I read Catcher in the Rye on the heels of Something Wicked This Way Comes, extending my little foray into high school nostalgia. (Okay, Panorama City officially came between, but that was an audiobook and thus doesn’t count.) Catcher is another book that I think I appreciate more as an adult: I certainly liked it more. At least I think I did. 16 was a long time ago. About half my life.
Anyway, I only had a vague memory of liking this book, of somehow admiring Holden Caufield. My clearest memory, though, doesn’t have much to do with the story: I was assigned this book when I was a junior in high school, and the teacher sometimes liked to give…ahem…picky tests. Like stupid picky. Because of her, I will always remember that, at the very end of the novel, the music playing on the carousel was “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.” Meh.
Aaaaand, that’s all the plot I’m giving away here. Google Analytics tells me that a significant portion of traffic I get here is from students looking to cheat on homework – like (just in the last month) “grapes of wrath opening paragraph,” “use of satire in handful of dust,” and “what narrator type tells the story in the book of veronika decides to die?” My message to said students? Read the damn book. It’s good. You’ll like it.
Catcher in the Rye is one of those books I can read over and over again without getting bored or irritated. Something Wicked doesn’t exactly fit that profile, and I can’t think of any book that does. That said, it’s rare that I reread any book, and when I do, I’m usually disappointed. Maybe part of it is that it had been so long. And I might wait that long again to reread it, but I’m sure it’ll happen.