I never had to read this book in school, but this was one of the first books I had added to my Goodreads shelves when I first set up my account, way back in mid two-thousand-diggity-eight, because, I dunno, I have delusions of wanting to read all of those "Must Read Before You Die" books that people are always raving about.
So now I can say that I've read this one... and ugh. Such a waste of my time. Two things got me through this trial: 1) The hope that there would be some redeeming something at the end that would have made it worth it. Unfortunately, there wasn't. Does Holden grow during the story? I thought I spotted a few glimmers of growth, but overall, he's a narcissistic hypocrite who is more phony than any number of the people he categorically judges on sight combined, 2) The Kindle app calculating my remaining reading time. It was like watching the time ticking away until Christmas or something... It seems like it's just NEVER going to get here. I can't even express how excited I was to get to the final countdown... 1 hour... 45 mins... 23 mins... ZERO minutes! :D
As I was reading this, I had thoughts of how I would write my review, full of repetition, repeating, and saying the same thing in seventeen different ways in less than a paragraph, and I'd throw in every single one of the the 395 I-am-not-exaggerating-I-did-a-search-and-there-were-three-hundred-and-ninety-friggin'-five instances in which Holden uses the phrase "and all" in this 277 page book. But I have no patience to imitate this book, considering that reading all of that was about as fun as having a root canal with no anesthetic. (Actually, that comparison is pretty funny, because I actually WAS at the dentist to have a root canal done the last time I read Salinger, and I had no qualms then about putting it down in favor of having my face drilled on. True story.
It's pretty amusing to me that my reading J.D. Salinger actually constitutes an endorsement for dental surgery.
"Thinking about reading Salinger? Save yourself some pain and irritation, and have a root canal instead! Anesthesia optional!"
So, yeah. There's not really much left for me to say about this. I pretty much hated every minute of reading it. I got nothing out of it. I didn't identify with Holden in any way, and I doubt that I was even jaded enough as a teen to have liked it then. Most likely, I would have just wanted to slap Holden less than I do now. But maybe not... I had less impulse control back then.
Still... I'd like to redeem this coupon please. Recipient, one Holden "Phony" Caulfield.