Saturday, 3 November 2012

Nine Stories ~ J. D. Salinger

All the covers that I post on this blog are actual covers of the edition I've read. However the copy of Nine Stories that I borrowed from the American Library was cardboard-bound. While posting the picture of this cover, I decided to select this one -- the similar white-with-rainbow-stripes that bore the title The Catcher in the Rye -- rather than the blue-red cover of the new edition.

I'd finished reading the first story from the collection, 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish' while sitting in the cafe. It was so engrossing that I wanted to bunk class and return home to curl up in bed with the book. That didn't happen. I had to wait until the night to open the book again and the wait was worth it. Since it is quintessential Salinger, each of the stories is thoughtful and unnerving. 'Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut' is slightly poignant, 'Just Before the War with the Eskimos' and 'The Laughing Man' were to me homage to childhood. 'Down at the Dinghy' too, but I felt it had the capacity to warm the cockles of the heart slightly more than the other two. 'For Esme -- With Love and Squalor' I think is my favourite (if I can risk using that adjective); 'Pretty Mouth and Green my Eyes' is amusing and poignant by turns; 'De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period' exceedingly amusing, and the book ends with a very shocking story 'Teddy' that ensures that the reader won't forget it too soon. J. D. Salinger is one of the most important and talented American writers. Need I really employ more adjectives on how this book was and why every one should read it?

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