Page last updated at 00:06 GMT, Thursday, 2 July 2009 01:06 UK

US judge bans 'Rye' book sequel

JD Salinger in 1951
JD Salinger has also refused filming rights for his famous novel

A US judge has banned publication of a book promoted as a sequel to JD Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye.

US District Judge Deborah Batts ruled that Swedish author Fredrik Colting's novel too closely mirrored Mr Salinger's 1951 classic.

Mr Salinger brought the lawsuit against Mr Colting, with his lawyers calling the book a "rip-off pure and simple".

Mr Colting claims his book, featuring a character based on Salinger's hero, is a literary commentary not a sequel.

But Judge Batts, in her 37-page ruling issued in Manhattan, said the main character in Mr Colting's novel - Mr C - was "an infringement" on Mr Salinger's main character, Holden Caulfield.

She said the Swedish author's claim that he also wrote the book to critically examine the character Holden Caulfield, was "problematic and lacking in credibility".

The judge said Mr Colting had "taken well more from 'Catcher', in both substance and style, than is necessary for the alleged transformative purpose of criticising Salinger and his attitudes and behaviour".

She issued a preliminary injunction, indefinitely banning the publication, advertising or distribution of the book in the US. The book has already been published in the UK.

Restraining order

In June, Judge Batts issued a 10-day restraining order before ruling on whether to grant Salinger's legal request to ban publication of Mr Colting's book in the US.

Mr Salinger, 90, who has health problems and has led a reclusive life, was not present at the hearing last month.

But the Swedish author's lawyer, Edward Rosenthal, had told the court in New York that his client's book was "not about what happened to Holden Caulfield but it is about JD Salinger trying to deal with this character".

The Catcher in the Rye, first published in 1951, is a tale of adolescent alienation and has become one of the most influential American novels of the modern era.

The novel sees Caulfield wandering around New York and railing against the establishment, following his expulsion from boarding school.

Mr Colting's novel sees 76-year-old Mr C - who the author has admitted is based on Caulfield - escape from a retirement home and head to New York.

Both books end near a carousel in Central Park.



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