بیتلز است که توسط مارک دیوید چپمن به قتل رسید. چپمن بارها ادعا کرده که انگیزه اصلی کشتن لنون بعد از خواندن این کتاب به او الهام شده است

الیا کازان کارگردان معروف سینما قصد داشت فیلمی بر اساس رمان ناتور دشت بسازد و هنگامی که می‌خواست رضایت سلینجر را جلب کند، سلینجر به او پاسخ داد که نمی‌توانم چنين اجازه‌ای بدهم زيرا می‌ترسم هولدن اين كار را دوست نداشته باشد
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