Day 13 – A book that disappointed me

Catcher After my first year at uni, I spent the summer temping as a copy typist at a local authority (obviously honing my future typing skills!) It was quite a ‘traditional’ working environment, with a fixed one hour lunch break, and I don’t know about you, but it takes me about five minutes to eat a sandwich, so I had plenty of time to fill in (unless it’s a footlong from Subway, but who can eat a whole one of those?)

 Anyway, it was around this time I decided that, as a ‘student of literature’, I should actually make an effort and read as many of the ‘classics’ as I could – it would certainly help! Things went well during my lunch breaks as I went through 1984 and Brave New World (one of them makes my favourite classics list and probably explains my original love of dystopian lit). I took a detour through gothic lit then, with Dracula and Frankenstein – unabridged, naturally; before finally hitting The Catcher in the Rye.

It was a more modern book, set in America, with a teenage character – how could I not enjoy it?

Hmmm.

Well.

I just didn’t.

I think it was mainly because Holden got on my nerves. The writing style was interesting and engaging, but I just didn’t like Holden. He had a bit too much of the preppy, self-centred cynicism going on, and when you’re catching up with someone on your lunch break – yeah, you don’t want to spend time with that guy. Even Winston in 1984 hadn’t depressed me to the degree that Holden did. Maybe I didn’t care because he didn’t care? Maybe I should try reading it again and see if I like it better a second time. Maybe I’ll wait until I’ve read everything else I might want to read, before going there again. (Maybe I’m more like Holden than I care to admit.)

Ten Things on “The Catch in the Rye”

I liked:

– the point of view telling of the story works well and has a ‘feel’ of the teen angst that a lot of new YA has
– the snapshot of life from another point of view

…In true slacker style, I’m not quite in the mood for finishing this now, perhaps I’ll come back to it another time.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Day 13 – A book that disappointed me

  1. I seen a lot of contradictory thoughts surrounding this book! I have yet to read it myself but I have gotten the impression that Holden rubs some people up the wrong way, LOL.

    • mel

      I wonder if I’d feel differently reading it now – which is almost ten years on – I might ‘appreciate’ it more

      Just not sure I want to inflict that on myself just yet when there’s so many other things in my TBR pile!

  2. It’s the one book my wife won’t let me read. Guy who shot John Lennon had one in his back pocket, apparently; as did Lee Harvey Oswald.

    Have you ever seen “Conspiracy Theory”? imdb.com/title/tt0118883/?ref_=nv_sr_1

    • mel

      I saw Conspiracy Theory a year or two before I read the book – it always seemed like it would be cool and in some ways ‘more than a book’ given the connections you mention. Perhaps all of that fed into the reasons I found it disappointing.

      For me Holden is just a few years away from becoming Patrick Bateman – and that’s not a life path you want to be on!

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