Chosen by Suzy
A native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days
⚈ “Although The Catcher in the Rye caused considerable controversy when it was first published in 1951, the book—the account of three disoriented days in the life of a troubled sixteen-year-old boy—was an instant hit. Within two weeks after its release, it was listed number one on The New York Times best-seller list, and it stayed there for thirty weeks.
“It remained immensely popular for many years, especially among teenagers and young adults, largely because of its fresh, brash style and anti-establishment attitudes—typical attributes of many people emerging from the physical and psychological turmoil of adolescence.
“It also was the bane of many parents, who objected to the main character’s obscene language, erratic behaviour, and antisocial attitudes. Responding to the irate protests, numerous school and public libraries and bookstores removed the book from their shelves. Holden simply was not a good role model for the youth of the 1950s, in the view of many conservative adults. The clamour over the book undoubtedly contributed to its popularity among the young: It became the forbidden fruit in the garden of literature.”
I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I’d do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.
⚈ “I have read this book every 2-3 years since I was a teenager and Holden Caulfield is still one of my all-time favourite anti-heroes. Many of the book’s characters & their traits are so recognisable. I heart you Holden, although it worries me that as I get closer to 40 years old I still find you so relatable xx.” – Suzy
⚈ “An advantage of reading a classic some decades after it’s been written is the ability to recognise the influence said work has had on many modern day novels. Felt like I had known this story all my life and absorbed it fully and willingly. I especially enjoyed the use of time and timelessness. Holden wanders through the hours without the normal human requirements for sleeping and eating, Rather the world is revolving around him (as every teenager of every generation feels it should!) and I felt pulled into his dreamy world. A must read.” – Rachel
⚈ “A classic for good reason, loved it!” – Nadine
Little Brown & Co