Thursday, July 29, 2021

Top ten stories about bored teenagers

John Patrick McHugh is from Galway. His work has appeared in Banshee, Granta, Stinging Fly, Tangerine and Winter Papers.

Pure Gold is his debut story collection.

At the Guardian McHugh tagged ten "works that explore how the sublime can arise from the dull reality of being a teenager." One title on the list:
The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (1951)

Poor aul Holden, eh? The quintessential sulky teenager who is already bored with life. The story of his striking back against the phonies while meandering around New York is well known. While not Salinger’s finest work – I’d have Franny and Zooey above it – it is a brilliantly sad and nuanced portrait of a troubled and traumatised, and kind, soul. And how good is that scene with the sex worker Sunny?
Read about another entry on the list.

The Catcher In The Rye appears on A.F. Brady's list of seven literary anti-heroes who expose the dark side of NYC, Liz Phair's ten desert island books list, Brian Boone's list of five great novels that will probably never be made into movies, Natalie Zutter's list of nine classic YA books ripe for some creative genderbending of the main characters, Lance Rubin's top ten list of books with a funny first-person narrator, Andy Griffiths's list of five books that changed him, Chris Pavone's list of five books that changed him, Gabe Habash's list of the 10 most notorious parts of famous books, Robert McCrum's list of the 10 best books with teenage narrators, Antoine Wilson's list of the 10 best narrators in literature, A.E. Hotchner's list of five favorite coming-of-age tales, Jay McInerney's list of five essential New York novels, Woody Allen's top five books list, Patrick Ness's top 10 list of "unsuitable" books for teenagers, David Ulin's six favorite books list, Nicholas Royle's list of the top ten writers on the telephone, TIME magazine's list of the top ten books you were forced to read in school, Tony Parsons' list of the top ten troubled males in fiction, Dan Rhodes' top ten list of short books, and Sarah Ebner's top 25 list of boarding school books; it is one of Sophie Thompson's six best books. Upon rereading, the novel disappointed Khaled Hosseini, Mary Gordon, and Laura Lippman.

--Marshal Zeringue