J.D. Salinger (*1919)

Jerome David Salinger is an American novelist and short story writer, whose reputation is primarily based on his novel 'The Catcher in the Rye' (1951). In it he portrays an adolescent schoolboy, called Holden Caulfield. He seems to be dissatisfied with everything and everybody around him, except for maybe his little sister Phoebe. Holden is so well described in his 'protest attitude' that even young people of the late 60s or even of today can easily identify with him.
'The Catcher in the Rye' is a sad and a humorous novel at the same time and one whose humour is so subtle that the reader constantly finds himself smiling, not bursting into laughter, though. It is one of my favourite books. Just to give you some idea of Holden's humour, I quote some lines from the novel which deal with a former student of Pencey Prep School, who now is an undertaker, called Ossenburger:
'He (Ossenburger) told us (the students) we ought to think of Jesus as our buddy and all. He said he talked to Jesus all the time. Even when he was driving his car. I (Holden) can just see the big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs.' Holden loves exposing people and their lies.

Recommended literature:

amazon.de The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger

Useful notes can be found in:

amazon.de Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye (Cliffs Notes)
S.P. Baldwin

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