I was recommended this book by a friend of mine quite some time ago.
I had some pending work at MG Road recently, and I was to wait for atleast a cpl of hours for that. I got a brainwave, and went to Strand. Browsing through the piles…I saw a copy of this book in a corner. I immediately bought it.
I was initially surprised to see that it was written decades earlier,while I had thought of it being more contemporary. Then, when I started reading it, I was again surprised to see the style of language the author had written in. And then again, Holden Caufield, the narrator, kept coming up with more and more, with his interpretation of other people around him, and a general frustration with the kind of life he’d been living. How he calls just about everyone else around him a “phony”, and also his inner call to simply run away from everything. But then we get to see his attachment to his family, especially his kid sister Phoebe who he places quite highly, and also his memories of his deceased younger brother.
But then again, we get to see his human face in many situations, how he feels for those who are deprived. And also…a childish inquistiveness about the apparent mysterious disappearance of the ducks from a lake in Central Park.
I found the book quite touching, and realistic. When we are young, with nothing to care of, no responsibilities, the world is a very simple place. All one cares about, is eating, playing, watching cartoons…and trying to be a good boy/girl. But slowly as one grows up, and the world around unfolds, it may not turn out to be such a simple place after all. There would be moments of ecstasy, surprise and grief. A feeling of running away from everything might creep into the mind. Just like in this book. Though we see that in the end, “sanity prevails”, and Holden doesn’t run away.
Is that really sanity?
Perhaps, its a matter of personal opinion.