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john lennon

edited November 2005 in - Reading


  • 25 years ago John Lennon was murdered by his 'fan' Mark Chapman, who was obsessed by the book 'The catcher in the rye' by Salinger, and his character Holden Caulfield. Has anybody read the book, and if so, what's your opinion? Thanks.
  • I've always liked the book although I haven't read it for a few years now. The first person narrative is engaging and takes you through a chaotic weekend in New York in which Holden heads for a breakdown having been expelled from school. He is alienated and sees the adult world as "phoney".

    It was published in the late 50s, I believe, but it seemed to predict adolescent culture to come. Holden even wears his baseball cap back to front which was unheard of in those days.

    Thanks for reminding me... I might get it off the shelf again!
  • The Catcher in the Rye happens to be one of the very few books that I have never been able to finish. I can't stand not finishing a book. I do remember that Holden Caulfield drove me nuts, there was something about him that really irritated me. There was something selfish about him, arrogant might be a better word.
  • howard, kangaroo, thanks for your answers, I have been wondering about this book since I've read 'Let me take you down' (about JL and Chapman)and now I think I will take a trip down the library lane because suddenly I am getting quite interested in it.... by the way, there is going to be soon a TV documentary about the whole story, I will definitely watch it.
  • loved the book when I read it, but I have read better classics on teenage angst
  • I know what you mean, Sal. I've always thought that Robert Cormier writes particularly well about teenagers (not necessarily about angst). There a great short story of his called "The Moustache" about a key moment in a teenagers life.
    Who else do you like?
  • Hi Howard
    Re other books I've read of the same theme is John Osborne's play 'Look Back in Anger' and Ian Banks 'The Wasp Factory.' Both of these themes look into the dark side of youth-at least thats how I read them. 
  • I love catcher in the Rye. I studied it for my A-levels and its the one book that i always remember. The fact that it was written 50yrs ago and people still talk about it proves its a good book and a fantastic read! READ IT just don`t get so obssessed with it as John Lennon`s Killer did.
  • Sal, sorry I never replied to you on this one. I'd forgotten about the Wasp Factory. Thank you! Iain Banks is such a gifted writer. I've now re-read Catcher and still love it. His search for purity in the modern world came through strongly this time.
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