“Suppose a vast number of civilizations are distributed throughout the universe, on the order of the number of detectable stars. Lots and lots of them. Those civilizations make up the body of a cosmic society. Cosmic sociology is the study of the nature of this super-society” (p 12).
Holden is a grieving young man unable to cope with his brother’s death and much like Quentin Compson in The Sound and the Fury, we watch a sixteen-year-old Holden as he indirectly contemplates suicide over the course of a few days.