Thursday, January 28, 2010

JD Salinger just became extra extra reclusive

Famous author J.D. Salinger passed away from natural causes yesterday, at the age of 91 at his home in Cornish, NH.

I'll confess - I've never understood all of the hulabaloo about The Catcher in the Rye. It's a fairly well written coming-of-age novel, but I never got what people loved so much about it. Or how it could have such a powerful and profound influence on so many people in both good ways (several prominent and accomplished authors list it as their favorite book), and tragic ways (the most infamous being Marc David Chapman citing it as an inspiration for him to kill John Lennon).

The character Holden Caulfield is a brat, and not even really an interesting one. I've only read the novel once, in 9th grade as assigned reading for English. I recall most of my class mates LOVING the book and getting caught up in all the fervor that so many people generate about Catcher. But I just wasn't moved.
Later in college I read Franny & Zooey and liked that novel a little better but it still wasn't earth shattering. And don't get me started on the boringness that is the Salinger short story collection Nine Stories. I never did finish it.
Anyway in the next few days I expect to be inundated with famous people gushing and reminiscing about how Catcher saved their life or whatever. I'm more interested in finding out if crazy recluse Salinger had in fact been writing non-stop all these years and whether there's hundreds of unpublished manuscripts stuffed in his mattress or what not.
Also, any new stories about Salinger being bat-shit crazy and sitting around in his bathrobe Howard Hughes style would be appreciated.

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