Yesterday J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye, died of natural causes. I won’t go into too much detail as I feel the article in the Times covered it nicely. I’d rather take this time to comment on his work. Although I haven’t read Nine Stories, I have read The Catcher in the Rye. I’ll admit, the book is a bit dated but it has entered a sort of folk-lorish infamy as the book serial killers, bombers and murderers all seem to carry. I know John Hinckley Jr. and Mark David Chapman had it. I’ve heard the Boston Strangler and Timothy McVeigh did also. I don’t know if that’s true or not.
I did find the book a rather difficult read. Possibly because of the language used by the main character, Holden Caulfield. He mostly went on tirades about “phonies” and how you couldn’t trust adults. The writing style was kind of lax, much like Stephen King (who is an excellent storyteller). Maybe it is just my generation, or the fact that I am a woman and this was a boy’s coming of age story, but I just didn’t get. The story didn’t seem to have a point. If any of you out there have read it, please let me know what you think.
I do have to say that I read it because of its connection to criminals. It didn’t make me want to shoot anyone or blow anything up, so much for that theory.
Although the book was never made into a movie, it did make its way into 1997’s Conspiracy Theory. Supposedly, Salinger didn’t want it made into a film. I wonder, in the event of his death, if his estate will turn it into a screenplay. I hope not. Plus I don’t think it would really work, too much time has passed.