Catcher in the Rye

Sun 20 March 2011 by Thejaswi Puthraya

"The Catcher in the Rye" is J.D Salinger's novel that depicts teen turmoil through the story of the protagonist, Holden Caulfield. Holden is a student of Pencey prep school and just like in his earlier schools has been kicked out for failing all his subjects.

The book starts off at this point and Holden has a few days before the Christmas vacation begins and informing his parents of his expulsion. He decides to spend these days catching up with friends and acquaintances at New York rather than with his "superficial" friends at school or at home only to aggravate his ailing mother's condition. The rest of the story is about the lonely and confused teenager's misadventures in the city.

"The Catcher in the Rye" wonderfully portrays rebellion, depression and crude language, generally associated with teens. While reading the book, you feel that it was written by the author in his teens but you'll be surprised to know that Salinger wrote it at 32! What makes the book even more fascinating is that even after 60 years, it is still timeless and appeals to global readers.

While many who recommended the book claimed it was inspirational, I didn't find it so. I loved it for the writing style and the characterizations. The justification for the title is apparent only in the last chapter and the ending is subdued and left open for interpretations. This book is a must read even if you are not a teen and you will not regret reading it.