The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Holden Caulfield is a seventeen-year-old dropout who has just been kicked out of his fourth school, in 1950s New York. Precocious, sensitive and confused, he blunders through a haze of teenage failures, disappointments and anti-climaxes and delivers to the reader a bitter-sweet, biting commentary on all the 'phony' aspects of society and the 'phonies' themselves. Through his direct first-person narrative emerges one of the most touching, funny and nuanced portrayals of the confusions and frustrations of youth that exists in the literature of the English language, and a sparky and colloquial style that influenced generations of writers afterwards.
Innovative and revolutionary for its time, The Catcher in the Rye is as much a testament to and reflection of that time and its frustrations as it is a timeless and universal reflection on life, disillusionment, and growing up.