Thursday, May 14, 2009

Catcher in the Rye Sequel Probably a Hoax

Will this be what finally wrenches notoriously reclusive author J.D. Salinger from the comfy nest he’s been hiding out in for more than 50 years? Or was the book penned by Salinger in a lame disguise? Both are possible. Time will tell.

From the publisher’s description of Sixty Years Later: Coming Through the Rye:
A 76-year-old man wakes up in a nursing home in upstate New York. This seemingly normal day brings with it an unnerving compulsion to flee his present situation and embark on a curious journey through the streets of New York City. Powerless to resist these strange new urges, Holden Caulfield, like a decrepit marionette, finds himself in the midst of bizarre and occasionally depraved escapades. Is senility finally closing in or is some higher power controlling the chaos? 60 years after his debut as the great American anti-hero, Holden Caulfield is yanked back onto the page without a goddamn clue why.
The sequel will be published in September by a Swedish outfit called Nicotext. (“We make books. More specifically, we make books whose sole purpose it is to make you giggle. While thumbing our collective nose at the literati, we have found our niche amongst the useless, the trivial and the potentially offensive. The books in our catalogue may not reflect our capacity for intellectual athleticism, but they will put a smile on your face, which is our main objective.”)

It’s not by Salinger, but by (ahem) a freelance travel writer, “former gravedigger and Ironman triathlete” (what?) named John David California.

The world press and the blogosphere are abuzz. “The world needs a Catcher in the Rye sequel like it needs an asshole on its elbow,” Richard Lawson said for Gawker earlier today. The Guardian and the Quill and Quire blog offer up just-the-facts as they see them. However, considering author California’s bizarre biography and the fact that a sketchy Wikipedia entry lists his birthday as April 1st, I have a hunch we’ve not heard the last of this story. At all.

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Blogger R. T. said...

An off-the-top-of-my-head observation: If the new book is not by Salinger, I cannot image many people working up much interest in it; if the new book is by Salinger under a pseudonym, and if that becomes the dominant chatter surrounding the book, then I cannot imagine it becoming anything other than a phenomenal best-seller (and the success will have absolutely nothing to do with the book's merits). Well, time will tell.

Thursday, May 14, 2009 at 3:21:00 PM PDT  

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