8 Novels About Adolescence for Adults

Teenagers through the eyes of adults

Great as it is, perhaps our copies of The Catcher in the Rye have become too well thumbed. As the narrator in Frank Portman’s King Dork says, “…the main guy is a misfit kid superhero named Holden Caulfield. For teachers he is the ultimate guy… They all want to have sex with him, and with the book's author too, and they’d probably even try to do it with the book itself if they could figure out a way to go about it.”

So here are 8 other books about adolescence. Bukowski portrays his alter-ego's formative years without ever flinching; Cormac McCarthy heaps worlds of trouble on a sixteen-year-old cowboy; Alan Warner paints the exploits of rebel choir girls in glorious, bold colours. Each is a brave, individual take on the pain and thrills of that eye-opening, spot-popping, heart-aching stretch. Maybe Holden is getting a wee bit old after all...

All the Pretty Horses cover

1. All the Pretty Horses

Cormac McCarthy

2. King Dork

Frank Portman
Less Than Zero cover

3. Less Than Zero

Bret Easton Ellis

4. Ham on Rye

Charles Bukowski
This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolff

5. This Boy's Life

Tobias Wolff
The Anatomy School

6. The Anatomy School

Bernard Maclaverty
panopticon cover

7. The Panopticon

Jenni Fagan
The Sopranos cover

8. The Sopranos

Alan Warner

List created by

Lewis Gordon
Lewis Gordon

Lewis Gordon is a writer and musician living in the Southside of Glasgow. He has played bass guitar with Jon Fratelli, Texas and Deacon Blue. Published by Vagabond Voices in September 2014, his first novel Sheep and Goats is about faith, sex, friendship and teenage punk bands. Find more at www.lewis-gordon.com.

Tags: Teenagers