So I started reading this book a few days ago for two reasons, one, out of curiosity, I wanted to know what was the big deal with such a little book. Obviously book sizes don’t make them either good or bad, but let’s just say that I was intrigued. And two I read/heard that it is one of the classics that at the time when it was published was kind of groundbreaking. I think this is because of the language the author used, the way it’s written was very different for a novel published in 1951, but I guess the main thing that’s supposed to make it so special is the way Holden challenges society, how rebellious he is and all, and I get it I really do, I can appreciate how and why he acted the way he did in the book, he was trying to find his identity, his role in the world, he had this need that most humans, if not all, have to feel like they belong somewhere and that they can somehow form a meaningful connection with somebody. But is this enough for a book to be considered one of the best books of American literature? I don’t think so. I’m not trying to be controversial or to start a heated argument but I certainly didn’t get the point of this story. What was the conclusion? what was the point? I didn’t see what the plot really was about. For me it pretty much seemed like somebody had the idea of putting a GoPro camera on a very depressing person’s forehead for three days or so and kind of just hoping for something interesting to happen. I’m telling you, it did not.
Here is maybe an interesting question, do you think this book’s popularity was sort of related to, if not totally due to the fact that John Lennon’s killer had a copy with him when he killed him? I really don’t know if the book was already so popular before this happened but I was just wondering…
So am I missing something? I certainly don’t think it is an age thing if that’s what some of you may want to suggest, I’m 26 and I think that I have read many other books with bigger rebellious main characters and far more interesting. For example, I read The Portrait of Dorian Gray by one of my favorite authors, of course, Oscar Wilde, and that book, being also a pretty small book by the way, it’s so beautiful! So interesting, perfectly written and has such thought-provoking dialogues! Obviously, I fully recommend it.
So what do you guys think? Overrated? Totally deserves the hype? Please leave a comment below, I would love to know your opinion.
P.S: I was right! two of the most used words in this book are depressed and goddam.