I finished reading Catcher in the Rye last night. It was a different experience, specially because I read it differently. My usual reading pattern includes sleepless nights or workless days when I do nothing else but read, once the book is over, I get back to normal life. But this time, I went about doing everything else, and read this book at stations, on buses, trams, on the roads, in the bathroom, in the kitchen… and still managed to finish it in a short time.
And what I got in return was this obsession of using the word ‘phony’. I’ve met a lot of phony people, read a lot of phony books, been phony in return sometimes too. But never has it struck me how just calling something pretentious, fake, unnatural – phony makes you feel a lot of better than using some other word for it.
We’ve all been Holden at some point of time in our lives but something has stopped us reaching where he did. I wonder why Hollywood hasn’t been able to make a straight movie out of this one.
I wish I had read Catcher in the Rye a little early in my life. But it makes a lot of sense at this stage too.
You do not have to be clueless to understand cluelessness. We’ve all been there. Catcher is one book which brings those voices in your head alive, it makes you want to look in your mind, it wants you to ask yourself what exactly do you want, it makes you imagine things which might never happen but what if they did, it makes you want to run away from everything and everywhere, it makes you observe cracks on the side walk, it makes you ask silly questions…the book is everything that makes good literature. But it just isn’t phony enough.