Book Review: Daddy Cool / The Catcher in the Rye

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.

Today’s Books

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!


19 thoughts on “Book Review: Daddy Cool / The Catcher in the Rye

  1. I reread Catcher in the Rye a few years ago and it didn’t resonate with the middle-aged me. I think if I read Daddy Cool with it this time, I will have more to draw on, more life experience parallels.

    As always, thank you Andrew. Thank you.

    • Yeah good old Holden is definitely a whiney little man, but I still got something from it. I’m going through all the classics now, and this one was one of the easier ones. Ann Rand, not so much.

      • Read A Tale of Two Cities or Huckleberry Finn. Actually Huckleberry Finn is really fun although it disintegrates a bit at the end. Or To Kill a Mockingbird? Best book EVER.

  2. i love this concept and think it’s great. and i am a teacher. too bad it’s kindergarten, maybe these books won’t work well with my group )

  3. Have you ever pondered what the possibilities are that Daddy Cool’s missing daughter was the prostitute who punched Holden? It’s like a secret you could only find out reading them both at the same time.

  4. I really liked Cather in the Rye..the 2nd is a new one for me..
    JD Salinger’s personal story is a good one too 🙂

  5. Pantera! Ha! It’s been too long since I’ve been in the States. For some reason, I read Pantera but my brain interpreted it as Panera–the chain restaurant popular in food courts and airport terminals. I genuinely thought you didn’t try escargot until college because of 3rd rate paninis. And for chrissake, Daddy Cool sounds awesome. Will check it out.

  6. I too have never read Daddy Cool, I’ll have to check it out. Catcher in the Rye was a favorite when I was a teenager, and of course I had a mad crush on Holden Caulfield. I’ll have to read it again now to see if it holds up.

    • Yeah, I bet Holden Caulfield was a babe in a “I’m so sad and mysterious” kind of way. And yes definitely read Daddy Cool. It’ll teach you how to make homemade throwing knives.

  7. This is actually a kind of cool concept…but it means you may have to “search out” certain twins. For my part, I have been thinking about a unique certain classic that still has relevance despite being written about half a century ago. Ever read A Clockwork Orange?

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