Responding to the message “Salinger is dead.  Happy now?” His debut novel, King Dork is about a kid who, in an unavoidably Holden kinda way, hates everything about the cult of The Catcher in the Rye.

That said, unlike Tom, I didn’t hate “The Catcher in the Rye” when it was first thrust upon me by numerous parents, teachers, priests, counselors, and other authority figures. I knew I was supposed to revere it, to identify with Holden, and to keep it close to my bosom and all that. “Finally,” I would say, obediently following the script provided by helpful, smiling, over-eager adult facilitators, “someone who understands…” Maybe I even kind of meant it. And they would pat me on the head, or on the back, depending on how tall they were in relation to me. Eventually, though, I began to wonder. What does it mean when you’re in a room full of people who all have the same, exact opinion on something with little or no divergence? It’s kind of creepy, whatever it means.

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