Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bold as all get out

I'll admit right up front: I am not a particularly bold person. I try to avoid conflict whenever and however possible (apologizing, making amends, faking a bad case of food poisoning to get out of the situation...whatever it takes). But, really, it takes a whole new level of literary chutzpah to take on a book that is consistently listed in the top 100 books of the 20th century, a book that is said to have spawned its own genre, a book...okay, enough suspense: Somebody far braver than I has written a sequel to A Catcher in the Rye and J.D. Salinger is not amused.

The publishing company calls it a parody; Salinger's camp calls it a rip-off. Call me a purist, but I can't imagine reading about a 76-year-old Holden, or "Mr. C," as he's referred to in the book, after he escapes from a nursing home and roams around Manhattan. (Okay, as I type that I can see maybe just a little bit where the parody would be a little amusing...) Did the pseudonymous author J.D. California really think that Salinger, who's known for coming out of seclusion only to protect (i.e., sue the pants off anyone who tries to mess with) his work, would just let this lie? Stay tuned for the interesting legal battle that's sure to follow. If Salinger loses, 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye will hit the bookshelves this fall. In the meantime, maybe check out the real thing to see what all buzz is about.

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