Allison's Reviews > Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour - An introduction

Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour - An introdu... by J.D. Salinger
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's review
Jun 11, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: classics, entertaining, leisure, creative-process, fondly-recommended, literature-about-literature, profound-statements-about-the-human
Read from July 23 to August 31, 2011 — I own a copy

Allow me to address the chronology: this was one of those books where Life happened somewhere in the middle of it. I'm not usually the sort to leave books in the middle but rather prefer to be a bit of a binge reader who sits down to one sitting or two of a book and absorbs it at a breakneck pace. But somewhere within the reading of this lovely tome, things like graduate exams and beginnings of semesters occurred and... well, there was a hiccup.

Fortunately -- and, I feel, such things about this book must be said -- Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters AND Seymour: An Introduction is designed to make such a feat easy. After all, this is technically a short story anthology and is bifurcated as such, despite the short stories weighing in at two and two alone; it is, if nothing else, accidentally designed to be easily dropped between the conclusion of one story and the start of another.

As such, my remembrance of "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters" is foggy at best, but I do distinctly remember appreciating another insight into the world of Salinger's Glass family. Whereas Franny and Zooey are an acute observation of the youngest of the clan, both "Raise High" and "Seymour" are observations upon its elder echelons. But -- and it is important to note -- whereas "Raise High" was definitely a character sketch, "Seymour" is definitely meta-fiction, the likes of which I would heavily recommend to any artist of any stripe to peruse. "Seymour" is certainly a memorial of sorts, yes, but the real heart of Buddy's interest is in that of the craft, the audience, and how his relationship with the craft and audience will best serve his much beloved subject. In that sense, as ever, Salinger's timing in my life is impeccable and needed. In that, of course, I tip a hat (and gratefully so).

A note: "Seymour: An Introduction" is not a relaxing read and should be expected as a re-read and analyzing type of venture. Just saying.

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Reading Progress

07/23/2011 page 95
37.0% "Why is reading Salinger like popcorn? (Is that a twatty thing for me to say? I don't care.)"
08/30/2011 page 149
70.0% "As forewarned, Seymour is a difficult book due to an erratic and unreliable narrator. But Buddy is nothing if not eccentric in his old age."

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