From " An occasional series in which The Post's book critic reconsiders notable and/or neglected books from the past." (This is a pretty good series, we usually learn a lot from Yardley).
Anyways, turns out Yardley absolutely HATES the book. One thing he claims is it may have invented adolescence as we know it today. Is that true, or was the book more a product of its times? It is certainly a book that appeals mostly to teenagers: you read it in 9th grade and think it's great but read it at 25 and it seems pretty silly.
Yardley says "The Old Man and the Sea" is also a terrible book. But he doesn't say why it's so bad, which is a shame because we'd like to hear more. We had to read this book in school and didn't like it that much, but knew it was supposed to be really good and Hemingway is a genius and all that. Maybe we were right all along!
J.D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, Aging Gracelessly (Washington Post)