If i could, i think i’d give this 3.5 stars. I certainly didn’t hate it, but i don’t feel like i quite grasp what people love so much about it.
I probably waited too long to read it. I could see my younger self really loving Holden and the conversations he tries so hard to have with people. My younger self who didn’t even have an intimate knowledge of the life he feared so much just yet. I feel for the guy; i understand his frustration with all the phony people, and i was amused by all of his swearing and blundering. I get it. I think i’m still trying to finish growing up and learning to understand and forgive people for being so fake and figure out what’s really real, myself.
I do think there’s a lot of meaning within the story, but it would’ve been more impactful for me if it was also a really good story. It helped to picture Holden as young Jason Schwartzman and think of the whole thing as a quirky indie movie. But even then, it could’ve used a little more quirk and fun. A little more Wes Anderson. Maybe this is the precursor to that kind of film. Maybe the big deal about Salinger is that he was one of the first people be able to show this sparkling beauty in super-ordinary people & situations.