Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Looking for Holden Caulfield

On of my great joys is my son's love of reading. He enjoys series, especially the Cirque de Freak books by Darren Shan and the Harry Potter 7. Yesterday he requested that I bring home from work the J.D. Salinger teen angst classic The Catcher in the Rye. Interesting choice I was thinking to myself, but then again he is approaching the age of the character Holden Caulfield. Apparently he found a copy in study hall, picked it up, started reading and was hooked. I believe he will finish the book today which might make for some good "book talk" over dinner this week.
If you haven't read The Catcher in the Rye, you should. The character of Holden Caulfield has long been the poster boy for teen rebellion and anger, most famously to John Lennon's killer Mark David Chapman who was carrying a copy of the book when he shot Lennon. A friend of mine was in a relationship for too long with a guy who was a complete slacker, his line, "My hero is Holden Caulfield". I kept asking her, "Is that the attraction...good lord WHY?"
I read in an interview once that J.D. Salinger has famously denied ALL attempts at acquiring the rights to turn the book into a film, even from Harvey Weinstein and Steven Spielberg. Personally I think the long dead River Phoenix or the recently deceased Heath Ledger would have been great as Holden. As long as Salinger is alive,and he is 89, there won't be a movie made.
However, once my boy finishes the book, we will have some great discussion about unforgettable characters. Maybe we should discuss on a carousel?

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