Thoughts on “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger

Holden Caulfield has been kicked out of multiple well-known boys’ schools. In fact, he begins his story just after he’s been expelled from Pencey, his latest, and is waiting out the final days of the term before Christmas holidays, when he will leave Pencey for good and return to New York City. One night, a few days before winter break begins, Holden decides he’s too “sad and lonesome” to wait the term out at Pencey. He packs his bags, gets on a train to New York, and spends the next few days killing time in the city, wandering from hotel to bar to museum, calling anyone he can think of, and avoiding his parents.

Holden’s voice is what made The Catcher in the Rye for me. It’s rambling and unfiltered and exaggerated, teeming with verbal idiosyncracies and reeking of Holden’s personality.