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‘Catcher in the Rye’ Sequel: To Be or Not to Be?

jdLegendary author J.D. Salinger is a famous recluse. He hasn’t published a novel since 1965 and his most recent interview was in 1980. Like the Sasquatch, people have sworn they’ve spotted him from time to time.  Heck, even you might’ve seen him unknowingly. He could’ve been that old fogie holding a garbage bag full of empty pop cans on the bus. But now, at the age of 90, Salinger has risen from the shadows. And just what did it take for this momentous event to happen?  A lawsuit (this is America after all). According to reports, Swedish-American author John David California (who some people think is fake) has written an unauthorized sequel to Salinger’s beloved 1951 classic The Catcher in the Rye. The original is about the adventures of iconic character Holden Caulfield after he escapes from an oppressive boys’ dormitory and comes of age along the way.  The “sequel”, titled  60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, is about the adventures of a 76-year-old character named Mr. C after he escapes from an oppressive nursing home and comes of age along the way. Hmm. It sounds kinda like Speed vs. Speed 2: Cruise Control.

The suit, filed in Manhattan, seeks to not only ban the publishing of Mr. California’s book, but to recall every copy that’s out there. Lawyers for Salinger have stated that their client has the sole rights to Catcher and its famous characters. They added that, throughout the years, Salinger has held the power to “greenlight” all film, stage and other possible adaptations of his celebrated novel and that he has “decidedly chosen not to exercise that right.” I’m glad he’s been so over-protective of his work. It preserves his legacy as a writer.  esides, think of how deplorable it would have been if Salinger had sold out to Hollywood. I can see it right now: Ron Howard directing Michael Cera in the role of Holden Caulfield. And there’s a happy ending. Ahhh!

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