J. D. Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye" is a very simple story about a misfit with such a horrible attitude about life that he ends up in the psycho ward. This is a very depressing book about a misanthrope whose bitter, cynical attitude about life becomes self-destructive. Holden Caulfield's main appeal is that he's bluntly honest about himself. He admits that he's a liar. He admits that he's hopelessly lonely and wishes he were dead. A lot of what Holden says may actually sound appealing. He is observant, philosophical, and whimsical. He even has a soft, compassionate side. Instead of being a hero, Holden Caulfield comes to realize that he is nothing but a loser. The only way a loser can succeed is by doing something atrocious. The misfit who murdered John Lennon was infatuated by this book. After reading this book, you may want to take on something a bit more substantial. Nelson Donley's "Life Ain't Kind" is the next step up.