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Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger

Nine Stories (original 1953; edition 2001)

by J.D. Salinger

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9,05582331 (4.17)2 / 88
Title:Nine Stories
Authors:J.D. Salinger
Info:Back Bay Books (2001), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger (1953)

  1. 10
    Zen Poems (Everyman's Library Pocket Poets) by Peter Harris (hayfa)
    hayfa: If you liked "Teddy" I think you'll like this book. It's poetry by monks and it has all that sort of things that Teddy was talking about.

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English (74)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (82)
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Both short stories I read share a central theme of a soldier who is more comfortable conversing with a child than any adult.

"A Perfect Day for a Bananafish"
He is a soldier who strikes up a conversation with a young child on a Florida beach. The phone conversation his wife has with her mother early in the story indicates he is suicidal, although the reader doesn't clearly see this until the end. For that reason, it is worth rereading. Clues become clearer with a second read.
Line I liked, "She was a girl who for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing" (p 4).
"For Esme - with Love and Squalor"
He is a soldier who strikes up a conversation with a teenager in a restaurant. She is precocious and intelligent. Wise beyond her years. Through letters with Esme the soldier is able to cope with the squalor of war. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jun 6, 2016 |
There's something about Salinger's writing that really speaks to me. As was my experience with The Catcher in the Rye, I'll read something and then after taking a step back I'll realize how much of the story really sticks with me, and how much I like his way of writing. This is a short story collection, and definitely my favorite so far (haven't read many at all). I liked every single one, some I liked more than others (especially liked A perfect day for Banana fish and For Esme - with love and squalor), but even the ones I found less enjoyable to read - I ended up liking because of the way they stuck with me. I feel like what makes Salinger's writing so good is how he captures the everyday and mundane, but makes it into such an interest piece, one that really grabs that single moment. Like taking a photograph. If that makes any sense at all. Bottom line, I loved to read this and I'm very much looking forward to reading his other two books as well as collecting them all and eventually rereading them. ( )
  zombiehero | Mar 25, 2016 |
"A Perfect Day for Bananafish" is widely praised for its depiction of the shell-shocked Seymour and his failure to conform to postwar life.

It details a day spent on the beach by Seymour Glass as his wife, Muriel, spends her time in a hotel room talking to her mother about clothing and Seymour's post-traumatic stress disorder. He was paranoid of many obscure things, such as people staring at his feet. He would always wear a bathrobe on the beach because. He doesn't like people staring at his tattoo, even though he has none. He is not allowed to drive, because he never looks at the road; only the trees (possibly from fear of snipers). While on the beach, Seymour tells a story of the bananafish to a young girl named Sybil. Upon returning to the room occupied by his sleeping wife, he fires a bullet from an Ortgies caliber 7.65 automatic through his right temple.

Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut" is a short story by J. D. Salinger, which appears in his collection Nine Stories. The main character, Eloise, comes to terms with the life she has created for herself with her husband Lew. Her true love is Walt, whom she pines after for the majority of the story. "Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut" presents the story of Walt's death during his service in the navy from an explosion that occurred during the execution of questionably necessary orders from a superior, and a sideways glance at the way that Walt's death has affected Eloise's life.

The Laughing Man Every day, after the troop has completed its activities for the afternoon, The Chief gathers the boys for the next episode in an ongoing story he tells them about the eponymous Laughing Man. Very much in the format of a serial adventure novel, The Chief's story-within-a-story describes The Laughing Man as the child of missionaries but kidnapped by bandits in China, grotesquely deformed in his face and obliged to wear a mask, but profoundly athletic and possessed of a great Robin Hood-like charm and the ability to speak with animals.

For Esmé - with Love & Squalor" is a short story by J. D. Salinger. Originally published in The New Yorker on April 8, 1950, it was anthologized in Salinger's Nine Stories two years later (while the story collection's American title is Nine Stories, it is actually known as For Esmé - with Love & Squalor in most countries). For Esmé is an Army sergeant's (referred to only as Sergeant X) recollection of a meeting he had with a young girl, Esmé, before he was sent into combat. His strange but loving relationship with Esmé helps him to endure the squalor of war. Lack of purity and innocence in the adult world, love of childhood itself, and the power of words and writing are among the story's themes.

tale told in the most humorous of styles, "De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period" is the story of a talented, yet pretentious young man who moves to Montreal to become an instructor for a correspondence "art academy". To do so, he feels compelled to embellish his credentials with extravagant accomplishments and an overly-chummy relationship with Picasso. While sneering at the childish attempts of his talentless mail-order "pupils", he falls in love with the artistic beauty of a religious painting submitted to him by his sole pupil of promise: an ageless, faceless nun.

Teddy” is a short story by J. D. Salinger, originally published in the January 31, 1953, issue of The New Yorker and reprinted in Salinger’s 1953 collection, Nine Stories. The main character is Teddy McArdle, a ten-year-old child genius, who is returning home from England with his father, mother, and little sister. The story centers around Teddy’s conversations about religion and philosophy with a young grad student, Nicholson, on board the ship. The story is about the nature of existence and how cause and effect can lead to (sometimes) surprising conclusions.
  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
All of these are good, the one with Esme is unforgettable. ( )
  unclebob53703 | Feb 21, 2016 |
I hated the repetitiveness. I mean I hated the repetitiveness. A few stories were okay, though. But for the most part they were confusing to me. ( )
  jenn88 | Feb 14, 2016 |
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To Dorothy Olding and Gus Lobrano
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There were ninety-seven New York advertising men in the hotel, and, the way they were monopolizing the long-distance lines, the girl in 507 had to wait from noon till almost two-thirty to get her call through.
Life is a gift horse in my opinion.
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Disambiguation notice
Non-U.S. editions of J.D. Salinger's short story collection Nine Stories are titled For Esmé - with Love and Squalor, and Other Stories. "For Esmé – with Love and Squalor" is also the title of a single Salinger short story from Nine Stories. Please distinguish between the collection of stories (this LT work) and the separate short story having the same title. Thank you.
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Published as Nine Stories in the U.S., and as For Esmé - with Love and Squalor, and Other Stories in the U.K. and other countries.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316767727, Paperback)

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."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:08 -0400)

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Salinger's classic collection of short stories is now available in trade paperback.

(summary from another edition)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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