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?
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”
– 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.