has been listed as one of the best novels of the 20th century. For , James Stern wrote a negative review of the book, while Nash K. Burger called it "an unusually brilliant novel". George H. W. Bush called it "a marvelous book", listing it among the books that have inspired him. In June 2009, the 's Finlo Rohrer wrote that, 58 years since publication, the book is still regarded "as the defining work on what it is like to be a teenager. Holden is at various times disaffected, disgruntled, alienated, isolated, directionless, and sarcastic." considers it one of the "three perfect books" in American literature, along with and , and believes that "no book has ever captured a city better than captured New York in the forties".


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