Some years ago, i was at MATRIX event to discuss a book called The Catcher In The Rye. Many people who were into literature were discussing. I had not read the book then but i remember, everyone who had read the book then, were on two opposite pole. Either They loved it, or they hated it with all their heart. But yes, no one was left from the charm. The book made them love or hate. No one was in middle. And i wondered why this book The Catcher in the Rye was banned.
So, i finished this book last night. It is gripping, although it does not offer any thriller or erotic stuff. When i was reading the book, i felt as if J. D. Salinger did not make any effort to write. i imagined him 19 years old writing whatever is coming to his mind. Unfiltered with the opinion and ways of the world, unaffected with the rituals, customs. Uncensored; Pure thought of 18 year old. And since Salinger wrote uncensored, people have to censor it. they banned it. When somebody wants to do whatever comes to his mind, he has two options, get banned or be anonymous. It should not be a surprise that most of the answers/questions on quora is anonymous. I doubt quora would have been such a cult if there would not have been any option of anonymous.
So, Salinger wrote account of three days of a 18 year old. If you are young, sharing background of Holden, the book should not offer anything new. Yes, it will surprise you that in 1951, teens were much the same as they are today. Having same thought, hating phony people, questioning the education system, hating the speech of teachers, feeling like yawning when someone is teaching you what you should be doing now and how you are wasting your life. There is an incident in the story, Holden calls a prostitute. She gets undressed and Holden asks him if she can just talk to him for a while. Reader feels that Holden just need someone who can listen to him, rather than teaching him, rather than telling life lesson. Holden feels that someone should understand him. And everyone fails. His family, his teacher, his friends, his girl friend. He goes to telephone booth, try to contact people whom he think, will comfort him. And everyone fails.
I personally liked the book, because it speaks mind of 18 years old; cutting across time, place and language.