The highly successful Catcher is J. D. Salinger's only published novel. It is narrated by seventeen-year-old Holden Caulfield, a schoolboy in rebellion against the dubious values of the adult world.
In 1949, while "recovering" in a California sanitorium, 17-year-old Holden relates events that occurred during three December days in 1948--when he was sixteen. Within this part of the story, Holden frequently flashes back to experiences and people from earlier in his life.
Much like Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, Catcher could be described as an American Bildungsroman: a picaresque novel that illustrates the moral development and attitudes of its nonconformist protagonist.