To honour the man i’m re-reading The Catcher in the Rye. In spite of its almost sixty years and so inevitably dated teen slang, the novel strikes me still as of youth and now. I guess that comes from Holden — his view of the world, his fears and delights, his directness and his insecurities, his continuous refining of the people he introduces us to. We all go through the rites of passage from child to adult, and the experiences change little, whatever the historical period.
And while Catcher is perhaps the classic in this genre i’m reminded of indebted followers:
Martin Amis’ The Rachel Papers, Brett Easton Ellis’ Less Than Zero, Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia, William Taylor’s Spider, David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green, and films such as The Last Picture Show, Igby Goes Down, and Tadpole, amongst others.
While i’m here, and on, yet again, about books, i have to mention that i’ve just finished Iain Banks’ latest, Transition. As ever with his stories i come to the end and feel hugely bereft. The world Banks conjures in a book and then peoples with fascinating characters living the most interesting of lives is a place i never want to leave — i just want to go on turning the pages and sharing the experience for always. Transition is a splendidly imaginative construct with echoes back to ideas and elements of The Bridge and Complicity. I loved it.