catcherintherye

Sequels I’d like to see

With Harper Lee’s sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set A Watchman coming out about the same time as my debut novel The Bomber, I thought about a few more sequels or prequels I would like to see.

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1. Sequel To Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger

Titled ‘Go Catch a Rye Bird’ this novel revisits Holden Caulfield ten years later. He is no longer the angsty teen but now a rather melancholy adult living in New York. He dreams of leaving the city and his job working as a writer on a small lifestyle magazine. He wants to head up into New England and live on a small farm, but with his girlfriend pregnant and his money running out, he has to find a solution to his problems. He tries to get a job as a writer but the New Yorker keeps rejecting his short stories, his parents won’t give him any more money and the city, the huge cold place it can be, is slowly driving him mad. His friends won’t talk to him and his girlfriend is almost fed up with him. Will he have the courage to stay and fight or will he thumb a ride and disappear?

J D Salinger’s estate, having found the manuscript in a closet, hope the big five publishers will become involved in a bidding war for the rights and have stated that: “This is exactly what J D Salinger would have wanted. He loved Caulfield and this book shows the growth of the character. Salinger was a very out going person and loved to make himself available to the public.” Expected to be released mid July 2015.

2. Prequel to All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

This novel set in the years before World War One focuses again on the life of Paul Bäumer. This manuscript to be titled, A Happy Youth, focuses on Baumer’s childhood and the experiences of being a boy growing up in pre-war Germany. A much lighter and happier novel we get to know the boy who became the soldier. Ignored by his parents, Baumer experiences adventures in his home town and nearby forest, one day finding a man who has hanged himself in a milking shed the boy is forced to confront the harsh separation between youthful joy and adult trauma. The novel traces his life up the point where a teacher urges him to join the German Army, in order that he might see action ‘before the war ends at Christmas.’

3. Sequel to Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell. 

Titled Nineteen Eighty Five, revisit the zany and whacky antics of Airstrip One in Oceania. Visit Winston Smith as he struggles to find love and a hiding spot. Think Catch-22 meets Slaughterhouse-five. This novel has a mixture of darkness and magic, having been co-authored by Stephen King and J K Rowling.

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My debut novel The Bomber is set to be released June 24th 2015 with Pen Name Publishing.

Please visit http://www.pennamepublishing.com

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Why literature at all?

To me the most important part of literature is that it promotes empathy. I am not the most empathetic person in the world. When I walk through shopping centres and some person purposely walks at me or bumps my arm that can make me really angry. Almost to the point of fighting with people, physically.

I turn to literature not just to escape the hellish nightmare that is human society, but also to try and expand my ability to put myself in other people’s shoes. It is very easy to become angry at people. It is very easy to discriminate against people because of the way they look, the color of their skin, their sex, their sexual orientation, their political views the list goes on and on, but if a person can educate themselves and learn where others come from it makes it much easier to not only tolerate other people but accept them.

A man refuses to move over in a crowded space and tries to bump you with his shoulder, a woman with a shaved head pushes in front of you, a car cuts you off in traffic, all these things can very easily make me very angry and judgemental, but it would be a different story if I knew the man has had severe problems with bullying in his childhood, the woman was sexually assaulted as a child and the driver of the car has just been told they have cancer. All these backstories would explain to me why these people are acting they way they are and would help me not to lose my temper. It is of course impossible to know everyones story in real life, but in novels, I am able to discover that everyone is facing a battle, that life is hard and that people from other walks of life, from other cultures, from other neighborhoods are not as different from me as I first thought.

Another reason I turn to literature is that great stories let me know that I am not alone, my problems have been faced by others before and here are some ways to or ways not to face the problems. I was in a book store today and I picked up Catcher in the Rye. It is one of my favorite books and when ever I see it I pick it up and it instantly takes my back to when I was 15 and I read it for the first time. I read along the “all that David Copperfield crap” line and again I am a young man reading about a young man who is having real problems.   I remember being excited to finally find a voice that told me: here it is, here are those feelings, I am having them to… Just today I stood in the book store and I smiled because Holden was talking to me again and I was a teenager again. He is my friend and here he is as fresh and funny as ever.Only a few books can do that.

I tried like hell to make something like this in my debut novel ‘The Bomber’ I wanted to make a voice that was so unique but also faced the same problems of loneliness, anger, revenge and love that we all experience at different points of our lives. Literature is the most powerful of all art forms.

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