S.G. Browne

C is for Catcher, Cat’s, and City

There are a lot of “C” titles that didn’t make my list of favorite reads. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Carrie by Stephen King. Choke by Chuck Palahniuk.

While I enjoyed all of them and more, I’m forcing myself to limit my choices to my top two or three, so it’s inevitable that some worthy reads won’t make the cut. But it’s not much of a list of favorites if I include everything, now is it?

So on to the winners:

First Place
Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
The fact that Mark David Chapman sat down to read this book after shooting John Lennon isn’t enough to keep it off the list, but I can’t think of this book without getting pissed off at Chapman, who apparently thought Lennon was a “phony.” Still, Salinger’s novel about teenage angst, identity, and alienation resonates nearly sixty years after its publication. Probably one of my favorite books of all time.

Tied For First
Cat’s Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
The second Vonnegut novel to make an appearance here (and not the last), this is probably my favorite. Not only did he manage to skewer science, technology, and religion, but he created his own religion, the basic premise of which is that all religion, including Bokononism, is formed entirely of lies. Of course, if you believe these lies, you will at least have peace of mind. Nice, nice, very nice.

A Distant Third
City of Thieves, David Benioff
My most recent “C” novel that I’ve read, this one had great characters, a good story, and reminded me that the joy of reading is often the discovery of an author’s ability to craft words in such a way that makes you appreciate the beauty of the written word.

And the first Classic Literature Razzie goes to:
Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
This was assigned for reading in my high school junior year Western Literature class. The crime was that the book was ever written. The punishment was that I had to read it.

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Filed under: Movies and Books — Tags: , , , , — S.G. Browne @ 10:36 am

2 Comments »

  1. Scott,
    First I’ve gotta say that I’m a big fan. I recieved Breathers for Christmas and have read it two times since. But as an aspiring writer and literature snob, I’ve got to respectfully disagree with the razzie to Crime and Punishment. I also studied it in high school and fell in love with Raskolnikov and his crazy Russian comrades. The rest of the list, however, I fully support (especially Vonnegut).

    Comment by Kasey Vaught — April 23, 2010 @ 11:20 am

  2. I know there are a lot of people who love Crime and Punishment, so I’m sure I’ll have more than my share of respectful disagreements, but I just remember how painful and laborious a read it was for me when I was 17. Plus I always enjoy sharing my short, completely lacking-in-depth critique.

    Oh, and if you’re a Hemingway fan, I’m sure I’ll be hearing from you when I get to my Razzie for “A Farewell to Arms.” That one I read as an adult. I’m still having flashbacks.

    Thanks for the comment, Kasey. And for giving Breathers a couple of reads. Good luck with your writing!

    Comment by admin — April 23, 2010 @ 11:31 am

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