I should start by saying I’m a big fan of J.D. Salinger and The catcher in the rye. I’ve read this fabulous book hundreds of times. I hold it dear to my heart, it helps me to figure out other people. I reread it whenever I feel like it and I can effortlessly recite it.
So when I read that a book is “in the tradition of The catcher in the rye“, I feel very divided. I feel excitement mixed with jealousy and nonbelief. Stating something like that requires a certain nerve.
I’ve read The perks of being a wallflower. And the more I read the more repulsion I felt. About how artificial it was, and how it was trying to imitate a good book. How the author coldbloodedly gathered some evoking nostalgia fragments on two hundred pages and made a best-seller out of it. Because who doesn’t like Beatles, Nick Drake, The Great Gatsby, Smells Like Teen Spirit? Who? And are there many people in our generation who haven’t cried to Asleep by The Smith at least once as teenagers? I don’t think so. And everyone knows how questionable sex scenes can captivate the reader.
And who doesn’t want to be infinite?
This book is simply a play on feelings of those, who believe they “were born too late”, who just love mixtapes but weren’t alive when people actually made them for each other, who want everything candy-coated and who don’t notice clichés.
So, yeah, I can definitely see why so many like it and why there’s such a hype. That’s the worst part of it all.