The Catcher In The Rye by J.D. Salinger - Book Club Recommendation

"The Catcher In The Rye" by J.D. Salinger is a great book because it captures a moment in youth that I believe everyone experiences.

The narrator, Holden Caulfield, is a confused and lonely teenager. He's not quite sure how to grow up and doesn't seem to like what the adult world entails. But, he realizes the inevitable demise of his youth.

He struggles with his identity, juxtaposing it against the identities that society imposes upon him - the different yet pressing expectations of forces such as his parents, his teachers and the opposite sex.

Caught between his mistakes and these expectations, Holden despairs.

Set in New York City in the 1940s, "The Catcher in the Rye" paints a different and perhaps more innocent picture of the world. Yet despite the decades since the book's writing, the message remains poignant and utterly relatable.

I believe there's a little Holden in all of us, though perhaps without so many sharp edges. In the form of a misunderstood and middling teen, Holden Caulfield represents the human condition.

In addition to the personal echoes which draw me to read this book time and again, there are some funny moments scattered throughout the story.

These moments drive the reader even further in, reinforcing the notion that young Mr. Caulfield is a real person rather than a two-dimensional book character.

I would recommend this book to anyone - book club member or individual - not only as an American classic but as a rite of passage.

Note from Megan, Editor of The Book Club Guide

Thanks for the great review! What a good time to re-read this classic book with Salinger's recent passing bringing it back into the spotlight.

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