Reading Log: The November Criminals (Sam Munson)

I loved Catcher in the Rye when I first read it as a teenager. And, perhaps improbably to those who don’t know me well, I loved it even more as an adult. So I wanted to love The November Criminals, Sam Munson’s obvious homage to—and in some manner an update of—Salinger’s still controversial classic. But outside the occasional witticism or insight from Addison Schacht, the would-be Holden Caulfield of this excessively long and tedious novel (none of which are credible coming from him), there’s nothing here to love. Or hate. Or care even a little about. Munson even managed to make the parents of Schacht’s murdered classmate both unrealistic and unsympathetic. Perhaps the only interesting feature of the novel is the framing device that is revealed toward, but not nearly closely enough to, the end of the book…a meager dessert after a forgettable meal.

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