I read Catcher in the Rye rather too late. Of all places, it was Fopp records store in Sidney Street, Cambridge, England, that I bought that small red book from. And for the rest of that night, I feverishly followed Holden Caulfield's life, ignoring even the charm of English pub in that alluring ancient college town.
Since then, cliche as it may sound, Catcher in the Rye set my standard and becomes the best book I've ever read. I even always had it on my desk back in Salemba, along with Che Guevara poster. I recall Aco, then my office roommate, in the midst of a deadline for a research report on rice liberalization, grudged as he had to try really hard not to reread that book upon seeing it between my messy piles of stuff.
I am never sure why I really like Holden Caulfield, but maybe somehow I can relate what he felt to be a young man in an uncertain world where (almost) everything seem very wrong. A rite of passage before you end up living as economist, barista, et cetera, and see some things not that wrong after all, and now you remember that time with smile or grin.
Today the man who introduced us to the life and angst of Holden Caulfield passed away. Salute and rest in peace, JD Salinger.