Raise High the Roof Beams, Carpenters*
If there is one book that can never be bettered, it's Catcher in the Rye. Honestly, I don't think I'll ever read it again for fear that I won't love it as much the next time I read it. The reason is this: I am getting older and Holden's ramblings and his hatred of "phonies" don't relate to me any more. I still love him and plan on naming my first born son Holden...that is if I ever have kids, and I still agree with everything he says except the whole hating movies thing, that is ridiculous. But, as I said, I'm getting older and I need someone new that I can relate to. In flies the main character of Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, Buddy Glass (His real name is Webb, though. I just looked it up). He is 23 years old, so more like me. He is in the Army, so not like me, but Buddy, I feel has the same outlook on life and of people that I do.
"I was not only twenty-three but a conspicuously retarded twenty-three" is my favorite quote from the whole story. Unfortunately, my love to read only what is on the outside, missed basically everything but the plot in this story. I hate diving deeper into literature. I know, I know, how sad and pathetic, right? To help you out a little, the plot is basically Buddy going to his brother's wedding, but his brother, Seymour, flakes and then the wedding guests are going over to Muriel's (Seymour's fiance's) parent's house. Buddy get into the car with the Matron of Honor, her husband, some old lady named Helen and Muriel's deaf-mute uncle. No one knows that Buddy is Seymour's brother and he doesn't tell them for a while but the whole time they are in the car, the Matron of Honor talks about how much she hates Seymour and what a terrible person he is, even though she's never met him. Then they all get stuck in parade traffic and then go to Buddy's apartment to cool off and to call Muriel's parents to tell them that they are going to be late. And yes, that is the basic plot. Other stuff happens, of course, but that's the main jist.
The best part of this story is that it is intermixed with all of Salinger's other works. Most of his stories are about the Glass family, except Catcher, but Buddy has ties to that story as well. I do honestly feel bad for Salinger because all of these other novels/stories get the shaft because nothing that he ever does will compare to Catcher in the Rye. All of his other books are really good though, Franny and Zooey will bore you to tears, but it's still interesting.
*I got bored this morning and didn't feel like reading the second story in this book, Seymour: an Introduction, so I'll read it later and write about it then