Thursday, January 28, 2010

J.D. Salinger

Do they still make high school kids read Catcher in the Rye? It was mandatory for us in 10th grade. I enjoyed it even though I was depressed while reading it. Many years later as an adult I read Franny and Zooey and tried to enjoy it but I just couldn't. It was crumby.

7 comments:

Pitcher in the Wheat said...

Do they still make high school kids read Catcher in the Rye?

Yes, my class (can't remember the exact grade) had to read "Catcher" in the early 1990's.

Most alleged "classics", including this one, are overrated.

Anonymous said...

I had to read it for a class that surveyed American lit. in college. It sucked.

Ahumado said...

I've heard all my life that it was perhaps the greatest "coming of age" work ever and I was forced to read and write about it in high school (mid 70's). I never got what was so great about it. It just didn't do anything for me. Of course I smoked a lot of dope in those days so I may have been impaired literarilly (is that even a word?). Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance spoke to me however. Carlos Casteneda and Solzhenitsyn too. The most useful book I had at the time though was How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot by Muir. My first car was a beetle and the book helped turn me into a competent mechanic. Good times, good times. Salinger, not so much. R.I.P nevertheless.

Bob said...

I thought it was an excellent read - more a snapshot of a teenage angst than anything else - but I enjoyed his book of short stories much more.

Anonymous said...

I remember the people in high school who thought it was the greatest thing ever were so NOT who I wanted to be like that I knew something was wrong with it.

bogalusan said...

Wasn't Muir's book great? Helped me keep my first car going ('73 Super Beetle bought in '74), and was a fun read to boot.

Ahumado said...

Yeah, Muir's VW book was wonderful, especially for a teenager trying to keep his worn out car on the road. Humor, Zen, insight, and love. Now, to get back on topic: I just this morning read a short article at the American Spectator site, spectator.org, by Larry Thornberry on Salinger and Catcher which sums it up for me perfectly. Holden Caulfield was whiny and "an indulged, self-pitying, twit..." Perfect.