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Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger

Nine Stories (edition 2001)

by J.D. Salinger

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8,362None368 (4.17)2 / 86
Title:Nine Stories
Authors:J.D. Salinger
Info:Back Bay Books (2001), Paperback, 320 pages
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Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger

1950s (27) 20th century (109) 20th century literature (17) American (133) American fiction (46) American literature (186) anthology (40) classic (86) classics (70) collection (35) family (22) favorite (21) fiction (1,036) glass family (41) J.D. Salinger (31) literature (162) New York (21) novel (21) own (48) paperback (26) read (140) Salinger (67) short fiction (37) short stories (913) short story (45) stories (79) suicide (24) to-read (79) unread (46) USA (51)
  1. 01
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English (58)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (64)
Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
Even better the second time around. Salinger's writing is so unique, so impeccable...I remain in awe. ( )
  S.D. | Apr 4, 2014 |
genius. ( )
  lloyd1175 | Mar 22, 2014 |
what IS the sound of one hand clapping, anyway?
Thanks Mrs. Eagleton. ( )
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
The only thing that bothered me about these stories is the dialogue. Sometimes it seemed too Holden Caulfieldish. ( )
  katemo | May 16, 2013 |
The first stories in this collection struck me as illustrations of how selfish and superficial people can be, apparently enough in the first story, ‘A Perfect Day for Bananafish’, to cause a man returned from war to kill himself. Mind you, with each story punctuated prolifically with references to smoking, I guess all the characters were on the same path.

Then I came to ‘For Esmé with love and squalor’, a story which, while set very much in the WW2 and proceeding years, seems to me to have stood the test of time better than most in this anthology. There’s quite a bit of humour in it and while Esmé seems rather full of herself in the first part, not listening to the young soldier but interrupting him to tell himself something about herself, the way she sends him her father’s wristwatch later shows that basically she is altruistic and the way the man responds positively despite his breakdown adds a touch of optimism lacking in some of the other stories. The crystal in the wristwatch, though, is broken, suggesting perhaps that the damage done to the man cannot entirely be reversed.

On the whole, though, I don’t think Salinger offers much to like in his characters. Perhaps, as in ‘The Catcher in the Rye’, he’s more interested in showing up inadequacies – as in the last story, ‘Teddy’ where Teddy’s parents treat each other and him badly while Teddy, some sort of reincarnated guru, says we have to vomit up logic in order to be able to see things as they actually are. While I can see that logic can restrict the way we think, I didn’t feel there was a lot to the story. In a way, quite a lot has been lost in the passage of time. Salinger’s descriptions of what people were wearing, for example, is presumably part of his characterisation of them, but today these descriptions just reinforce the way this book is set so firmly in its time without the clothes telling the reader anymore than that. ( )
  evening | May 6, 2013 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:48 -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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