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For Esmé—with Love and Squalor

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  395 ratings  ·  13 reviews
"For Esmé — with Love and Squalor" is a short story by J. D. Salinger. Originally published in The New Yorker on April 8, 1950, it was anthologized in Salinger's Nine Stories two years later (while the story collection's American title is Nine Stories, it is titled as For Esmé — with Love & Squalor in most countries).

The short story was immediately popular
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26 pages
Published (first published 1950)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  395 ratings  ·  13 reviews


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Vicky
Disclaimer: This review is exclusive for the story “For Esme - with Love and Squalor”, as it is the only one of the Nine Stories anthology that I have read as of yet. This will undoubtedly change sooner rather than later, given how impressed I was by “For Esmé”.

Incredibly well-written and moving piece of literature. I sat with tears slowly streaking down my face for several minutes after I had finished its poignant closing sentence. I am sure I could not possibly write an adequate review to make this work justice, so I will only say this: However briefEsmé”.
IncrediblySqualor”,
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Charlotte
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant – hadn't read any Salinger short stories before, but I found them immensely touching and intriguing. His subtle portrait of characters at one particular moment in their lives full of pathos: I was genuinely moved by these people's stories. (A trivial thing maybe, but I was also struck by his brilliant use of italics, esp. in dialogue, italicising eg half words for emphasis.)
Кремена Михайлова
At first readings I was focused on Sergeant X.
"You take a really sleepy man, Esme, and he always stands a chance of again becoming a man with all his fac-with all his f-a-c-u-1-t-i-e-s intact."


At further readings I enjoyed Esme’s insightful communication.
"Goodbye," Esme said. "I hope you return from the war with all your faculties intact."

Last time it was Charles.
"HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO LOVE AND KISSES CHALES."

What could be next… Well, just after Charles’ share of the lett/>"HELLO/>"You
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Cliff Watt
I found this collection quite frustrating as each tale for me seemed to end when I was just getting into the characters and story. Found myself shouting 'is THAT it?!' a lot.
It's obvious that by this collection Salinger's writing has matured a lot, but still for me a bit pretentious. Still some desire to shock the reader with not so subtle undercurrents of amoral motivations to some characters actions, but Salinger had a reputation to maintain I guess, and where do you go when you've become suc
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Clinton Smith
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Salinger is a master of throttled emotion and syntax. His ear is acute and his application monumental. Of all the stories in this remarkable collection A Perfect Day for Bananafish takes the cake. It sticks in the mind like a gemstone fired from a shotgun. Sometimes even a Lord of Language like Salinger hits the sweet spot perfectly and then probably wonders how he did it. To me, Bananafish, remains his legacy. As a story, it is possibly immortal.
Henry
This is an epistolary novel of a man (uncle?) writing letters to a young girl (niece?) in which she always talks about living in squalor as something desirable. I forget if he is writing her about the war, or if he is in india or other squalid country. Quite a good read, nothing incestuous.
Alex
Aug 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really loved the way these stories captured the time and place within which he wrote. I had no idea where these stories were going and loved where they took me, particularly the last one, "Teddy". A master of conveying personality through dialogue. Highly recommended!
Esmee
Nov 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best story ever written...
Iris Windmeijer
I loved this story.
Amanda Prince
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Adored this book! I never thought my husband and I would have a little girl. After 4 boys we were blessed with a little girl that we named Esme.
Aditya
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Incredible.
Rachel Zhao
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Absolutely adore Salinger. Didn't finish the Blue Period, though...
Nick Burdett
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Excellent collection of short stories.
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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 published th ...more
“HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO LOVE AND KISSES CHALES” 7 likes
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