I just found out that JD Salinger passed away yesterday. He is the author of the very famous, and one of my favorite books, “The Catcher In The Rye.” Oh what a book. I was 23 when I finally read the book that I had heard so much about. The main reason why I needed to read it was because Mark David Chapman had read it and kept it in his back pocket when he killed one of my favorite artists – John Lennon.
When I received the book, I read it in two days. As I finished the last page, I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or to cry. I know that my overall feeling was one of sadness. It is a such a beautiful book, embracing all the feelings that I felt when I was a confused 16 year old, fighting what I truly felt with what I was told to feel. I wish I had read this book in high school, I know my life would have been different and my heart stronger and more confident. I am sure that many teenagers have related to “Catcher In The Rye” in one way or another, its probably why the book was on the censor list from 1960 – 2006, as the censors realized the character, Holden, is a strong voice for all generations of teenagers.
The most memorable thing from the book for me is that Holden hated it when people told him “good luck.” I have always hated that too. It sounds like the person telling you that has no faith in you what-so-ever, and that one would need luck to succeed. To this day, I have not said that quote to anyone from the influence of this book.
From what I have read, Mr. Salinger was a strong willed man and loved this book so much that he refused selling the rights to making it into a movie, and even took book publishers to court who had other authors write a continuation story of Holden.
I never did understand why John Lennon’s assassin cited Catcher in the Rye as an inspiration to kill, but now I don’t want to nor care to. I love this story and I look forward to reading it every year. I enjoy arguing with other readers who claim that the story is “pretentious” and they didn’t enjoy one page it. But then these are the same people who love to fight the system because they want to be rebellious and feel different from the rest of society. Just as Holden does throughout the story.
I like to take this time to thank Mr. JD Salinger for writing a beautiful story that brought ease to my heart. Realizing that it’s OK to feel what we feel. May God bless your soul.