Justin Bieber or Holden Caufield?

Have problems telling your 16-year-olds apart? Here’s a quiz.

That was pretty easy (without having read either book in question): Holden Caufield sounds like an adult. An adult trying to write a teenager in a book meant to be taught to high school students. Once you read the quotes, ask yourself ‘would this be in a high school curriculum?’.

I think my time has passed for Catcher in the Rye. I wouldn’t have the teenage sympathy, I’d just want to throw the book against the wall.

One of them is an annoying self-centered dick, and the other is Justin Bieber.

Can I choose fresh lemon juice in an open wound?

I think a lot of that is because Catcher in the Rye was written in the late '40s and was published in 1951. I don’t know very much about Salinger, but the idea that he was deliberately writing for a high school curriculum strikes me as silly. And of course the quiz is easy. Most of the Bieber quotes are so boring and unliterary that nobody else would bother putting them into a book.

Hell, I read the thing as a teenager in high school and I still wanted to throw the thing against the wall. What a whiny putz!

I had a theory that Salinger wrote the book as a precautionary tale (these kids today are turning into self-absorbed assholes) but gave up publishing when people made Holden some sort of hero, thereby showing either (a) they missed the point entirely, or (b) “I’m a bad writer because I couldn’t communicate this very simple message”.