The Catcher in the Rye

I knew nothing at all about the plot of The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger before reading it. Turns out there really isn’t much of one to speak of. This book is often included on lists of books that are considered essential reads, and after reading it, I can’t figure out why. The author certainly captured a unique tone and voice which underscores the disease of youth that makes every teenager believe they know everything there is to know. Holden Caulfield is the main character/narrator, and his know-it-all arrogance coupled with his inflated sense of self-importance make him a largely unsympathetic character as he gives details of what amounts to the extended temper tantrum of a petulant, entitled brat. The novel is certainly authentically original, and credit must be given for a work that can rouse such a visceral ire and disdain for a fictional character, but taking all things into account; it’s not a journey I’ll bother taking again.

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