Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: For Esme - with Love and Squalor
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HALL OF FAMEon March 17, 2006
For 'Esme with Love and Squalor' is one of Salinger's best stories. It also appears in his first collection of stories called 'Nine Stories.'

It tells the story of an American G.I. who for one part of the story is in Devon England where he is in training. On one lonely day off he goes into a tea-room and meets an English child and her small brother. Her name is 'Esme' and she is a precocious beautiful and sensitive child with whom the G.I. has a friendly, and somewhat from his point- of- view ironic conversation. The language is pure Salingerese. The little brother acts up and is chided by his sister. He recites a riddle , : What did one wall say to another" and hilariously gives the answer "Meet you at the corner" When the soldier returns the answer at his asking another time he gets upset. But at parting the soldier asks him the question and the little boy gets his spirit back by again giving the answer. More important the soldier and the little girl in some way assauge each other's loneliness. She is lonely for her father who has been lost in the war. He is lonely, lonely.

The scene then changes to an Army headquarters in the heart of the European theatre. The same soldier is on the verge of breakdown when he receives a letter from Esme , which somehow brings him back to a sense that there is something beautiful, whole , humane in the world, something worth living for.

The story of course must be read to be felt truly. My summary is poor. It is such a beautiful story.

I truly suggest you read it. "It will make you laugh. It will make you cry. And you will never forget it."
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on May 3, 2008
Excellent book of short stories. Here's the deal as I understand it. This title was the English name for the book, "Nine Stories" because of the popularity of the Esme story in England. Either book is the same. Classic Salinger. His last long story published only in the New Yorker, is available on the New Yorker DVD collection which is very cheap online these days. Google it. Ciao.
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on November 24, 2013
This is exactly the same book as Nine Stories, which was on the same order! I did not understand this - I don't think many people would.
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on March 25, 2014
After seeing a program on PBS about Salinger, I decided to revisit some of work. I had never read For Esme etc and now wish I was in a book club or literature class to really dig into the stories in this book. Salinger's writing is the kind of work that stays with you and you continue to think about it and want to re-read it. I don't think of Salinger as an "exceptional" author, like Hemingway or Faulkner, but it is certainly very deep.
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on August 15, 2007
As far as I can tell (based on a quick google search), this book has exactly the same contents as "Nine Stories." I highly recommend "Nine Stories," but I'm not sure why the publisher felt the need to re-release it under a different title. I would give it 5 stars, but it loses one for potentially misleading customers. Perhaps they wanted to capitalize on the buzz surrounding the band We Are Scientists, who released an album called "With Love and Squalor"?
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on January 24, 2014
I see many people were more concerned with the alternate title of this collection than with the content. Whatever it is called, this has been my favorite collection of short by anyone, ever. A Perfect Day for Bananafish got me hooked on Salinger in general and the Glass family in particular. Lush reading!
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on April 21, 2016
Great book of short stories. Love the author and all of his work. durable book. enjoy J.D's books and all of his works.
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on June 10, 2016
OVERLOOKED BOOK FRM A NO LONGER RELEVANT, ENJOYABLE AUTHOR OF THE 20TH CENTURY. A REREADABLE BOOK
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on January 30, 2014
This is one of the nine short stories in the a book already published. You won't need to buy this as a separate item if you have the nine stories book.
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on August 24, 2014
Never read any of any J.D> Salinger's books till I saw biography about him on PBS. Enjoyed his writing and never read any books by him till now.
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