Holden Caulfield is the most loving, caring, beautiful person I have ever come across. He criticizes the bad, hypocritic, inhuman ("phony") aspects of human nature, but is constantly falling in love with the truth and beauty that people exhibit. He's in so much pain and is so depressed, and yet he still has an overwhelming desire to save others. He is a saint. I think that anyone who has read this book and did not like it (like me, the first time I read it) must either be too immature to understand it or must be looking in all the wrong places for something that doesn't exist in Catcher in the Rye. To anyone reading it for the first time, forget everything you've ever heard about it. Just sit back, read, and analyze for yourself everything that Holden says and feels. I've found that people who are like the "phonies" that Holden criticizes are too caught up in hating Holden for his depression and confusion that they don't listen to the real messages in the novel. It is important to see Holden's profound love for humanity, as well as his pain, underneath his professed hatred. Anyway, do what you want. But I'll say that, if you're not interested in what it means to be human, you might want to consider reading something else.