So, I’m re-reading The Catcher in the Rye right now. I read it back in high school, but somehow managed to retain nothing except the vague notion that I liked it. Now, reading it for the second time as a writer, I am blown away!
Okay, so we all know that the voice in that book is phenomenal. Distinctive, full of energy, engaging. What we all aspire for. But I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the best part of the book (writing-wise) isn’t the voice.
Yes, that’s right. The best part of the book, is that Salinger tells absolutely nothing! He SHOWS everything, and until I started rereading this book, I didn’t realize how much telling goes on even in books that are really well written and by writers who are making a conscious effort not to tell. (Uh, I guess that second part would be me.)
Does Holden say he’s lonely? No, he asks stranger after stranger to have a drink with him. Does he say that he’s in love with Jane? No, he punches out his roommate after the guy goes on a date with her. Did I tell you that he shows? No, I gave you examples. (Except for in the paragraph before this where I did tell you, but please just ignore that for the sake of argument, okay?)
Have any of you read this book recently? I must have someone to gush with.