This collection of short stories showcases the talent of JD Salinger at its very finest.
The stories are vividly and beautifully told, emotion is understated but tangible. The title story 'For Esme with love and squalor' is quite simply one of the most unforgettable stories I have ever read - it is infused with powerful emotion but also gentle humour. It's about a brief meeting between a soldier and a young girl - he's looking for simplicity and purity in a world gone mad, she's hoping to appear mature and worldly (but comes across as even more innocent and naive as a result). This chance encounter sustains the soldier later when his world is falling apart from the after-effects of the war.
The other stories are just as striking - particularly The Laughing Man and Teddy - they read simply, but pack a punch which is difficult to describe. That's the genius of it all.