If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s giving up on a book. If there’s another thing I can’t stand, its characters I can’t relate to. Don’t get me wrong – some people can relate to them and that’s great! You go! Enjoy those characters!
For me, there’s a difference between a character I don’t like and a character I can’t relate to. If I don’t like them, then at least I’m feeling something at all! If I can’t relate, then I am entirely apathetic, and my belief is that a good book will make you feel something – anything! I will power through a book even if I don’t like a character because of this belief.
With that being defined, I can with sad resignation say that I gave up on Catcher in the Rye. I tried! I tried three different times! And each time, I couldn’t make it past 30 pages.
Why? Because Holden Caulfield is an annoying little sh*t.
Yes, I know I said that even if I don’t like a character I’ll power through! But I just couldn’t. He is contradictory and mean and pigheaded and a bit arrogant. Maybe it’s because I’m in my 20’s and he’s a teenager, or maybe it’s because he’s a boy and I’m a girl. Maybe it’s the excessive literary analysis I’ve seen in my classes on the novel that’s ruined it for me. Who knows?
All I know is that even my husband likes this book – and he is not the most prolific reader in the world. That’s got to mean something. Maybe I will try reading it again later on, when I have my own teenage boy to deal with!