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The war hangs over these wry stories of loss and occasionally unsuppressed rage. Salinger's children are fragile, odd, hypersmart, whereas his grownups (even the materially content) seem beaten down by circumstances--some neurasthenic, others (often female) deeply unsympathetic. The greatest piece in this disturbing book may be "The Laughing Man," which starts out as a man's recollection of the pleasures of storytelling and ends with the intersection between adult need and childish innocence. The narrator remembers how, at nine, he and his fellow Comanches would be picked up each afternoon by the Chief--a Staten Island law student paid to keep them busy. At the end of each day, the Chief winds them down with the saga of a hideously deformed, gentle, world-class criminal. With his stalwart companions, which include "a glib timber wolf" and "a lovable dwarf," the Laughing Man regularly crosses the Paris-China border in order to avoid capture by "the internationally famous detective" Marcel Dufarge and his daughter, "an exquisite girl, though something of a transvestite." The masked hero's luck comes to an end on the same day that things go awry between the Chief and his girlfriend, hardly a coincidence. "A few minutes later, when I stepped out of the Chief's bus, the first thing I chanced to see was a piece of red tissue paper flapping in the wind against the base of a lamppost. It looked like someone's poppy-petal mask. I arrived home with my teeth chattering uncontrollably and was told to go straight to bed." --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
Salinger is in my opinion the best all around writer published.... Please read; his style and message will change your life.Published 16 days ago by James Fox
A great collection of thought-provoking short stories from an American icon.Published 16 days ago by David Leader
The children of a large dual-denominational family react to and rebel against their strict, religious upbringing by lashing out in various ways throughout the precocious and... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Charles Scott
Writers and critics love to hate old J.D. Even dead, he is a threat because they are hunting for his unpublished stuff. But readers have loved that same stuff for 50 years now. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Aceto
This is a little bit full of surprises, but not big surprises, so it feels a little slow.Published 2 months ago by Desmond Lloyd
I started this book by reading the first story, Bananafish. It was an assignment for my English Class. I read this after I read Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Tina Liao
JD Salinger is an interesting guy! There's a documentary on him on Netflix. Watch it!Published 2 months ago by Edward J. Goldman