Anne (Booklady) Molinarolo's Reviews > Franny and Zooey

Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
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Mar 31, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, classics, great-literary-fiction, literary-fiction, permanent-library, spring-2012
Read on March 30, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: 10

When people think of J.D. Salinger, almost everyone's thoughts automatically turn to his The Catcher in the Rye (one of my least favorite books). Why, when Franny and Zooey is perhaps his greatest work. It is certainly his favorite. Written in 1955 and 1957 as separate short stories published in the eminent New Yorker, they are thought provoking. But combined together, they are a powerful novel.

Franny serves to set the scene and introduces the second, Zooey. Two Ivy League students meet for a date. The guy is an insensitive intellectual jock who only wants an audience for his loud intellectual pretensions and to have sex. Highly sensitive Franny is struggling at college while going through a spiritual crisis. She wants to be herself, have integrity, wonders why people play so many games and act out so many unauthentic roles. She wants to feel accepted, and to know the meaning of life. Feeling the pain of having no answers to life’s biggest questions, she suffers a nervous break-down clutching her copy of Journey of the Pilgrim, chanting “the Jesus Prayer” as her life saving mantra. Franny returns home to recover.

We find Zooey her older brother and actor, is in the bath tub reading a script. Their mother, a remarkable character in her own right, is worried, and rightly so. She thinks Zooey should be helping his sister. He does in his own particular and unique way; telling her that if she's going to pray "The Jesus Prayer," she needs to understand who Jesus was, and not picture Him as St. Francis of Assisi, somebody's grandmother, and their dead eldest brother, Seymour, all rolled up into one. Philosophies and religious doctrines are batted around, but it all boils down to a difficult brother caring for his difficult sister.

The characters are all wonderfully described. The jock, the mother, Franny and Zooey all make you laugh and scream at them. Salinger’s themes revolve around the dialogue, mostly verbal fencing between Franny and Zooey. Does he help or hinder? Yes; perhaps. Each reader will make his or her choice. And this is why when I think of J.D. Salinger, I always turn to Franny and Zooey.
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message 2: by Shayantani (new)

Shayantani Das Nice review Anne! You have really peaked my interest about this book.

Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo Tanu wrote: "Nice review Anne! You have really peaked my interest about this book."

Thank you my friend : ) It is one of my favorites.

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