Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Blast from the Past

My new adopted book club chose Catcher in the Rye for this month’s read.  I had read this some years back, but was was quite happy to read it again.  I remember my copy of the “original” book was picked up from a shady book shop in Pushkar, where apparently it was a compulsory read for all back packers. 

Holden Caulfield, the not-so-likable protagonist , seemed as interesting as ever, although I find it difficult to identify with him, now that I am a “bit” older.  The outdated colloquial words do not help either. But never mind.  A brilliant characterisation, now a cult figure, is fleshed out agonisingly well.  A much dysfunctional coming of age book, set in the 1950’s in New York, is a comfortable, although a disturbing, read.  I believe it is a school text book in some states in US, although I would find it difficult to recommend this to young and impressionable minds.  But then New York is New York. 

The people at the Book Club either hated it or hated it.  There were some defenders of the faith, but were easily shouted down.  It has been a long time since I saw this kind of passion amongst readers.  Which kind of shows the book still has a kind of hold on readers.

Interestingly the band Green Day has this character in their Basket Case.  Check it out on the net.

All in all, a good read. I was chuffed. Never mind the disbelievers.

Odds and Ends

Now that I have been in Kuala Lumpur for four months, things are settling down well.  The book club and the books help, but undoubtedly the charm of the place are the wonderfully polite people.  Sure some complain about the crime rate, but I will take that.  Bukit Bintang is a wonderful place to stroll around, and the Twin Towers overawe the landscape like nothing else.  I get a wonderful view from my living room, and get to photograph the landmark in all sorts of weather.  Here is one I took the the other day.