Yardley Getting Carried Away

Not having lived my adolescence in the States, I came to read some of the classic novels assigned in high schools here with a completely different eye than if I had had to read them for school. So I never had the sort of relationship with The Catcher in The Rye that other people my age may have. I read the novel as an adult and liked it, but I much preferred Salinger’s short stories (Nine Stories is one of my favorite collections.) Still, I think Jonathan Yardley is being a tad hysterical in his review of the book, particularly here:

Rereading “The Catcher in the Rye” after all those years was almost literally a painful experience: The combination of Salinger’s execrable prose and Caulfield’s jejune narcissism produced effects comparable to mainlining castor oil.

There are lots of other novels more meriting of that kind of criticism, and if he can’t think of any, he’s welcome to dip into the ones being sent to us every day for review.