With regard to the novel itself, according to Finlo Rohrer the reasons behind the popularity and criticism of the book are because the Catcher in the Rye “captures existential teenage angst” and has a “complex central character” and “accessible conversational style” – while at the same time some readers may dislike the “use of 1940s New York vernacular”, “self-obsessed central character” and “too much whining.”
I have to admit, that I tend to fall in the latter category. I found myself wishing that Holden would just “get on with it.” Actually, very similar to my feelings about Hamlet. But I can at least say that I have some fondness with both because of the fencing.
Catcher in the Rye Author Salinger Dies