I’ve always had a reverse snob bias against this novel, with its private school setting and sensibility. I read lines like “it’s really hard to be roommates with people if your suitcases are much better than theirs,” and the proud public schooler in me can’t get past the irony and wants to throw the book across the room. What struck me during this re-reading was how little I remembered about the novel, other than that the main character was named Holden Caufield, and that Holden’s a complete jackass. Given the novel’s enormous reputation among literary scholars, it’s intellectual suicide to fail to gush over the novel, unless you have a sufficiently erudite critique. But not having anything to lose, I’ll just keep it simple and go with my gut — Holden has a memorable if distasteful personality, but the novel itself is dull and lifeless.
Can’t let this pass without giving a shout out to one of the best Onion articles ever.