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Salinger at his best,
This review is from: For Esmé - with Love and Squalor: And Other Stories (Paperback)
I started my encounter with Salinger as most people do, through his Catcher in the rye, and I liked it, but I wasn't crazy about it. It was innovative compared to the censored and proper books which were also in the curriculum, and the story was one I could identify with, but it was only later, when I picked up his short stories, that I really developed a passion for his style.
The collection of stories entitled From Esme with love and squalor contains nine short stories including A perfect day for bananafish, and the story which gives the collection its title (in the States, the 9 stories are suggestively called "Nine stories".
The recurring themes are humanity's loss of innocence and how children manage to bring us back to that purity of mind, relationships and their evolutions, nostalgia and war.
Salinger is a master of the short story, managing to capture the essence of our thoughts and feelings in the tightest frame of action, with even a limited number of characters.
While his stories are often heartbreaking, the beauty with which Salinger writes gives you hope that other people are as aware as he was of the fading innocence of the world.