What can you say about Holden Caulfield? He’s kind of annoying and yet strangely endearing. He has this breathless energy and an utter inability to stick to the point that means that he’ll tell you his life story, about a couple books he’s read and incidents about people he knows – with a few tall tales thrown in – all in response to “Hello” and before you’ve had a chance to blink. He has this kind of vulnerability and superficial optimism that carries him through though I guess.
I suppose I’d’ve appreciated him more when I was nearer his age. I read somewhere recently that there are some books, films etc that if you don’t catch when you’re young enough then it’s sort of too late. Maybe that’s it. Maybe I was wrong-footed by the vague impressions I’d picked up or just the fact that this was supposed to be a great book. I can see how in a world that didn’t have a lot of time for, care or know much about teenagers, and ditto but even less so for/about mental illness – then a sympathetic first-person account of someone like Holden would seem shocking and new. As it is, well it’s sad and touching but not shocking.
It’s odd but I was a little bored by him during the time we spent together, but now, as the memory softens, I find myself thinking kindly of him. Glad to have met him, not sure if I want to spend a lot more time with him. Like I said, annoying but strangely endearing.
7/10 – nice bloke, rambles on a bit.