Today I will be starting an all new segment- The Book Review. What? But there’s so many blogs that do that already! I know. But this is a little different. I will be comparing a classic book of literature with it’s lesser known twin. That way when someone brings up “said classic”, then you will have new fodder for your intellectual fire. See? I’m always helping.
1. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (1951) - The classic novel, that follows Holden Caulfield and his adventures after he is kicked out of prep school. Shannigans ensue. (Yes, I’m just now reading this for the first time. Relax. You have to realize, that if something didn’t involve Pantera in high school, it wasn’t a “priority.” I have since changed my ways.)
2. Daddy Cool by Donald Goines (1974) - This pulp classic is about an aging hitman named Daddy Cool, who must find his missing teenage daughter after she falls in love with a pimp. Lots of knife throwing follows.
The similarities between these two books are uncanny. How they have not been compared before is beyond me. First off, both are told in first a person narritive by the protagonists, while dealing with complex issues of identity and connection. Daddy Cool struggles with his role as a “father” but also as a “vicious killer”. How can he be both? He longs for the connection that him and his daughter once had, when she was just his little girl, and not running away with sex traffickers.
Holden on the other hand, also has no idea who he is, or what he’s supposed to become. He hates school, and feels like a failure. He longs for someone to understand him. Any attempts he makes at real relationships are met with complete failure. He is inevitably alone, with only his thoughts to keep him company.
Oh, and not to mention both deal with the harsh realities of pimps and prostitutes. Daddy Cool having his daughter turned out, and Holden getting beating and robbed by one. Now I’m not a teacher. But if I was, I would definitely make Daddy Cool mandatory reading along with The Catcher in the Rye. If you have not read either of these gems, go out and do so. Now!