“This entire novel spins on the charm that Charlie carries. Immediately, I trusted him as a narrator because of the epistolary framework--it drew me into his confidences. I relied on his impressions and observations of others even though I had no clue of how twisted he was on the inside (until the final pages reveal the reason why). I thought he was intelligent because the books that his teacher, Bill, constantly fed his mind.
It is not fair to compare this to The Catcher in the Rye except only in the loose or general sense; yes, it is a coming-of-age story, but Holden Caulfield has a much sharper edge and Charlie doesn't; nor is the span comparable--Caulfield has a mad weekend but Charlie's matures over a school year.
For me, the best parts involved the characterizations. I sensed that I knew the people and could see and hear them.”