Book Review : The Catcher In The Rye - J D Salinger****
"In 1981, it was both the most censored book and the second most taught book in public schools in the United States."
That fact sums up the protagonist Holden Caulfield, he may have become an icon of teenage angst and rebellion, but what is he angry about and rebelling against ? Salinger's creation is both very clever and unlikeable, the boy's inner thoughts are nihilistic and aggravating, he sees almost everything as being false and shallow, phony, but he himself likes, enjoys and loves almost nothing, save perhaps his younger sister.
The book still has resonance for teenagers today, I can remember having some of the feelings that Holden Caulfield has, the fear of growing up and accepting your adulthood being expressed in disdain for and a lack of appreciation of other people and their likes and opinions.
Caulfield's opinions about other people are neatly exposed when his younger sister challenges him to find a single thing that he loves or enjoys doing, and he can find nothing of consequence.
The basis of Caulfield's loathing and prejudices are not fully explored but are alluded to at the end of the book when it appears he is residing in a mental institution of some sort, which in turns calls in to doubt whether he was just an angry young man, or whether there was some medical problem underlying his perception of the world around him.