Yes, I know, this is the book that changed everyone's lives when they read it and how dare I, blah blah. Believe me, I heard it all.
The thing is, Holden's personality is what holds the whole book together. Now, I know many (many! believe me!) people who identify with Holden, and admire his struggle and need to rebel against a hypocritical society. And then there are people (like me) who can't fucking stand Holden. So the book falls apart for those people.
I read this book while I was in hospital, and to be honest, it was a very dark time for me and I wasn't really sure I was going to make it, but you guys have no idea how trivial, how ridiculously spoiled and self-absorbed Holden Caulfield seems to someone who reads him while going through some serious shit. I was supposed to be fighting for my life but I took moments aside to wish for his life to end!
So, if you like this book, great! I'm always happy when people like books, even books I dislike, and I can't fault J.D. Salinger's writing in any way, it's Holden's character I hate. So this is one of those books that always makes me go, "Really?" but I understand that it's one that will have a different impact on the reader, depending on what place he or she is in life.