The (in)famous story of Holden Caulfield’s descent into delinquency, credited with inspiring murder (of John Lennon) and attempted murder (Ronald Reagan, amongst others) and, more trivially, of bringing the word “phony” to prominence, as well as being too frank in its use of swearing and sexual references for some tastes.
The title relates to Holden imagining himself in a field of young children playing tag, catching them lest they get too near to a cliff (a metaphor for descent into the depravity of adulthood).
Holden rejects his privileged background (though not for any great philosophical reason, however much he might try to dress it up as such) and runs away from his prep school when he is expelled. He drifts through the seedy side of life for a couple of days before feeling pulled homeward to his sister and then a teacher. He doesn’t fit in either world.
The specific events are less important than the insight into Holden’s troubled adolescent mind, though it’s clear his memory is selective at best and probably partly fabricated.
It may be a seminal book, but I didn’t actually enjoy it very much.