Best of: books for ages 14-18 #6: ‘Catcher in the Rye’ by J D Salinger
This is another teenage book that has, in time, become something of a cult classic. Published in 1951, and originally intended for an adult audience, it became popular with a younger audience, perhaps because of the protagonist, Holden Cauldfield, who is an angst-ridden teenager.
Following a stream-of-consciousness format, the novel doesn’t have what you’d normally consider a plot. In a lot of ways, it challenges what we expect from a novel.
Often considered one of the best books of the 20th century, it is easy to read, although is peppered throughout with American slang from its time, some of which is unfamiliar.
Too controversial for younger readers, it contains swearing and sexual references, and has been considered one of the defining works on teenaged rebellion. For this reason, it has been banned in many teaching environments. At times rambling, it is an accurate representation of someone writing without knowing what they want to say or how they want to say it. An important book for an important stage.
By the same author: Lots of short stories and a novel called ‘Franny and Zooey’.