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The Catcher in the Rye

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characters summarized
chapters summarized



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The Catcher in the Rye Summarized




J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is one of the most popular novels of the late twentieth century. The novel relates the events of a few crucial days in the life of Holden Caulfield. The novel plays out as one long narrative flashback as told by Holden. Through his story we see Holden as he struggles to understand the world around him. He is a boy on the verge of adulthood, and having a difficult time making the transition.

It can be a difficult job for the reader to truly understand Holden. The author provides him with such an authentic sound and rhythm, that many find him to be one of the most compelling characters in literature. However, it is the job of the careful reader to look beyond the realistic dialogue. Holden is shaping our view of his world and himself. We have to decide if we can believe the words of this self-proclaimed liar. Most importantly, is Holden as "crazy" as many readers find him to be?

The purpose of this guide is to act as a companion to readers of the novel. Within the site you will find detailed chapter and character summaries, along with a brief biography of J.D. Salinger.