Going Further: The Catcher in the Rye

Holden Caulfield's New York

Source: NY Times

I love whenever I come across a visual that brings a book I’ve read to life. After reviewing The Catcher in the Rye, I was happy to come across some related content.

I found an interactive map of New York City created by the New York Times that shows the places Holden visited. Anyone not familiar with the Big Apple might not realize just where Holden ended up. Considering Holden Caulfield was only running around New York for a few days, he covered significant ground. The map includes mouse-overs so you can read the text quoted from the book that relates to that exact location.

I found myself wondering how many of those places I had wandered past in my NYC adventures. I’ve actually been to quite a few of the locations, such as the Museum of Natural History, Penn Station, and a few of Central Park’s attractions. What really impressed me was the sheer distance covered by a young man who was clearly working through personal issues or challenges. For someone who clearly did not want to be alone anymore, he sure spent a lot of time wandering empty streets and cruising around in taxis. Part of me is tempted to try and retrace his steps just to be able to say I did it.

By sheer coincidence, I finished my reading of The Catcher in the Rye around the time that the book Salinger was announced. Salinger takes an in-depth look at the life of J.D. Salinger, who had a reclusive and supposedly shady history. I’m interested to learn more about the author and any insights into the novel that might come with it, but I’m hesitant to make a really large time commitment to such a lengthy book (720 pages). I’m going to make an effort to check out the companion documentary film and, if it intrigues me enough, maybe I’ll grab the book from the library.

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