The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
One thing Nicole and I have realized during our year with What’s Old is New (our literary classics podcast, if you didn’t already know) is that we tend to like the books based off of and inspired by classics a lot more than we like the classics. Another thing we have realized is that much of our popularity actually seems to come from our dislike of so many of the classics we have read. People wait with horror to see what blasphemous things we will say about their favorite classics, or with anticipation to see if we will join them in their distaste for something they were just never able to get into.
With that in mind, we’ve added a new format of show to our schedule, one we are informally calling the Classics Rip, in which we simply just both read a book, and then discuss it on the podcast. Essentially it is just the first section of one of our main shows. For our inaugural show, we decided on The Catcher in the Rye, perhaps one of the more polarizing classics out there.
I don’t want to spoil this episode for you, but my background with The Catcher in the Rye is that I read it in college and absolutely detested it. To me, Holden was nothing more than a whiny brat. On this read, my reaction was a bit more nuanced. Holden still grated, and all his talk of the ‘fakes’ all around him made me think he was protesting a bit too much (dude is the fakiest faker that ever did fake), but I was able to recognize more clearly just how much his brother’s death screwed him up, and my annoyance was (somewhat) tempered with sympathy. Of course, that didn’t eliminate all of the obnoxiousness, and I still can’t remember the last time a book made me want to swear so much.
Nicole, on the other hand, really liked The Catcher in the Rye when she first read it (she was younger than I was when she first experienced it). Up until now, we have always agreed on the classics and whether or not they should remain in our personal canon. Will this be the first literary cat fight on What’s Old is New? You’ll have to listen to find out.
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