The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger


The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, 1951

My favorite quote: “What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”

Notable characters: Holden Caulfield, the caustic teen; Ward Stradlater, his dorm roommate; Robert Ackley, his dorm neighbor; D.B., Holden’s brother, the screenwriter; Phoebe, his little sister; Mr. Antolini, English teacher and controversial head-patter; Allie, Holden’s deceased brother

Most memorable scene: The (ignored) composition that Holden wrote about his dead brother’s baseball glove — and the memory of Holden lashing out over his brother’s death

Greatest strengths: The voice is impeccable and never falters

Standout achievements: Its ability to place you in the scene

Fun Facts: Despite its position and popularity in American literature (and the multitude of directors and production companies who have tried securing the rights) The Catcher in the Rye has never been made into a movie

What it taught me about writing: That humanity — even if you’re writing about monsters — is everything.

How it inspired my own work: I liked this book so much I made it into the favorite book of one of my characters — Father Vincent Scarlotti in the Crimson Cove series, who carries a battered copy of this book with him wherever he travels.

Additional thoughts: I’m always astounded by how controversial and polarizing this book is. Some love it, some hate it, and there doesn’t seem to be much in-between. It’s been analyzed to death, and is, in my opinion, somehow both unduly praised and unreasonably criticized. I read it before being subjected to all the contention and adoration surrounding it, and to me, it’s a simple story about a young man trying to understand what it means to be an adult. To me, it’s about someone desperately seeking a human connection at an age when human connection seems impossible. Despite all the dissension and debate, I fucking love it.

My rating: 5 of 5

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

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