Catcher in the Rye is definitely not the only effective book I’ve read by JD Salinger, but it was the first. It’s honesty and human-ness shocked me as a child accustomed to reading fairy tales. I was too young to read it then but when I re-read it in high school I understood. People argue (people who don’t like Salinger’s frankness) that Catcher In the Rye was extreme and that it had no moral message; but it did. Every time I read it I discovered nuances that I’d missed and I related to Holden even more.
After a while Catcher In the Rye became “that book”. The one that people who wanted to impress friends that were more versed in literature than themselves used to try to show that they are well read. It became the book that you either loved or hated and the people who loved it were accused of being “phonies” and the people who hated it were told they were blind.
Whatever the truth is about the reader, the truth about the author remains the same; he had an exact view of the human condition and he executed it perfectly in Catcher in the Rye, so much so that it wounded people and extorted from them who they truly were. Everyone can be described partly, if not completely by a character in that book and everyone can relate. I just wish most took the time to read more than that one book, because even though it was momentous; it wasn’t all.
JD Salinger was a gift that kept on giving in the writing world. He will be missed.
People never notice anything. – Salinger – Catcher In the Rye