- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Back Bay Books (January 30, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316767727
- ISBN-13: 978-0316767729
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (322 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Nine Stories Paperback – January 30, 2001
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In the J.D. Salinger benchmark "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," Seymour Glass floats his beach mate Sybil on a raft and tells her about these creatures' tragic flaw. Though they seem normal, if one swims into a hole filled with bananas, it will overeat until it's too fat to escape. Meanwhile, Seymour's wife, Muriel, is back at their Florida hotel, assuring her mother not to worry--Seymour hasn't lost control. Mention of a book he sent her from Germany and several references to his psychiatrist lead the reader to believe that World War II has undone him.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Some feel that Catcher in the Rye is a YA book (I personally do not, but I am aware that many people do.) But if that were so, then Nine Stories are surely the adult version of Salinger. The political significance of these tales is still relevent today. If you are a Salinger fan don't miss this one. Also recommended for those interested in post WWII America , fans of the Beats and all rebels in general :)
He came back from WWII, and had seen enough. He stopped writing and became a New England recluse. He died just a couple of years ago.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a magnificent collection of mostly previously published short stories from an author in his prime.Read more