Themes of light-hearted humour contrast with the more depressing and thought-provoking in this modern coming of age novel.
The book begins at the end of Holden’s school life and extends to his few days he spends ‘bumming around’ in New York. he meets many people, like taxi drivers, nuns and a prostitute, but none have time to listen to what he has to say.
Holden is troubled, troubled by life and its peculiar ways but his attempts at talking to old school friends and strangers never gets him anywhere but alone, again. He eventually starts talking to his little sister, who is 10 years old, which is a wonderful part of the novel as she, unlike the rest of the world, is willing to listen. She may not understand it all but she listens, she cares, and that is what’s so beautiful about this novel and why every teenager and adult should read it. As an adult it will take you back to your school days and the atmosphere of that and as a teenager you will most likely empathise with his feelings and perhaps discover a way of thinking you had never considered.
I was transfixed by the first page and I didn’t put it down the day I read it, eating very little and rarely making more mugs of coffee. I just needed to know what and where our protagonist, 17 year old Holden Caulfield, was going to explore next.