David Shields & Shane Salerno – Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye is my 2nd favorite book and so it might look natural to review that one, but NOPE. Ain’t happening. You should have had read it already and that more than once. If you haven’t, go do it now, this can wait.
Ok. First of all, I have learned that there is a movie, which might serve the same purpose, only too late and this is your chance to take the shortcut. But:
1. I haven’t seen the movie (so no warning nor suggestion from my side in here).
2. (Besides the undeniable fact that one processes information obtained through books way differently than that from the movies,..) it’s a long long book, but not the worst one really. In fact, you will get caught up in the reading more than once, you will have your “WOW” moments (I promise) and you will learn a LOT about Salinger’s life (which deserves to be known about!). And, I would not argue too much with someone bombastically calling this book “a perfect complement to Salinger’s body of work.”
On the flip side, one could easily defend an opinion that reader shouldn’t know this much about an author (unless he decides to write his own biography) and I could live without all that juicy, detailed gossip, which made it to its pages.
Favourite line (I’m cheating here a lot, as I’m almost sure this The Catcher in the Rye’s line was not quoted in this book, but I just had to give it a kudos):
“I got bored sitting on that washbowl after a while, so I backed up a few feet and started doing this tap dance, just for the hell of it. I was just amusing myself. I can’t really tap-dance or anything, but it was a stone floor in the can, and it was good for tap-dancing. I started imitating one of those guys in the movies. In one of those musicals. I hate the movies like poison, but I get a bang imitating them. Old Stradlater watched me in the mirror while he was shaving. All I need’s an audience. I’m an exhibitionist. “I’m the goddarn Governor’s son,” I said. I was knocking myself out. Tap-dancing all over the place. “He doesn’t want me to be a tap dancer. He wants me to go to Oxford. But it’s in my goddam blood, tap-dancing.” Old Stradlater laughed. He didn’t have too bad a sense of humor. “It’s the opening night of the Ziegfeld Follies.” I was getting out of breath. I have hardly any wind at all. “The leading man can’t go on. He’s drunk as a bastard. So who do they get to take his place? Me, that’s who. The little ole goddam Governor’s son.””