J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, Aging Gracelessly
Jonathan Yardley revisits (and re-reads) a classic of American fiction and regrets it. "Rereading "The Catcher in the Rye" after all those years was almost literally a painful experience: The combination of Salinger's execrable prose and Caulfield's jejune narcissism produced effects comparable to mainlining castor oil." An intelligent, witty and accurate reassessment of a novel inexplicably conferred with "classic" status.