My Google Reader is full of blog posts by people bemoaning his death and gushing over how influential Catcher in the Rye was in their life.
I can only scratch my head when I read things like that. Part of me wonders if the gushing is merely posing.
That's not a kind thing to think.
Yet....when someone says that Catcher in the Rye had a profound influence on them, or changed their lives, I can't help but wonder if I read a completely different Catcher in the Rye.
It's not that type of book, not a life-changing, inspirational, deeply affecting work.
It's a portrait of a teenage boy and his inner life as he careens around for a few days trying to get drunk and score with women and cement his image of himself.
What am I missing here?
How is that life-changing?
I'd really like to know how exactly Catcher in the Rye affected someone rather than read these vague, hollow phrases piled up like flowers at the grave of JD Salinger.