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4.4 out of 5 stars61
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 17 May 1998
/Nine Stories, by J.D. Salinger is a compilation of nine classic Salinger tales each with the intriguing characters for which the author is known and loved. /The first story, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish", draws the reader into the light, airy atmosphere of a summer day at the beach only to devastate with an ending not for the weak of heart. Each tale to follow paints an increasingly intriguing picture of sometimes frighteningly real people in uncommon situations that the author somehow manages to present as almost ordinary. /For Salinger fans or new comers to his work, Nine Stories is a must. Read it one story at a time if you can manage to put it down.
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on 30 March 1998
This is one of the few books I have ever not been able to tear away from. The endings are abrupt and thought provoking. The characters seemed complex and interesting however I could tell by certain situations and dialogue that there were a lot of Holden Caulfield's in it. I was, however, very touched and thought a lot about the book some time after reading it. The writing, as always it superb and the characters are three dimensional. Personally I like it but it is important to remember the time and settings of the book and Salinger's writing style. I thought that all of the stories were neither better nor worse than the next; they were just different. They showed different perspectives on life and how one views it. Even though Salinger may not have expereinced everything he worte about, it made me feel as if he had, or even as if I were there. If a writer can captivate a situation or feeling as well as that, you know he must be good. This book is just that, except maybe I could go so far as to say it's fabulous.
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on 2 May 1999
I can see the problem with most of the people that didn't like this book. They expected stories... but this book's main course aren't stories, but feelings. Salinger used stories, places, characters and situations to paint feelings, the way a painter would use oil and canvas to paint a picture. So at the end of the story you don't have to see if you liked the story... what you got to do is look at how do you feel after you've read it. What Salinger tried to make you feel is mostly feelings like melancholy, and he succeeds at that, and thats what makes it a great book...
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on 30 January 2010
Farewell J.D. The superficial obituaries talk mostly of your "Catcher In The Rye", but the true devotees know that more than just bibles of "Preppy" angst, Salinger's works operate on a higher plane. His Seymour for instance is like Siegfried, a spiritual seeker amongst a world of cold indifference. Salinger rejected the commercial world of critics and intellectuals most probably because he was bored of the simplistic classifications they were so keen to bind him to. But for me, a humble reader, Salinger is about as pure a literary voice as has ever set sail in world literature. I love all his books, with a particular fondness for "Raise The Roofbeams High, Carpenters" and "Franny & Zooey" but "Catcher" is no less great than either of those two. But if you want to start somewhere different with Jerome, you could consider "9 Stories". Salinger's 9 stories is literary Jazz. Each story is a ballad told in different keys, both major and minor. Each story has a "hook" that haunts you like a song. You can read through the entire collection in one sitting, but you'll forever be returning to each of the stories individually time immemorial.
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on 24 October 1997
This book takes a very eccentric look into the lives of many different people. The surrealistic "The Laughing Man" looks at the toll human growth takes from your life. The bus driver, through telling the story, realizes he is no longer a child, and reluctently must realize this. "A Perfect Day ffor Bananafish" is one that must be read and read again to catch the answers to why. Characters' mannerisms clue the reader into these answers. Salinger, in these stories, really has captured the human heart and mankind in a natural and personal way. A real book!!
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Also issued as 'for Esme with love and squalor'. One of my favourite books, this FANTASTIC collection of short stories is in turn tragic and hilarious, notably in 'The Laughing Man'. The narrator recalls belonging to a boys' club in his childhood, where the youthful 'Chief' would regale the children in his care with a far fetched but thrilling saga of a heroic character called the laughing man. This individual had given most of his fortune away to monks ('humble ascetics who had dedicated their lives to raising police dogs') and he subsisted exclusively on rice and eagles' blood in a tiny cottage with an underground gymnasium on the stormy coast of Tibet. The Chief subsequently has a short lived romantic relationship but after it comes to an end (made all the more touching by the fact we only witnesss it through the child's eyes) he abruptly winds up the narrative; the laughing man hears his pet wolf is dead and refuses the lifesaving vial of eagles' blood. After all the humour, the end is suddenly particularly sad. BRILLIANT writing.
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on 8 December 2010
I am ecstatic to report that 'Nine Stories', despite its general links to Holden Caulfield's world in 'Catcher in the Rye', this book of short stories holds barely any resemblance to it's exceptionally famous predecessor. I was gripped from the off by the edgy, strangeness of the stories, as well as their ambiguous endings. The characters are are established quickly and with feeling, leaving the reader more than enough time to be consumed by the situations they find themselves in and wanting to know more. The final story in this collection is an absolute peak and made my day. A great surprise for an author I had quite wrongly pigeon-holed. Happy days.
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on 6 September 1999
This book is essential if (a) you've ever read Salinger, and (b) if you love short fiction. These tales brought him to the top of my list of favorite short story writers. He is able to paint exquisite pictures of people with their words and mannerismns, often needing little else to move story's narrative. What I particularly enjoy is his occaisional touch of humorous irony that is sometimes reminiscant of John Collier (known more as a poet than short story writer, many of his stories turned up on ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS and some even on TWILIGHT ZONE). Salinger, for the most part, provides much stronger endings than are popular with today's slice-of-life short fiction. They are often surprising and always thought-provoking. I may be old fashioned, but I believe this is how short stories should be written--and it's how I try to write mine.
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on 20 March 1999
To all those people who went: 'wow!' when they gave their eyes the gift of 'Catcher in the Rye', this book is a must! It is the perfect item to join the lamp, the alarm clock and the glass of water on the bedside table and can be the highlight of your journey home on the bus every evening. I myself, a 17 year old, British Salinger fan who wishes that New York was nearer, would go as far to say that 'Bananafish' is a classic. The ending shocked me and made me think 'Thank God for J.D!'. If you are a fan of Salinger's then take advantage of Amazon and buy this Goddam piece of history.
(P.S. If you think I am being over-the-top about all of this, just get the book and then apologise).
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on 15 December 1998
What an amazing book! You just have to love it. Everything you expect from Salinger only more. As the last of his books avilable here I have read it is most definatly the best. If only we could meet these people - Teddy? If you have not read it yet then do, but savour every line!
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