Why did I love this book?
I was 12 or 13 when I first read The Catcher in the Rye and I was gobsmacked.
It’s a work of fiction but it was obviously autobiographical because it was so intimately detailed and genuinely rendered. It was like eavesdropping on someone’s psychiatric sessions, the narrative of a patient who holds nothing back from his doctor.
In Holden’s voice I heard so much of myself including a contempt for phoniness as well as a reluctance to enter adulthood. Holden doesn’t hold back on embarrassing details: an encounter with a prostitute and her pimp that goes wrong, and just before his breakdown, he lets you know he suffers from the most unpleasant of intestinal disorders.
The honesty of this book makes it both deeply sad and terribly funny and let me know someone else was like me.