I definitely heard echoes of Holden Caulfield as I read this book. Tyler is a modern young person with some issues trying to make sense of the world. He tries portray himself as normal by mimicking the characters in movies and TV shows that he is obsessed with.
He also uses chemicals to help him do that.
Anderson’s main character tell us his story. It’s a unique one while hitting the anxiety that we felt as young people (not that you will not identify if you are not so young). Tyler feels like he is a fraud and is more comfortable with failure due to his childhood. He finds himself doing terrible things to continue his failure. I found the way Anderson let us into Tyler’s head through first person and then had him be a reliable narrator well done.
Anderson also did well with his dialogue and inner monologue. The language and the events of family time with the girlfriend’s family was dead on.
Tyler cynicism reveals the craziness that our modern society has become- from casual sex to foreign policy. To me a literary novel searches the depth of human experience while revealing the condition of society as it truly exists. Anderson does both well.