Book Reviews

What size of thoughts fit your mind?

The goddamn book of not-so phony Holden just ended, keeping me puzzled and intrigued. I mean it, I swear. It’s really depressing if you know what I mean.

I can’t explain what I mean. And even if I could, I’m not sure I’d feel like it

If you wudhv read this book, you gotta know what the helluva I am talking about.

The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger is the book I am talking about. I happened to take this book as it was featured in the list of recommended reads by successful (who are well-known) people.

For me, the language was not at all corny, rather something which I would not prefer to read. Still I held on to it till the end and that’s because up until the end I couldn’t figure out what the relation between the title and the story line. Well, was there any story line in first place? I have no clear answer, yet the book was good read.

The story is about a high-school boy who has been expelled, just a couple of days before Christmas vacation, because of his poor performance in all subjects except English. Our man Holden Caulfield, decides to pass the time somehow and reach his home when the scheduled vacation time starts. The reason being his parents shouldn’t suspect anything unusual.The story line is what this fella does during that period, of course with lots of self-introspection, memories and experiences and his perspective towards the world.

To be very honest, I was desperate to figure out what is the underlying message of the personal account of a drop-out teenage guy. And the eureka moment happened when I had almost reached the end.

What messages I inferred?

  1. The pressure to perform and meet expectations of parents, does take a toll on kids. I understand the rationale of parents, but at the same time stepping into the shoes of children and understanding them is equally important. Let them be kids, at least at times !!
  2. Not all the fingers of the hand are same. So if the kid of yours is wanting to do something different and not follow the “perceived” path of progress, so be it. If your kid says he or she wants to be the catcher in the rye, do try to analyse the why part of it and then mutually, and not forcefully, figure out the way forward.
  3. It is perfectly fine to be lost in life. And one could be in this situation at any stage of life. In fact, being lost will help you to discover yourself. Just keep on introspecting yourself, keep asking yourself questions and you’ll find your way.
  4. Finding problems in everything and making a list of things that you dislike can be easier than to put together (or even identify) what you like. Holden struggled to find one.
  5. You need to be pretty honest while talking to your own self. Accepting your weaknesses is sign of being a strong person.
  6. Being a good listener and a matured person has nothing to do with age and gender. As adults we may fail to do this, and small children could amaze you by showing the ability to understand, which we think is beyond their capacity.

I quite enjoyed reading the book. Of course, had to overcome my impatience to know the essence of the book.

Despite the language, I would say its a book worth giving a try.

To close, I’ll mention something from the book which I also feel quite often

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.

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