Take note, J.D. Salinger: unauthorized "Catcher" sequel is "harmless nonsense"

Or at least that's the opinion of Richard Davies, publicity manager of He has read "60 Years Later: Coming through the Rye," the unauthorized sequel to Salinger's 1951 classic "Catcher in the Rye," and says Salinger has nothing to worry about.

Or that was his initial reaction, anyway. He writes that the sequel,  which imagines protagonist Holden Caufield as an old man who leaves his nursing home to wander through New York City, "lacks almost everything possessed by the original with the exception of controversy" and adds that, "Salinger should call off the dogs because his legacy is not under threat."

"Coming Through the Rye," written by a Swedish author calling himself J.D. California, has been published in the UK and Salinger is suing in an effort to forbid its publication in the US.

"The court case is probably going to be more interesting than 'Coming Through the Rye,' " suggests Davies, who notes that, "The writing has none of the original’s abrasive style" and calls it "destined to fade away."

The only threat the book poses to Salinger, suggests Davies, is that the fact that California (whose real name is Frederik Colting) includes Salinger himself as a character in the book, imagining that Holden (aka Mr. C) takes a bus to Cornish, N.H. to meet him. At that point, says Davies, "Salinger’s anger becomes understandable."

Otherwise, says Davies, it's a case of much ado about nothing. "Salinger offered the first alienated teenager," he writes, "but Colting offers just another grumpy old man."

You can see Davies's entire comments here.

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.