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Franny and Zooey Paperback – 1964


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Paperback, 1964
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Product details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; 1st edition (1964)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140021205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140021202
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1 x 18.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 198,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More 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.

Product Description

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.

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4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. A. C. Whiteley VINE VOICE on 19 May 2006
Format: Paperback
Critically denounced on publication by several eminent commentators of the time (Updike, Didion, etc), Franny and Zooey has, over the past few years, enjoyed something of an academic rehabilitation. (In particular, see Janet Malcolm's excellent article for the New York Review of Books, Volume 48, Number 10 which can be found at www.nybooks.com/articles/14272). The book consists of a short story and novella entitled Franny and Zooey respectively. (They were originally published separately in the New Yorker, two years apart).

`Franny' focuses on a date with her boyfriend Lane, just prior to an American football game he is anxious not to miss. In contrast to the effusive affection expressed in the letter she sent him before this occasion, she finds him increasingly irritating. This is exacerbated by his boasting about his recent Flaubert essay. For his part, Lane cannot understand why she is not eating, nor can he account for her growing nervousness and disengagement. Twice she has to excuse herself, seemingly unwell. It transpires that she has been reading a devotional book entitled `Way of the Pilgrim'. This has inspired her to endlessly repeat the `Jesus Prayer' in the hope of emulating its hero by praying so incessantly that it is as subconscious an act as her heart beating. Indeed, after the second time, she is found collapsed still murmuring the prayer.

The action in `Zooey' takes place just a few days later. Franny has returned home to recuperate. Zooey, Franny's elder brother, has been enjoying a leisurely soak while rereading a four-year-old letter from his brother, Buddy (who is also the absent narrator). Quite preachy, it exhorts him to better appreciate their mother, Bessie, and explains part of the reason for the family difficulty in coping with other people.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. della Griva on 17 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
How can one pin down the ouevre of such an elusive and enigmatic writer as JD Salinger?

'Franny and Zooey' is composed of a short story and a novella - both exquisitely wrought and complementing each other - concerning the existential crisis and emotional breakdown of Franny Lane, the youngest of seven precociously talented and intelligent children.

'Franny' - the short story - brilliantly depicts the young woman's date with her pompous boyfriend, and already the themes that one would expect from Salinger's teasing, tantalising portion of published works are visible: existential anxiety over what exactly is 'fitting in,' the words and actions of the 'phonies' and how they impact on sensitive people such as Franny.

'Zooey', whilst still being concerned with Franny, portrays her brother's growing concern over his younger sister, who has taken to moping around the house in an emotional lethargy following her nervous episode documented in `Franny'. Zooey, at the rather comic instigation of his mother while he is having a bath, realises that he must help her get over it all in some way, though until the end of the story, doesn't seem to know how to. It is a beautifully-measured novella which takes its time, and reveals through its inaction rather than action.

Both pieces are witty, wordy and brilliantly realised. What I particularly enjoy is how engaging Salinger's style is, how he can deal with important themes relating to humanity and the individual's place within it, with the greatest and ease and enjoyment on the part of the reader. Indeed, many people have commented on the underlying allusions to Zen Buddhism and other spiritualism: huge themes that are dealt with in a wryly understated and very human fashion.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Claus Valka on 17 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
Salinger described this as a "pretty flimsy book". The vast majority of writers out there should be so lucky if they can write something as wonderful as this. The attention to detail lays a spell over me every time I read this book, which I have done on a regular basis for the past fifteen or so years. It is incredibly indulgent; the decription of the Glass living room is little more than an artsy list, yet it's so wonderfully delivered that you are right there, staring at the root beer stain from behind the couch. The three characters; the frail, needy Franny (a fifties version of Charlotte in Lost in Translation), acrid, hyper-critical Zooey, and their irrepressible mother deserve each other in more ways than one. Basically, it's crunch time in the young life of Franny Glass, who has found that she cannot cope outside the cosy, intellectual confines of her own family, with more than one ghost, one of whom (Buddy) is still alive, yet seems more intent in lecturing them from beyond the metaphorical grave of his cabin in the back of beyond. In an effort to counter the "phonies" at college, she has taken to a sort of ascetic lifestyle, the focal point of which is a spiritual book, revolving around an endlessly recited prayer. Both brother and mother callously try to bludgeon this out of her, one with kind offers of chicken broth, and the other, with long, detailed critiques of her methods. The poor girl copes in the only way she can; by crying lots and blowing her nose. But you learn a vast amount about this family, and you discover they are not so eccentric as their methods and choices of self-expression might at first suggest. In short, both brother and sister discover something, and it's more than worth discovering along with them. There are many great books, but there are no books like Franny and Zooey, and there won't be again. Catcher was his greatest achievement, without a doubt, but I prefer this book. Although, these days, I seem to side more and more with the mother!
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