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J.D.Salinger dies.


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American novelist JD Salinger, author of classic 20th Century book The Catcher in the Rye, has died aged 91.The reclusive writer died of natural causes at his home in the state of New Hampshire, his son said.

The Catcher In The Rye, first published in 1951, is a tale of teenage angst. It has become one of the most influential American novels of the modern era.

Soon after its publication, Salinger shunned the fame it brought and became a recluse for the rest of his life.


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I'm horribly embarrassed to admit I've never read Catcher in the Rye. In fact, I was so affected by John Lennon's murder 30 years ago, I stayed away from it because that was the book his killer was reading the day he pulled the trigger.

I know it's well-regarded and that Salinger was a great writer. Maybe I'll give it a chance and will pick up a copy.

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Man, am I ever happy to hear that!

After revealing to the world that I'm not a Shakespeare fan, how could I now come back and say Catcher in the Rye didn't do it for me either?

It didn't. I read it again a couple decades later, looking to see what all the foofaraw was about, and still didn't get it.

It's supposed to be a book that celebrates teen aged angst. Perhaps I wasn't angsty enough. I kind of liked my teen years, on the whole. Sure, parts of them were terrible. Humiliation, failures, bullies, angry parents, internal struggles, all that stuff. Normal stuff. But there was joy too, and learning, and getting ready for life, and moving on. Maybe that's why the book didn't speak to me. All I knew was, everyone else was saying how great is was, and to me, well, it was a big so what?

I've been kind of embarrasssed about this my whole life. But if EleCivil has much the same opinion, I feel vindicated!

Thanks, E/C!


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OK- I'll add a third. It was good but not great.

What made Catcher ground breaking was the portrayal of an angsty teenager with real issues during the Leave it to Bever era.

June Clever: Ward I'm worried about Holden. He's one sick puppy.

IMHO, I liked Dewey's Brian Kellum much more than Salinger's Holden Caufield.

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I read it and found it powerful, completely different from anything I'd come across before, and giving me a window into a world that was completely foreign to me too. A precocious, hyper-intelligent waster with hormones, Holden was never going to be particularly sympathetic but at the time I thought Salinger was a brilliant writer for bringing such a personality to life. Looking back, and knowing that Salinger became a recluse, I suspect he was just writing himself, which is not so clever. Even I can do that!

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