It's an interesting case. I suspect that the author of this "sequel" is some super-fan who thinks he understands Holden, and Salinger, enough to fancy this an homage. I am doubtful that this is the case, frankly, because even as a superfan of several series of books, I've never actually tried to publish any tripe I may or may not have written in response to various books.
But here's the thing, and I confess this aware that I'm about to commit literary heresy (and may imperil my future ability to get anything else published): I loathed Holden Caulfield. I found him snobby and entitled, and found his so-called "idealism" a thin mask for his elitism. He reminds me of what a seminary professor once said, that "despair is the privilege of the wealthy." It's a broad brush, I'll admit, but in this case I think it applies to Mr. Caulfield. I simply never had patience for him when I read the book as a teen, and I certainly did not understand why others would have been so connected to him. With the self-righteousness of the poor, I felt like he was an ungrateful little brat who did not appreciate all the advantages his parents gave him. There, I finally said it!
Reading the book in my early twenties, I thought I identified some clear signs of depression in Holden's character, which made me marginally more sympathetic to him. I pitied him, rather than loathed him. But when I hear the kind of hero-worship I heard expressed on NPR, it makes me angry at Holden all over again.
I admit that what I remember of the book is itself well-written, and for that I certainly admire Mr. Salinger. But the over-identification that so many have with Holden Caulfield just baffles and, I must admit, also angers me a little. Now, I obviously wanted to understand the love of this young man, because I reread the book when I didn't have to. And now I'm wondering if I should give it another shot.
So I ask you, dear readers: should I read it again? Will I appreciate Holden Caulfield more? Will my appreciation for Salinger's deft use of language override my annoyance at Holden's thoughts and actions? Or will my superior loathing continue unabated, confirming my prejudice? Share your advice - and your thoughts about Holden Caulfield, "The Catcher in the Rye," and J.D. Salinger - in the comments. I promise I won't hold any of your beliefs against you. :)