Thursday, February 5, 2009

Keep off the Grass and Catcher in the Rye!!

Just finished reading both these books 2 days ago.... Keep off the Grass by Karan Bajaj first and then Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, its one of the TIME 100 All time best Novels.

Keep off the grass:
Its is a story of a NRI who comes back to INDIA, kicking his million dollar job at the Wall Street. He is haunted by the thoughts of his 'roots'. He gets admitted to IIM B and begins his bizarre self-discovery journey with another crazy character, Sarkar (I was in awe with this person, except few of his eccentricities) and Vinod. The book comments a lot on the Indian Institute of Management, not in very good light though. In India, every ambitious student dreams of getting in the IIM and here is Karan Bajaz going completely ruthless with his comments and observations about the finest of B schools in the world, and to our dismay its quite true.
The story is pretty stereotype in the sense these guys make big goof ups, get the lowest of grades, do all kind of possible screwing up but ... at the end of the day they find what they always wished for..... A lil hard to believe... BUT, what makes this book keep away from monotony is the language which is completely engaging and the thoughts on self-discovery and happiness the author has come up with. Its like the author is articulating the thoughts you always wanted to express but didn't have the right words.
The confusions of today's youth, the fucked-up concepts of happiness, the ways of getting away from it and finding oneself going in deep shit..... All is very well explained by Karan Bajaj. BUT, he not only explains the problems but comes up wid a plausible solution.
A truly engaging and un-putdownable book. A journey with your own thoughts if you belong to the pool of lost and confused souls.

Catcher in the rye:
It was a pleasure meeting HOLDEN CAULFIELD(The Protagonist).
A weird narration style by Salinger which gives you a feel of being zonked. The book does not have a plot nor a story. The author establishes a first person dialogue with the reader and then there is no stopping. He goes on to explain every detail of Holden's life for 3 days and his thoughts. The language may be obnoxious to few as it uses words like "phony" "goddamn" "corny" "fuck" in huge amounts.
Holden wants to be the Catcher in the rye and wants to keep away his sister and other kids from the 'phonies' and 'goddamn world' but towards the end he realises that he cant do so and his sister, Phoebe MUST learn the hard way and on her own.Salinger leaves the actual events of Holden's presumed suicide attempt and hospitalization ambiguous; Holden only uses euphemisms such as "getting sick" to describe what has happened to him, but the implications are clear. Yet even more ambiguous than what happened to Holden is whether or not Holden will recover from his difficulties. Nevertheless, while looking back on his situation Holden still harbors some of the same suspicions and deep cynicism that afflicted him throughout the book. Salinger ends the novel inconclusively: he gives no strong indication what Holden has learned from his difficulties, if he has learned at all, and allows for a strong possibility that Holden will continue his self-destructive and suicidal behavior.
(Some part taken from official review.)

More than half a decade separates these books but what surprises me is the questions, the problems, the confusions and the SOLUTION still remains the same. BUT every individual will have to DISCOVER it on their own.... That's the FUN.....

Enjoy the self - discovery :P


azhar ahmed said...

Catcher in the Rye is a great book,how disillusioned can a person be and at the same time Holden knew what he wanted to do ,be a "catcher in the rye ".When I read it for the first time , I was pretty confused what was going on ... but indeed a good read

Dagny said...

I have not found a single person so far who has not liked the Catcher in the Rye. It is indeed a great book. Have read it myself many times. STill discovering. :)