I’ve noticed that a lot of people here mention CITR as a book they can’t stand. What I wonder is, what did you expect from it?
I’ve read it numerous times, and I think it’s hilarious. Not unintentionally hilarious either; not like a Bulwer-Lytton. Sure, Holden is a whiner, but that’s why he’s funny. Almost all the characters are painted broadly, and they’re funny, too. Spencer, Ackley, Stradlater, the cab driver, Luce, Antolini…There are at least six scenes that I can’t read without laughing myself into a fit. (“They simply regard sex as both a physical and a spiritual experience. That’s all.” “So do I! So do I regard it as a waddyacallit—a physical and spiritual experience and all!..Maybe I’ll go to China. My sex life is lousy.”)
I will admit, I get impatient with people who think it’s the be-all end-all. Or who think HC, or Salinger himself, is some kind of pure soul who’s the only one who understands anything. But I also get impatient with people who didn’t realize Heathers was a satire. So does anyone else see the humor in CITR?