Monday, January 12, 2009

LIS 722: Week 2

For this week, I endured A Catcher in the Rye and read King Dork.

I had read A Catcher in the Rye when I was 16 because I knew it was one of those Books I Would Be Expected To Know About. Even then I felt like smacking Holden Caufield upside the head. It wasn't that I didn't understand the book, because I did. I understood most of the themes and all that; I 'got' what it was to be sort of lost when faced with adulthood. No, the problem that I had (have) with A Catcher in the Rye in general and Holden Caufield in particular is that Holden is able to do what he does in part because he's a white male, and in part because his father is so successful.

No, I'm not one to yell, 'Unfair!!!!' about it all. I'm just thinking that if Holden hadn't been from an upper-class white family, the story wouldn't have gone quite the way it did. He knew that even though he'd just gotten kicked out of yet another school, the only thing that would happen was that his parents would find another one for him, and life would go on. Somehow, he reminds me of Paris Hilton, et al, and not in a good way.

King Dork was almost as inane, but at least the main character (Tom Henderson) didn't walk around calling everything "crumby" (a word I hope NEVER to hear again). The action in the book is seen through his eyes, and is sort of plausible, except where it's so not. I'd actually started listening to this book this last summer, but soon came to the realization that, well, I just didn't care. Not about Tom Henderson, or Sam Hellerman, or any of their band names. I didn't care what happened with Fiona, the vice principal, or Little Big Tom. The storyline, although fairly well-written was rather confusing, and I just can't buy the absurd plot twists (especially the ones where dang near every girl ends up giving Tom blow-jobs & the whole thing with the VP/pornography deal). And, although I know life isn't always neatly wrapped up, I really don't like it when books can't/won't/don't do so by the end of the story.

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