There was a time when the book [Catcher in the Rye] was in every backpack alongside Kerouac's "On the Road" as textbooks for how to be a young rebel.
Both Salinger's and Kerouac's examples of rebelliousness can seem a bit tame in today's culture of extreme everything, but they both hit a chord that still speaks today to those who would listen to their message and not get hung up on cultural specifics.
I am sad to say that I've never read Catcher in the Rye, although I plan to begin rectifying that as soon as I finish Atlas Shrugged, which should be tomorrow.
I think Catcher was "required" reading at some point in high school, but somehow I avoided it. That was part of how, to my own detriment, my rebellious streak manifested: refusing to read when I was told I "had to." So, now, in my later years, I've become obsessed with Kerouac, who, like Salinger, I'd never read until well into middle age; I'm currently reading Ayn Rand's incredibly dense tome; and, I'm anticipating with relish finding out just who was this Holden Caulfield character, why he was out in a rye field, and what in the Hell he was catching.
P.S. If you want to read a poem I wrote about Salinger, check out my other blog here.