“Catcher In The Rye” by J. D. Salinger

The ultimate teenage book of angst and disaffection, this book is a glimpse into the life of student Holden Caulfield, who after just being expelled from school, takes the opportunity to spend a few days away from home and school, and consider his life and future.

This is one of those books that I’d always meant to read, but never quite got round to it, so when it came up on the Rory Gilmore book challenge, it seemed a good opportunity to make a start on it. Written in an informal manner, it reads like an intimate conversation with the author, full of the contemporary slang of the period. Holden is a disaffected youth, still mourning the loss of his brother, and making that transition from adolescence to adulthood.

There isn’t really a plot as such, the book is more of a snapshot of a few days in Holden’s life, albeit a few days when he considers the state of his life and shares his thoughts with the reader. It means the story doesn’t have a defined beginning or conclusion, and doesn’t provide any resolution, but I felt it left me with enough insight to make my own conclusions as to where Holdens’ life would go in the future.

It’s not a bad book, and I can completely understand how this book talks to teenagers, and still continues to, but I still didn’t enjoy it. I suspect I came to it too late, and have long since put the confusion and disdain of my youth behind me, and couldn’t quite connect with Holden as a character.

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