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Franny and Zooey Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1991

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"Single, Carefree, Mellow" by Katherine Heiny
This wonderful debut is superbly accomplished, endlessly entertaining, and laugh-out-loud funny. Don't miss it! See more
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Franny and Zooey + Nine Stories + Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (May 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316769495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316769495
  • Product Dimensions: 4.8 x 0.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (320 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Volume containing two interrelated stories by J.D. Salinger, published in book form in 1961. The stories, originally published in The New Yorker magazine, concern Franny and Zooey Glass, two members of the family that was the subject of most of Salinger's short fiction. Franny is an intellectually precocious late adolescent who tries to attain spiritual purification by obsessively reiterating the "Jesus prayer" as an antidote to the perceived superficiality and corruptness of life. She subsequently suffers a nervous breakdown. In the second story, her next older brother, Zooey, attempts to heal Franny by pointing out that her constant repetition of the "Jesus prayer" is as self-involved and egotistical as the egotism against which she rails. -- The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature

About the Author

J D Salinger was born in 1919. He grew up in New York City, and wrote short stories from an early age, but his breakthrough came in 1948 with the publication in The New Yorker of 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish'. The Catcher in the Rye was his first and only novel, published in 1951. It remains one of the most translated, taught and reprinted texts, and has sold some 65 million copies. It was followed by three other books of short stories and novellas, the most recent of which was published in 1963. He lives in Cornish, New Hampshire. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Very interesting writing as Salinger can do!
Carol L. Kearns
Putting the issue aside for a minute, I think it really is a good book, and I think that if you like salinger it's very good.
Franny and Zooey is an amazing novel by the great J.D. Salinger.
W. Lokke

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

146 of 154 people found the following review helpful By Guillermo Maynez on March 7, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book consists of two interrelated stories about members of the Glass family. These kids (seven of them if I remember well) are the children of a showbusiness family from New York and they used to be genius-kids who appeared on a radio show answering quizzes and philosophizing. Apparently the Glass kids had a special education in an ecumenical religiosity and philosophy, and their situation as whiz kids has led to emotional distress, much a-la Holden Caulfield but more illustrated. By the way, in terms of its central themes, this book could be said to be the closing of the full circle of Caulfield's story. The Glasses, just like Caulfield, are intelligent people, very frustrated with the inadequacies of life in general and the people who surround them. They are very neurotic in a New York way. They are angry because people aren't as intelligent as they should be, and because the ways of the world are not what reason and humanism tell us they should be. How to cope with it?

In the first story, Franny, a young college girl, arrives in New Haven (Yale) to be with her preppy and also intellectualizing boyfriend for a football weekend. They go to a cafe to have some food (and drinks and cigarettes). The story is simply the account of their talk. Salinger is one of the greatest masters of frenzied and fast dialogue, and it shows here. Franny is telling his boyfriend about all the phoniness of campus life, about the lunacy and presumptuosness of teachers and classmates. She tells him how she has read a book about a Russian monk who discovers a special Jesus prayer. If you repeat this prayer incessantly, it will become a part of you and repeat itself automatically, bringing you closer to grace and peace.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By K. Brown on September 28, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Many Salinger fans, upon reading Franny and Zooey, are quick to draw comparisons to Catcher In the Rye. That was exactly what I did the first time I read this novel nearly twenty five years ago; but after several years of lauding Franny and Zooey as the pinochle of Salinger's work, it dawned on me that while there are angry or confused youngsters who feel like societal misfits in each novel, they come from such different worlds that comparing the two stories is just, well... apples & oranges.

What made Franny and Zooey more endearing to me was the family dynamics. In contrast to Catcher in the Rye's focus on Holden Caulfield's unhappiness as an individual, the nervous breakdown that Franny Glass suffers early in the story has more to do with being a member of the Glass Family than it does her individual anxieties. And unlike Holden, who is coping in the larger world, Franny suffers as a shut-in at the home she grew up in.

I believe that most people who have dealt with well meaning but misguided families will find themselves drawn toward this story. The Glass Family is one of the finest examples of a large and dysfunctional family (before it was cool to be dysfunctional), with an emotionally charged but diverse collection of grown children dealing with the complexeties of their upbringing.

The story focuses equally on Franny and her older brother Zooey. They are two youngest children in the Glass Family, raised by their parents and older siblings on vaudeville style entertainment, philosophy and intelligentsia. While Franny's breakdown seems a mystery to her and paralyzes her emotions, Zooey is pent up with anger and well too aware of the emotional wreckage their upbringing has left the Glass offspring to clean up.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jordan on February 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Salinger's critics (including the honorable John Updike, jealous perhaps?) denounce Salinger's great love for his Glass Family. Others criticize the message of this novel, a transcendent,soaring message of hope and forgiveness. Maybe these traits are not popular with the traditionally cynical critic's circle, but the message and style of this novel have changed my life. These couple of stories are written so beautifully and subtley, while eliciting a strong, immediate emotional reaction in the reader. Franny is an extraordinary girl, but a universal enough character that I am continually able to identify with her and her struggles with sprituality and the phoniness of ego and self-centeredness. Salinger has encouraged me to start writing, to maybe convey some sort of simple truth through the written word. This book, like "Raise High.." and "Nine Stories," is mind bogglingly good. A masterpiece. Writer's should not be limited to the worldly, the material. Salinger dares to account for a greater force in our lives, and that's why we shine our shoes, even when we're on the radio.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By BrooklynDad on November 25, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I haven't read a Salinger book since Catcher in the Rye, which was 14 years ago. I wish I read this one sooner. As soon as I finished reading it, I flipped to the beginning and proceeeded to read it in its entirety a second time.
What we have is a thought provoking story with a cast of very interesting, colorful characters. It is a story of identity in a world of institutions: religious, educational, and family; each with their own values and agendas, and how the characters navigate and marry these systems of beliefs and simultaneously attempt to maintain a sense of self-integrity. It follows the story of Franny, a young female college student, amist a nervous breakdown, as she attempts to find meaning and an inner sense of balance in a world she views as being phoney. Later in the book we are introduced to her brother, Zooey, who, though extrememly intelligent, battles his own demons while attempting to help his sister deal with hers.
This book has a lot of depth and there are many, many ways to interpret various sections and their details, which is what makes it such a rich novel worth reading over and over again.
Although, whoever said this book is all about "love" in their review above, really missed the point of the entire book and IMHO has no inkling of an idea what they are talking about.
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More About the Author

Born in New York in 1919, Jerome David Salinger dropped out of several schools before enrolling in a writing class at Columbia University, publishing his first piece ("The Young Folks") in Story magazine. Soon after, the New Yorker picked up the heralded "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," and more pieces followed, including "Slight Rebellion off Madison" in 1941, an early Holden Caulfield story. Following a stint in Europe for World War II, Salinger returned to New York and began work on his signature novel, 1951's "The Catcher in the Rye," an immediate bestseller for its iconoclastic hero and forthright use of profanity. Following this success, Salinger retreated to his Cornish, New Hampshire, home where he grew increasingly private, eventually erecting a wall around his property and publishing just three more books: "Nine Stories," "Franny and Zooey," "Raise High the Roof Beam, and Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction." Salinger was married twice and had two children. He died of natural causes on January 27, 2010, in New Hampshire at the age of 91.

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