0496 | Franny and Zooey | J. D. Salinger

0496 | Franny and Zooey | J. D. Salinger post image

Context: Had horrendous diarrhoea while reading this. Lovely.

Of course, everyone knows Salinger for Catcher in the Rye, a book I read before this blog began and so never reviewed. That book seemed to be about something. This does too but much less so. You have to dig a bit.

It’s a two part novel with each part focussing on a different siblings from a family of child prodigies. The two episodes take place within a short space of time of each other. The first is very short and takes place at a table in a restaurant. The secon, still short but longer than the first, takes place almost entirely in one room in the family apartment in New York. It could quite easily have been a play, I thought. This was because not only did almost all of it consist of dialogue, but Salinger goes to some lengths to describe slight movements and nuances of the situation which could easily be taken as italicised stage directions for the actors. I liked that.

There isn’t really a story. You find out a little about the backgrounds of each character involved (and there are really only four) but it’s only enough to really give you some idea of why they are the way they are. I say that, but I really only mean Franny and Zooey themselves.

Like I said, it’s a little tricky to ‘get’ this novel. I’m not sure I did. It seemed to me that Salinger was commenting on spirituality, family influences, maybe even depression and how the innocuous can reach out and slam those of us subject to it. On the whole, it was a novel that I thought went over my head but just high enough for me to grasp a couple of things from it. I’ll have to read more comments from others to see if I’m on the right track.

OPENING LINE

Though brilliantly sunny, Saturday morning was overcoat weather again, not just topcoat weather, as it had been all week and as everyone had hopded it would stay for the big weekend – the weekend of the Yale game.

CLOSING LINE

This might reveal the ending. If you want to see the quote, click show

RATING frannyr
Key: Legacy | Plot / toPic | Characterisation / faCts | Readability | Achievement | StyleRead more about how I come up with my ratings

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