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am 12. Juli 2000
J.D. Salinger has rightfully been one of the most highly praised authors of the 20th century. Although best known for his coming-of-age novel, The Catcher in the Rye, Salinger also wrote brilliant short stories of great complexity. This is quite an accomplishment when one considers the fact that the short story poses problems the novel easily overcomes.
Salinger's skillful use of language is what distinguishes him most from his contemporaries. There is never a dull moment in a Salinger short story as this expert author intertwines detail and dialogue to convey emotion to the reader.
Although the short story leaves little room for character development, Salinger's superb style and careful use of language allow us to get to know his characters intimately in a very short period of time.
The stories included in Salinger's dazzling collection, Nine Stories, were published between 1948 and 1953 in The New Yorker.
They exhibit a unified tone and theme, something not usually found in short story collections. They are classic Salinger and classic stories; each one contributes to the volume as a whole and each is therefore enriched in its relation to the others.
Although people disagree on which story is best, each contains elements of the relationship between children and adults, one of Salinger's signature themes.
Two of the stories, A Perfect Day for Bananafish and For Esmé--With Love and Squalor, both feature protagonists (Seymour and Sargent X) who, as veterans of WWII, have sacrificed their psychological well-being and are no longer the men they once thought they were. Both feel alienated from life and, more importantly, from those they love. Both protagonists are searching for new forms of comfort and security in the respective characters of Sybil and Esmé.
Here, however, the similarities end. For Sybil lacks Esmé's insight and the final outcome for Seymour is very different than that of Sargent X and perhaps different than what it could have been.
In A Perfect Day for Bananafish, Seymour's wife, Muriel, goes to great lengths to reassure her mother regarding Seymour's soundness of mind, although Salinger carefully lets us, the reader, glimpse Seymour's paranoia.
Searching for the non-judgmental understanding of a child (but the love of an adult), Seymour befriends young Sybil, a child he's met on the beach. After realizing the impossibility of his desires and his own isolation, Seymour is driven to one last, desperate act, an act that makes some question his sanity while others will see him as finally regaining the control he had lost.
In For Esmé--With Love and Squalor, Sargent X also has a relationship with a child, but it is one that is quite different from that of Seymour and Sybil.
An intelligent and vivacious girl, Esmé lost her own father in North Africa and is quite aware of the horrors of war. When she approaches Sargent X in an English tearoom, she senses his isolation and resultant alienation and offers to write him, something Sargent X immediately agrees to.
Thirty minutes after their meeting, Esmé takes her leave of Sargent X with the words, "I hope you return with all your faculties intact."
Had it not been for Esmé, however, and the letter she writes, Sargent X would not have returned with all his faculties intact. Esmé's letter provides the one certain connection to reality and the constancy of day-to-day life that Sargent X needs. It both comforts him and reassures him that there is still some happiness out there to be found. At a time when the war has left him with nothing else to relate to, Esmé provides the needed link.
In this extraordinary collection of stories we find different people in different situations, yet a common thread of life runs through all, linking the stories to one another and to readers everywhere. This is only a small part of the genius that typifies J.D. Salinger. Read this book and I guarantee, like millions of readers before, you'll come back for more!
0Kommentar| 5 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 19. März 1998
When they ask for a review, I never know what to write. 'Nine Stories' is the second Salinger book I've ever read, and, as always, I'm captivated by his writing style and ability to create characters I've seen when looking in the mirror, or glancing around a crowded area. The greatest tradgedy of Salinger is not found in his stories of depression, mental illness, or quiet desperation. The great tradgedy is that he only wrote four books. I like 'Nine Stories' due to it's crazy, 3-dimensional characters, and the insanity of the plots like 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish' and 'The Laughing Man'. 'DePalmer Smith's Blue Period' is the best character study I've seen in any book in the English language. The only complaint I have is that Salinger settles into a repetitive procedure of bringing all his characters to life in the same way. I might have liked to read one story in this book that starred a character completely unlike the others. Someone said in an earlier review that 'there is a Holden inside each of these people.' This is why I did not give the book a perfect 10. While it is not boring, I think Salinger could have done more given his tremendous writing powers. Overall, however, this is a not-to-be-missed book.
0Kommentar| 3 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 7. Juli 2013
es ist Buch der beschädigten menschen in eine Amerika die es heute schwehr zu finden ist,man lacht ,spricht über Dinge spezifisch für die damalige Zeit,skuril und humorvoll zugleich.Man sollte die Nouvellen von zeit zu zeit wieder durch blätern,es ist wie eine Erinnerung die sich ständig anreichert,typisch Salinger,lectüre zum ewigen einschlafen,abend zum abend,jedes mal liest es anders und versteht was neues.Zum hunderten mal kommt man beim Salinger an,oder eben nicht.
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am 13. Dezember 1999
Perhaps one of the reasons I never cared for Catcher in the Rye was that I came to it after reading Salinger's Nine Stories, which in every way seems much superior. These stories work in a way that many collections of short stories by a single author don't, because of a unified tone and single vision that is at once both bleak and yet sympathetic to what is fundamental in the human condition.
I first read this collection more than 30 years ago and have reread all the stories numerous times with great pleasure. It is a shame that Salinger retired so early, but even if he had left nothing but this one short collection of stories, he would have secured a place among the significant writers of the 20th century. Through a style that is disarmingly simple and direct, he manages to touch reader's feelings deeply. And while in his later Glass family novels he slips into a kind of 'cute' self parody, these stories are deftly crafted with no misstep to be seen.
This is art that doesn't refuse to have a human heart.
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am 2. Mai 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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am 7. Juni 2000
With one hand on the keyboard, my other (free) hand moves horizontally back and forth through the air - that's the sound of one hand clapping for this, arguably Jerome David Salinger's best book.
"The Laughing Man" is stunning - someone says all of JD's folks are either good or bad phonies, but there is neither in this - an amazing pairing of an Indiana Jones type serial interwoven into a moving love story w/completely different characters. JD gives us TWO complete stories in what 20 pages (or less)? TWO stories in 20 pages that are both astoundingly good, so good any other author would need 200 pages to do half as good a job. The love part on 'the Chief'/Comanche coach is fantastic, and anybody, female or male, who's ever been truly heartbroken, will be moved more than words can say; and our funny-rictused 'Indy' hero exists in riveting action. As different as those 2 parts are, JD intertwines them seamlessly. The only fiction I've ever read equal to "The Laughing Man" is Irving's A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY. "...Banana Fish" is a coaster rolling from riotously funny to 'the blues'. You'll look at corners differently after the touching "...Esme..." In "...Dinghy", JD actually writes a nice, loving parent who takes time to understand her child, which may be his only published instance of doing that. "Teddy" is another touching example of how JD weaves the melancholy with the humorous so expertly.
And as a few reviewers are obviously confused, in "Pretty Mouth" the husband is anguished because he suspects his wife is out RIGHT THEN cheating on him, so he calls his best friend. His wife really is cheating on him - with his 'best friend' on the other end of the phone RIGHT THEN, which is why the 'best friend' is trying so hard to keep the husband from popping over, and also to allay his suspicions. But read closely - the cheating friend is unknowingly giving himself away if the husband would just pay attention. JD hasn't let you down on this one. Or any others, either.
All 9 of these are brilliant, shining gems. Many readers will differ on which of the 9 is the best - mine's obviously "The Laughing Man", hence my mangling Tina's song title. If you like well written, superbly crafted shorts filled with very human characters, these 9 stories of diverse settings and plots will keep you reading this book over and over again for years to come. Not many books, short stories or novels, will do that.
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am 13. Mai 1999
For an english project, I was supposed to read a book outside of class and review it. I picked "Nine Stories," by Salinger. I think this book is one of the most oddly written books I have ever read. After reading, "The Catcher in the Rye," Salinger really let me down. These stories didn't seem to have any real point to them. For example, in the story "Banana Fish," the story seemed to be going along pretty well until it got to the end. One second Seymore was having a wonderful time at the beach with a little girl, and the next second he was dead after shooting himself in the head! I felt like I must have missed something, like a few pages were missing before the conclusion. The rest of the stories seemed to be that way also (a pretty decent story, with an ending that seemed to fall off of a cliff). In the story "Green Eyes," a man seemed to be feeling uneasy about his wife cheating on him. It was sort of amusing listening to the paranoid way he acted, although the end was pretty boring. All of the stories seemed to give you a feeling of uneasiness and depression, as to see the way Salinger portrays the life of the average human being.
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am 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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am 14. Juni 2000
As everyone else has said, this is just the most brilliant thing ever written. The stories stay with you for so long, especially "Bananafish" and "Teddy." I adore Salinger, but not for "Catcher in the Rye." I much prefer "F&Z" as well as this.
Everyone mentions Teddy and Banafish and even some others, but nobody ever seems to mention "Just Before the War with the Eskimos." This story has the most brilliant dialogue I've ever read and his descriptions of not only what is said, but the way it is said and the expression used during the conversation is genius. Read it again, thinking that Franklin is christ. That's when the story really comes alive.
Just my thoughts
milo the mayor
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am 24. Oktober 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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