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Franny and Zooey Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1991
This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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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.
Top customer reviews
Franny: Young Franny Glass has a terrible time visiting her long distance boyfriend.
Zooey: The youngest two Glass children discuss theology, their irritability with others, and the beauty of all things.
The two stories contained in this small volume of 203 pages deals with the fictional Glass family. Francis (nicknamed "Fanny") is a beautiful young coed. The story concerns her being invited to spend a football weekend at an Ivy League campus for the Yale game. She meets with Lane her boyfriend and collapses with a nervous stomach. There is much more going on under the surface! Franny is disgusted by the egotism and shallow learning which goes on in college. She is seeking wisdom as she delves into a Russian book about a pilgrim seeking how to pray in the manner advised by Paul in his Thessalonians letters. Saliniger is adept at rapid fire dialogue. The action takes place in the mind of the reflective Fanny.
Zooey is one of the seven Glass siblings raised by a family of American-Irish former vaudeville stars. he and his mother Bessie have a long discussion on literature and philosophy. Zooey seeks to help Franny work through her depressive mood and disillusionment about life.
Both stories subtly assail the shallowness and quest for material comforts endemic in modern society. The stories also reflect Salinger's religious quest.
Both stories are considered classics and come from the pen of one of America's most famous twentieth century authors.
Salinger's best can be found in "Franny and Zooey."
Sure, Franny is a histrionic drama-queen, and Zooey is a megalomaniacal, friendless jerk, who treats everyone around him as second-rate, but by the book's end, you understand how their childhoods (or lack thereof) have molded them this way.
Franny has a sort of nervous breakdown, and she decides that reciting "The Jesus Prayer," as prescribed in a little book called "Journey of the Pilgrim," will eventually grant her peace. Her know-it-all brother, Zooey, lays into her, telling her that if she's going to pray "The Jesus Prayer," she needs to understand who Jesus was, and not picture Him as St. Francis of Assisi, somebody's grandmother, and their dead eldest brother, Seymour, rolled up into one. There are lots of philosophies and religious doctrines batted around, but it all boils down to a difficult brother caring for his difficult sister.
I've read this book ten times, at least, and the most satisfying have been when I read all the Zooey lines aloud. (Yes, this must confuse the hell out of my neighbors, but the dialogue is so strong and rich, that it cries out to be heard and spoken, not just read silently.)
Try "Franny and Zooey." If you can forgive the two title characters, you'll find a rich and rewarding read.