For the benefit of anyone who has not read The Catcher in the Rye, the previous paragraph was my attempt to mimic Holden Caulfield, the teenage protagonist. I read this the first time a few years ago and didn’t like it very much. I enjoyed it more the second time, but it still isn’t among my favorites. Holden is spoiled, whiny and self-absorbed. He is traveling home for the holidays, but also because he has flunked out of a prestigious boarding school – not the first time this has happened. His parents don’t know yet, and he makes several detours seemingly to avoid the confrontation.
Quotations, that either made me cry or laugh or puke (all by Holden).
I told him I liked Ring Lardner and The Great Gatsby and all. I did too. I was crazy about The Great Gatsby. Old Gatsby, Old sport. That killed me.
What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.
Sensitive. That killed me. That guy Morrow was about as sensitive as a *&*??@!! toilet seat.
Ernie’s a big fat colored guy that plays the piano. He’s a terrific snob and he won’t hardly even talk to you unless you’re a big shot or a celebrity or something, but he can really play the piano. He’s so good he’s almost corny, in fact. I don’t exactly know what I mean by that, but I mean it.
It isn’t important, I know, but I hate it when somebody has cheap suitcases. It sounds terrible to say it, but I can even get to hate somebody, just looking at them, if they have cheap suitcases with them.
One quotation not by Holden: a character gives Holden advice by way of a quotation by Wilhelm Stekel (real person, real quotation): The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.
That one knocks me out; it really does.
Film Rendition: There is apparently a 2008 video entitled The Catcher in the Rye, but as I understand it, it is 75 minutes of blue screen, nothing else. Supposedly a tribute to Holden's anti-establishment ideology.