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A Perfect Day for Bananafish

4.35  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,482 Ratings  ·  139 Reviews
"A Perfect Day for Bananafish" is a short story by J. D. Salinger, originally published in the January 31, 1948 issue of The New Yorker. It was anthologized in 1949's 55 Short Stories from The New Yorker, as well as in Salinger's 1953 collection, Nine Stories.
18 pages
Published (first published 1948)
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The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allan PoeThe Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan PoeThe Martian Chronicles by Ray BradburyThe Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan DoyleNine Stories by J.D. Salinger
Best Short Stories
123rd out of 1,236 books — 777 voters
The Lottery by Shirley JacksonThe Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan PoeThe Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins GilmanCutting Right to the Chase Vol.2, by Stefania MattanaGalactic Energies by Luca  Rossi
Best Short Stories of All Time
50th out of 251 books — 214 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Feb 15, 2013 Salida rated it it was amazing
Let's get one thing straight, Seymour Glass was not a sex offender. He never asked Sybil to look at 'his bananafish' as some ignorant reviewer posted.

This is a story about desperation, about a man who was exhausted of trying to fit into a society where he was not welcomed. In the beginning, with the conversation between Muriel and her mother, the reader can sense that Seymour might be mentally or emotionally unstable. Muriel is not like Seymour at all, she's superficial and centered around mate
Sarah Peters
Apr 10, 2010 Sarah Peters rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Easily one of the greatest short stories I've ever read. When I can spend more time thinking about the text than actually reading it, I know I've found something special.
Aug 01, 2015 سلطان rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
خمس قصص غير كافية للحكم على تجربة الكابة القصصية عند سالنجر، لكنها كافية للتعرف على أسلوبه الذي وجدت فيه اهتمامه بالتفاصيل الوصفية والحوارات في الوقت نفسه. لاحظت أيضا اهتمامه بنهايات قصصه التي جاء بعضها صادماً وبعضها مفتوحاً.
القصة الأولى في المجموعة كانت الأجمل والأميز في رأيي. الترجمة بشكل عام كانت جميلة. أنصح بقراءة المجموعة لمن لديه رغبة في التعرف على إنتاج هذا الكاتب الذي أثار الضجة بروايته الوحيدة وقصصه القليلةالتي نشرها في حياته، وعزلته التي اختارها للكتابه حتى وفاته، ووصيته بنشر أعماله بع
Knarik Avetisyan
Jun 13, 2014 Knarik Avetisyan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
"I see you're looking at my feet," he said to her when the car was in motion.
"I beg your pardon?" said the woman.
"I said I see you're looking at my feet."
"I beg your pardon. I happened to be looking at the floor," said the woman, and faced the doors of the car."

"A Perfect Day for Bananafish" contrasts the world of children, imaginative, curious, pure, and innocent with the world of adults materialistic, selfish, shallow. As you can see, the story glorifies children and to some degree condemns
Rowland Bismark
Jun 20, 2010 Rowland Bismark rated it liked it
“A Perfect Day for Bananafish” appeared in the New Yorker in 1948 and was later republished as the opening story in the collection Nine Stories(1953). In “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” Salinger introduces the Glass family, who would become recurring characters in his fiction. In the next ten years, Salinger published three other Glass family stories in the New Yorker: “Franny,” “Zooey,” and “Raise High the Roof-Beam, Carpenters.” These stories appear in Salinger’s other books, which include Fra ...more
Dec 07, 2014 Wendy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
I remember the day I read this book. It was hot outside and I was at achool and out teacher made us read an excerpt. I've never really liked books that I was forced to read but this one reached out to me so when I got home I got on the computer, found a copy and read it.

It made me think, and that's what I love about literature.
The main is complex and the whole thing is so sad. I LOVE IT.

If you're debating reading this, trust me, you should.
Yumi Kaioh
Jun 06, 2015 Yumi Kaioh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
fucking shit, now it makes sense

Cole Blouin
Jun 11, 2013 Cole Blouin rated it it was amazing
This short story is written in absolutely crystal-clear prose taking the idea of show, don't tell, to an extreme I've never encountered before. As such, with its abrupt ending (as many of the stories within Nine Stories), it leaves as many questions as it does answers. A second reading reveals a few more details; by the third I've started to get a full picture. Salinger is quite possibly my favorite author for this reason: it's easy to read the story and know what happened, but upon asking, "Why ...more
Sep 14, 2011 Beth rated it it was ok
I didn't get it.

I'll be the first to admit that. J.D. Salinger and I just never hit it off. I can feel the tempo of Salinger's writing, but it refuses to 'click' for me. I can understand why people would think that this speaks for an angsty, existentalist (sorry, butchered word there) culture. Perhaps it does. Perhaps I'm just not a membeer of that culture. I loved the rhythm and flow of Seymour and...the little girl's conversation. Except I've totally forgotten her name, which should tell you h
Dana West
Apr 05, 2012 Dana West rated it liked it
Did anyone else see Seymour as a sex offender? He had Sybil look at his "bananafish" and then he shot front of his wife.

I could postulate that Seymour suffered PTSD from The War. I could make the stretch and say that Muriel was superficial.

I could say that Muriel's mother was trying to keep the conversation "light" while Muriel was asking for advice or help or something.

I could say that Sybil was a symbol of innocence, but then again, I would have to come back to the idea that Sey
Emily Squadra
Nov 07, 2014 Emily Squadra rated it it was amazing
A Perfect Day for Bananafish. What a whimsical name for such a serious story.

I will be honest, the first pass through this story led me to believe that Seymour was sexually interested in children and as a result decided to kill himself. There were several things that led me to believe that. For one, his interaction with Sybil is definitely flirtatious - he comments on her swimsuit, he asks her to "come closer," tells her she is looking "fine," is constantly touching her feet, the "memory and de
Sep 06, 2011 Melissa rated it it was amazing
I thought that it was deep. I love the unseen commentary in this short story. There are a lot of "banana fish" in our world - meaning that there are a lot of greedy people. When I had to read the first page of this short story, I thought that Muriel was a murdered by killing her husband - the rings that were in the bathroom, her left hand stretched away, & removing the stain out of her dress vs. some in my class saw her as some sort of a harlett that was paid for her services however, that w ...more
Ayat Mahmoud
Dec 29, 2009 Ayat Mahmoud rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-e-books
لغة ركيكة لأقصى درجة! مع أخطاء املائية شنيعة و متكررة باصرار غريب لا يتناسب مع وجود مصحح لغوي للعمل، ماذا صحح اذن؟!
ربما كان عدم الترابط بين مشاهد العمل مقصود باعتباره رسم لخيالات مريض نفسي بالكلمات، ولكن هذا التفكك مع ضعف اللغة سببا مزيجا مزعجا للغاية. فقط النهاية الصادمة و الغير متوقعة والتي لم تزد عن نصف صفحة مثلا هي ما جعل لهذا العمل اي قيمة على الاطلاق. كان من الممكن طرح الفكرة في صورة قصة قصيرة بدون اللجوء لكل المشاهد التي تصور مواقف يعبر فيها البطل عن فحولة ضئيلة غالبا مشكوك فيها لا هدف له
Mohamed Sall
Nov 08, 2011 Mohamed Sall rated it it was amazing
This was actually recommended to me by Gabriel, and he was right -- this was the best short story I've ever read. This story forces you to read from the historical lens. Salinger compares his experiences in WWII and his post-traumatic stress to Seymour Glass' post-traumatic stress after coming back from the war. This book has many different themes as well. The bananafish, for instance, symbolized Seymour's emotions being built up and then eventually going away when he committed suicide.
Dec 16, 2011 Inday-Elie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Suicide fascinated people, J.D. Salinger fans
An Interesting short story, about a man who shoots himself after he tells a story about his so-called Bananafish to a young girl on a beach. Now, don't get me wrong, the girl DID NOT instigate the suicide if thats what you think.

Aug 16, 2010 Damon rated it it was amazing
My senior year of high school, I got on a JD Salinger kick and read everything I could find. The Norwegian exchange student that was staying with us and I would sit out on the deck that spring, making ourselves Tom Collins's and reading Salinger. (at least I read Salinger. I don't remember what he read. Do you remember, Thor??)
Dec 27, 2009 Hanady rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: free-ebooks
أحببت طريقة السرد والأسلوب كثيراً فهيا مختلفة نوعاً ما عن الترتيب المنطقى للأحداث ولكن السرد بمشاهد من هنا وهناك بشكل منظم أمتعنى
نهاية الرواية مرعبة فعلاً وغير متوقعة بالمرة

لكن لم أحب التفاصيل الجنسيه بها الكتاب مجانى يمكنكم تحميله
Mar 16, 2012 yengyeng rated it really liked it
The road leading to suicide is filled with deepest darkest despair, with a couple of stuffed dogs strewn along the curb maybe, but the final act is performed in a moment of clarity. In sun-kissed primary colours.
Anas Almansuri
مجموعة قصصية استمتعت بكل قصة منها على حدى، و أكثر ما أعجبني في أسلوب سالنجر هو تضمين المعاني و عدم صراحة القصص في طرح الأفكار، أيضا النهايات لكل قصة كان لها أثر قوي في نفسي.
Jun 14, 2012 Rochelle rated it liked it
Shelves: e-reader
I feel terrible that I read the last line first it ruined that element of surprise. I was surprised at how well developed the characters were in 10 short pages.
إسراء محمد علي
بتحكي عن معاناة لفنان تشكيلي وتربية من وهو صغير قصرت فية وبالنسبالي رواية رائعة في نهايتها غير متوقعة والدليل علي كدة ان خلصتها في ساعتين بس
Angelica Castillo
Jun 13, 2014 Angelica Castillo rated it really liked it
It was a bright sunny day.

Seymour Glass came from a war and he is on a vacation along with his wife. Muriel Glass, his wife, is aware that he has been mentally unstable since the war yet she does not do anything about it. Her parents are worried about her but she refuses to go home because she hasn't been in a vacation in a long time. While Muriel is in the hotel, Seymour is outside talking with Sybil Carpenter, a little girl. He tells her a story about a Bananafish who tend to swim into holes a
Jan 01, 2016 Tejas rated it it was amazing
The type of story which always comes to your mind now and then once you read it..and you thought over it again and again.
It was my first J. D. Salinger read. I loved it.

If you want to look at my feet, say so,” said the young man. “But don’t be a God-damned sneak about it.”
Leanne Brown
Oct 29, 2015 Leanne Brown rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite-books
I was particularly interested in this short story because I read Franny and Zooey, a book that centres around the Glass family. Seymour is a Glass, and is mentioned in the book. This, along with Franny and Zooey, go hand in hand. I will continue to read Nine Stories now, I just had to put my two pence in!
Apr 16, 2016 Salwa rated it it was amazing
A perfect short story! There are so many ways you can interpret this one whether you see this as a tale of struggles with pedophilia or of post-traumatic stress disorder or something else. Makes you question every line you read and leaves you wondering long after you've finished. To sum it up in one word: haunting.
Nov 26, 2014 Realini rated it liked it
A perfect Day for Bananafish
The version I heard was not outstanding, but maybe the original is

Jerome David Salinger or J. D. Salinger as I used to know him is known and acclaimed for Catcher in the Rye.
This is a book that has caused some crazies to try and kill celebrities. I wonder why?
This is a lesser known work, at least for this reader and I dare to say that it is not at the level of the masterpiece- Catcher in the Rye.
From the start of the adaptation that I listened to, a mother is concern
Gonzalo Lira
Jan 27, 2014 Gonzalo Lira rated it liked it
What’s interesting about this story is the sharp, self-consciously calculated effect it’s trying to achieve.

If the definition of art is to give an effect on the reader without the reader being aware of it, then this story fails miserably. This story comes at you, the reader, relentlessly, relentlessly trying to set you up for an effect. As far a neophyte professional writer goes, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” is exactly what you should not do.

(BTW, this story is famous not for itself, but bec
Andrew Rogers
Mar 13, 2012 Andrew Rogers rated it really liked it
I don't normally add short stories on here, but it's J.D. Salinger. It's based on a recurring family name, the Glass family, that appears in many of his stories. The themes in the story can be viewed as disturbing or morbid, but PTSD is real and affects people in tragic ways, as seen here. Writer's note: If you're having trouble writing dialogue, read this story.
Sampriti Singha Roy
Nov 20, 2015 Sampriti Singha Roy rated it it was amazing
"You just keep your eyes open for bananafish. This is a perfect day for bananafish"
"I don't see nay," Sybil said.
"That's understandable. Their habits are very peculiar." He kept pushing the float. The water was not quite up to his chest. "They lead a very tragic life,"he said. "You know what they do, Sybil?"
She shook her head.
"Well, they swim into a hole where there's a lot of bananas. They're very ordinary-looking fish when they swim in. But once they get in, they behave like pigs. Naturally,af
Aug 05, 2014 Jens rated it it was amazing
It is perfect. Simple, poignant, and not a word wasted.
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Author Support Group: A Perfect Day for Bananafish 1 11 Apr 13, 2014 08:59PM  
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  • The Doll's House
  • The Last Night of the World
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  • In The Cemetery Where Al Jolsen is Buried
  • The Swimmer
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  • Down to a Sunless Sea
  • Man from the South
  • Three Poems: Host and Guest / Aluda Ketelauri / The Snake-Eater
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Jerome David Salinger was an American author, best known for his 1951 novel The Catcher in the Rye, as well as his reclusive nature. His last original published work was in 1965; he gave his last interview in 1980. Raised in Manhattan, Salinger began writing short stories while in secondary school, and published several stories in the early 1940s before serving in World War II. In 1948 he publishe ...more
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