Book of da Week: J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye
Read the Catcher in the Rye, you phony.

The Catcher in the Rye. About time! After a three day break (caused by a bout of scurvy for some of the Professional Moron staff, and yet another alien abduction for editor Mr. Wapojif) we’re back with our latest book.

Who has time to read these days, anyway? Cripes, if you’re not busy working a 17 hour shift in a dungeon somewhere (as in, this is what the Professional Moron office is – a dungeon under Manchester), you’re being abducted by aliens and whisked across the Galaxy to meet Emperor **L**&. This translates into human as “A Being Of Inconceivable Terror”, although she was actually a cute fluffy creature much like a squirrel. Pleasant and docile, we chatted about tomato soup before I was sent hurtling back 3 billion light years to Earth.

The Catcher in the Rye

Blasting across space is pretty knackering, but largely boring. There’s nothing really going on out there. There’s just lots of space. Occasionally you fly by some deranged planet which is literally broiling in its self-effacing fury, and you wonder what type of Universe we live in. Thusly we arrive at The Catcher In The Rye, which is one of the most glorious titles for a novel ever (we think).

The story follows Holden Caulfield, who rapidly became a poster boy for teenage rebellion due to his anti-establishment attitude. He’s an aloof git; temperamental, pretentious, annoying, but relatively engaging. As he blunders about the place with a sense of angst, he gradually gains some maturity and heads steadily towards a more optimistic future. In other words, the little heathen begins to grow up a bit. In this sense it’s a coming of age story, marking the awkward moment many teens have when they think they’re the centre of everything.

Released in 1951 by J.D. Salinger, the book has taken on a notorious reputation. John Lennon’s killer calmly sat down and began reading the book as he waited to be arrested, back in December 1980. The Catcher In The Rye doesn’t proffer any incitement to violence, but its themes of alienation and isolation clearly resonated with David Chapman’s warped state of mind. The idiot.

On a final note, for some reason this novella is many women’s Favourite Book Evs. Mr. Wapojif has noted this preference online; it’s either this or To Kill A Mockingbird (and there’s a sequel on the way from Harper Lee – it’s called To Kill A Mockingbird 2 and is a tale of retribution about a zombie Mockingbird attacking a community). There’s something to look forward to, but in the meantime get this one read. It’s an iconic moment in 20th Century literature.

8 comments

  1. OMG that is a book selected to read in grade 9. There was controversy over the book and it may have been banned. Don’t know what happened but we were allowed to read it. Thanks for the memory down this lane. Be well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You can tell the book is on some next shit because the cover has nothing it. Nothing convinces people your novel is a classic by writing the unassuming “a novel” on the cover.

    The novel is probably more about shellshock and PTSD than teen angst. Holden is obsessed with death,, and Salinger was in WWII and didn’t have a lot of fun there. Salinger was probably pissed that his book, inspired by his witnessing the death camps became a manifesto for angry teenagers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Holden Cauliflower, Jack’s Kerouac, Smells Unlike Teen Spirit… I sneer in angst at angst riddenness. It’s a word.

      J.D. Salinger’s name kind of sounds like a specially designed type of shampoo, to be honest. “You’ve got NITS?! Get some Salinger on your scalp!” True story.

      Like

        • Awesome idea! I did one a while ago called “Great Works Of Literature Ruined By The Use Of Cheese In The Title”, but your idea is marvelous and SNAPPY. Like Snappy the snappy shark. Lolz.

          Do feel free to write it. With the enthusiasm of an outraged donkey! Yours would be the first guest post here, too. The honour!

          Like

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