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Nine Stories

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Nine Stories (1953) is a collection of short stories by American fiction writer J. D. Salinger published in April 1953. It includes two of his most famous short stories, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" and "For Esmé – with Love and Squalor". (Nine Stories is the U.S. title; the book is published in many other countries as For Esmé - with Love and Squalor, and Other Stories.)

The stories are:

"A Perfect Day for Bananafish"
"Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut"
"Just Before the War with the Eskimos"
"The Laughing Man"
"Down at the Dinghy"
"For Esmé – with Love and Squalor"
"Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes"
"De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period"

302 pages, Paperback

First published April 6, 1953

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About the author

J.D. Salinger

133 books14.4k followers
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 the critically acclaimed story "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" in The New Yorker magazine, which became home to much of his subsequent work. In 1951 Salinger released his novel The Catcher in the Rye, an immediate popular success. His depiction of adolescent alienation and loss of innocence in the protagonist Holden Caulfield was influential, especially among adolescent readers. The novel remains widely read and controversial, selling around 250,000 copies a year.

The success of The Catcher in the Rye led to public attention and scrutiny: Salinger became reclusive, publishing new work less frequently. He followed Catcher with a short story collection, Nine Stories (1953), a collection of a novella and a short story, Franny and Zooey (1961), and a collection of two novellas, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction (1963). His last published work, a novella entitled "Hapworth 16, 1924", appeared in The New Yorker on June 19, 1965.

Afterward, Salinger struggled with unwanted attention, including a legal battle in the 1980s with biographer Ian Hamilton, and the release in the late 1990s of memoirs written by two people close to him: Joyce Maynard, an ex-lover; and Margaret Salinger, his daughter. In 1996, a small publisher announced a deal with Salinger to publish "Hapworth 16, 1924" in book form, but amid the ensuing publicity, the release was indefinitely delayed. He made headlines around the globe in June 2009, after filing a lawsuit against another writer for copyright infringement resulting from that writer's use of one of Salinger's characters from The Catcher in the Rye. Salinger died of natural causes on January 27, 2010, at his home in Cornish, New Hampshire.

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5 stars
63,013 (44%)
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,266 reviews
Profile Image for brian   .
248 reviews2,944 followers
October 8, 2009
i know of three people who are totally obsessed with j.d. salinger:

john hinckley
mark david chapman
goodreads david

i know of four reasons why i (must) love this book:

1) because i don't want to see a list that looks like this:

ronald reagan
john lennon
goodreads brian

2) because in the early 80s salinger was a huge fan of the sitcom mr. merlin which was based on the premise -- wait for it… wait for it... -- that merlin (yeah, that merlin) is alive and well in san francisco and working as a mechanic.

and it gets better: salinger became totally obsessed with elaine joyce, the lead actress from the show, and came out of hiding to track her down and date her.

joyce could later be seen on just about every single game show and… well, just watch this clip:


(yeah, you really gotta love charles nelson reilly)

i imagine salinger, lonely, smelly, the bottom of his too large t-shirt hard with encrusted sperm, top of it soft with drool… beard stubble, cat hair, spoiled milk, stale danish, waiting all week for the chance to tug at his old man penis to 23 minutes of mr. merlin, hoarsely shouting in anger and frustration as he’s about to ejaculate and they abruptly cut away from joyce to merlin. (thank god for tivo and being able to freeze frame or slo-mo marisa tomei without having to hoarsely shout at ethan hawke and phillip seymour hoffman)

so, it’s very funny, of course, but also incredibly human and poignant and tragic. and while the tendency is to ridicule salinger for falling for a third-rate sitcom actress, it can’t help but humanize and endear him to any of us who have totally, completely, and inexplicably fallen for someone…

3) because i'm a shameless contrarian and all you fuckers love to rag on the man. so i really wanted to love this book. and it wasn't difficult.

4) because it's great. these stories are great. and they don’t even feel like stories, but like nine strange impressionist sketches. i almost feel that each story should have started and ended with an ellipse... you kind of flow from one weird, fragmented sketch to the next -- from the laughing man, which makes you feel more like a child than any story you’ve ever read, into bananafish which is loaded with more stunning and surreal imagery than should be allowed in one story, and then to Teddy’s strange world of cruise ships and fate and genius children…

get in the ring, motherfuckers!

Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56k followers
August 27, 2021
Nine Stories = For Esmé - with Love and Squalor, and Other Stories, J.D. Salinger

Nine Stories (1953) is a collection of short stories by American fiction writer J. D. Salinger published in April 1953.

It includes two of his most famous short stories, A Perfect Day for Bananafish and For Esmé – with Love and Squalor.

Nine Stories is the U.S. title; the book is published in many other countries as For Esmé - with Love and Squalor, and Other Stories.

Nine Stories:
A Perfect Day for Bananafish (1948),
Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut (1948),
Just Before the War with the Eskimos (1948),
The Laughing Man (1949),
Down at the Dinghy (1949),
For Esmé – with Love and Squalor (1950),
Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes (1951),
De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period (1952),
and Teddy (1953).

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «دلتنگی‌های نقاش خیابان چهل و هشتم (نه داستان)»؛ «نه داستان»؛ نویسنده: جی.دی سالینجر (سلینجر)؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: در ماه سپتامبر سال 1998میلادی

عنوان: دلتنگی‌های نقاش خیابان چهل و هشتم (نه داستان)؛ نویسنده: جی.دی سالینجر (سلینجر)؛ مترجم: احمد گلشیری؛ تهران، پاپیروس، 1364؛ در263ص؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، ققنوس، 1377؛ چاپ سوم 1380؛ چهارم 1381؛ پنجم 1382؛ هفتم 1385؛ نهم 1386؛ دهم 1387؛ یازدهم 1388؛ دوازدهم 1389؛ شابک 9789643111564؛ موضوع: داستانهای کوتاه نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

عنوان: نه داستان؛ نویسنده: جی.دی سالینجر (سلینجر)؛ مترجم: آسیه شهبازی؛ تهران، آوای مکتوب، 1394؛ در 224ص؛ شابک9786007364246؛

دلتنگی‌های نقاش خیابان چهل و هشتم، یا «نه داستان» در عنوان انگلیسی کتاب؛ نام مجموعه ای از داستانهای کوتاه «جروم دیوید سلینجر»، و شامل نه داستان کوتاه است؛ عنوان اصلی کتاب یا همان «نه داستان» به «دلتنگی‌های نقاش خیابان چهل و هشتم» تغییر داده شده است؛

عنوان داستانهای کوتاه مجموعه به ترتیب عبارتند از: («یک روز خوش برای موز ماهی»، «عمو ویگیلی در کانه تی کت»، «پیش از جنگ با اسکیموها»، «مرد خندان»، «انعکاس آفتاب بر تخته های بارانداز»، «تقدیم به ازمه با عشق و نکبت»، «دهانم زیبا و چشمانم سبز»، «دلتنگیهای نقاش خیابان چهل و هشتم»، و «تدی»)؛

برای نخستین بار با ترجمه ی جناب آقای «احمد گلشیری»، در سال 1364هجری خورشیدی، و توسط انتشارات «ققنوس»، به چاپ رسید؛ سپس در سال 1381هجری خورشیدی، برای بار چهارم، و سالهای پس از آن نیز بارها تجدید چاپ شد

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 29/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 04/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Vit Babenco.
1,397 reviews3,274 followers
May 10, 2022
Post-war stories full of post-war syndromes… Psychologically subtle stories of grownups and children… And all the tales are rich in irony…
A Perfect Day for Bananafish is about traumatic post-war mental disorder…
“Miss Carpenter. Please. I know my business,” the young man said. “You just keep your eyes open for any bananafish. This is a perfect day for bananafish.”
“I don’t see any,” Sybil said.
“That’s understandable. Their habits are very peculiar. Very peculiar.” He kept pushing the float. The water was not quite up to his chest. “They lead a very tragic life…”

In Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut two young women – old college friends – meet and get drunk…
Eloise had left college in the middle of her sophomore year, in 1942, a week after she had been caught with a soldier in a closed elevator on the third floor of her residence hall. Mary Jane had left – same year, same class, almost the same month – to marry an aviation cadet stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, a lean, air-minded boy from Dill, Mississippi, who had spent two of the three months Mary Jane had been married to him in jail for stabbing an M.P.

Just Before the War with the Eskimos is about strange workings of an adolescent girl’s consciousness…
The Laughing Man is a pre-war tale about the team of young boys and their adult chief, and also it is a story within story…
Down at the Dinghy is an account of the mother and her capricious son…
The swinging door opened from the dining room and Boo Boo Tannenbaum, the lady of the house, came into the kitchen. She was a small, almost hipless girl of twenty-five, with styleless, colorless, brittle hair pushed back behind her ears, which were very large. She was dressed in knee-length jeans, a black turtleneck pullover, and socks and loafers. Her joke of a name aside, her general unprettiness aside, she was – in terms of permanently memorable, immoderately perceptive, small-area faces – a stunning and final girl. She went directly to the refrigerator and opened it. As she peered inside, with her legs apart and her hands on her knees, she whistled, unmelodically, through her teeth, keeping time with a little uninhibited, pendulum action of her rear end.

For Esmé – with Love and Squalor is a case of the wartime nervous breakdown…
“No, you know the reason I took a pot shot at it, Loretta says? She says I was temporarily insane. No kidding. From the shelling and all.”
X threaded his fingers, once, through his dirty hair, then shielded his eyes against the light again. “You weren’t insane. You were simply doing your duty. You killed that pussycat in as manly a way as anybody could’ve, under the circumstances.”
Clay looked at him suspiciously. “What the hell are you talkin’ about?”
“That cat was a spy. You had to take a pot shot at it. It was a very clever German midget dressed up in a cheap fur coat. So there was absolutely nothing brutal, or cruel, or dirty, or even –”

In Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes we meet an unfaithful wife and her lover, De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period is about a brief touch of an aspiring young artist with the world of fine art and Teddy is tale of a whizz kid who is some kind of a spiritual freak…
Children live in their own imaginary world. Grownups live in their own illusory world.
Profile Image for David.
865 reviews1,283 followers
February 26, 2009
If I can get serious for a moment, and cast aside the brittle, smartassed, persona that the social networking aspect of goodreads tends to bring out, I'd like to try to express what it is that drives me in this life. It is the following belief, instilled primarily by my mother, an exceptionally smart woman who never suffered fools gladly, but had the mitigating grace to be one of the warmest, most generous women you could ever hope to meet, as well as having one of the greatest voices you can imagine (Buttercup)

Here's the main thing she taught me: each of us has an inescapable responsibility to take whatever talent we have been given on this earth, and to develop it as far and as well as life allows.

This is so deeply ingrained in my beliefs that I can pretty much trace every major decision I've made in my life back to it.

What does this have to do with the price of eggs? Well, it's the reason Jerome David Salinger makes me as mad as all get out. Because I can certainly understand why, given the perfection of the stories in this collection, any writer might not want to risk spoiling his reputation by following up with work that might not reach the same level. Hell, nothing could possibly reach the perfection of the stories, "For Esme - with Love and Squalor", "The Laughing Man", "Down by the Dinghy", or "Just Before the War with the Eskimos". And while I'm not really a great fan of Seymour Glass, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" is pretty damned awesome as well.

So, yeah, J.D. - after those stories, it's hard to imagine anything better. Even anything comparable.

But that's still no excuse for not trying, you arrogant egotistical bastard. You were dealt a monumental, unimaginable, talent. And for you to squat there in-fucking-communicado in your bloody bunker in New England, resting on your admittedly golden freaking laurels, is an act of unconscionable, unpardonable, selfishness. I could almost convince myself that your genius crossing over into madness was the explanation for your lack of output, but you seem craftily able to sic your lawyers on anyone perceived to encroach on your goddamned "privacy".

So, while I can understand the impulse of not wanting to risk your reputation, I sure as hell can't forgive it. You were granted an incredible gift. You should be using it.

And, sorry folks, it's far beyond me to locate exactly where the genius lies in the particular stories mentioned. You really just need to read them for yourselves.

Profile Image for Amethyst.
185 reviews334 followers
August 11, 2018
قبلا ناتور دشت رو خونده بودم و حالم از شخصیت هولدن بهم خورده بود و با خودم عهد کرده بودم دیگه دنبال کتاب هایی از این نویسنده نرم که اصولا جو گیرها توی وبلاگ هاشون با آب و تاب میگن عالیه ! هرچند دوباره تحت تاثیر جو این کتاب رو شروع کردم و اوایلش به خودم میگفتم که باز وقتت با یه کتاب نامناسب حروم شد ؛ اما با خوندن چندتا داستان دیگه تازه دستم اومد سلینجر سبکش چطوریه و یک حالت سوییچ بین کودکی و بزرگسالی سر تا سر داستان هاش به چشم میخورد حالا یا به صورت محسوس یا نا محسوس . داستان های "تقدیم به ازمه با عشق و نکبت" و "دلتنگی های نقاش خیابان چهل و هشتم" و "تدی" ! خصوصا داستان "تدی" مورد علاقه ی من بود ... خود داستان تدی به اندازه کافی ارزش تک خونده شدن رو داره و مفاهیمش و گنجوندن بزرگی یک روح در یک کودک ده ساله توسط سلینجر برام خیلی جالب بود و نظرم در مورد این نویسنده حالا کمی بهتره ، امیدوارم اگر باز کتابی ازش به دستم رسید این نظر تقریبا مثبتم پس رفت نکنه بلکه از طرفدارهاش هم بشم ، البته امیدوارم ...
Profile Image for Duane.
828 reviews396 followers
September 12, 2017
This is as good of a short story collection that one could hope to find. Salinger was a heck of a writer, certainly well known for his classic, The Catcher in the Rye, but there is much more out there, like this little jewel for example. I give this 5 stars on the strength of two stories alone, but they all were good. The two stories I mention are A Perfect Day for Bananafish, and For Esme - With Love And Squalor. Both have themes involving troubled soldiers returning from World War II. Salinger's experiences in the war certainly influenced his writing, and may have been partly responsible for his reclusiveness for the last 45 years of his life.

Update: September 2017 is the release of the movie "Rebel in The Rye", which is based on the autobiography J.D. Salinger: A Life by Kenneth Slawenski. I look forward to reading the book and seeing the movie to learn more about this interesting man.
Profile Image for Kenny.
490 reviews847 followers
September 30, 2022
Each of his phrases was rather like a little ancient island, inundated by a miniature sea of whiskey.
Nine Stories ~~ J.D. Salinger

Oh Mr. Salinger, why couldn’t you have published more of these amazing stories in your life time???

Nine Stories -- a collection of brilliant short stories from J.D. Salinger. It is in this collection where the Glass family, the main constituents of Franny and Zooey, is first introduced. In the next eight stories, we meet and get to know characters with an assortment of mental and physical ailments, and self-discoveries.

This is my second journey with Salinger after Franny and Zooey. My favorites here are To Esme – With Love and Squalor, The Laughing Man, De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period, and Teddy. A shared thread through all nine stories is the mood of desperation, of frustration, and of higgledy-piggledy identities. The characters are very real; these are real people with real issues starting to overspill into their everyday lives.


These stories haunt me. I found To Esme – With Love and Squalor a story about the effects of war on an individual stayed with me for days. It’s so simply written, and yet, packs so much emotion and observation on the state of war and the mental and physical drain it can take on one person. From the one line note about a twitch on the face, to a shaky hand, the subtle differences from the first half of the story to the second half create an overall dreadful vision.

What is De Daumier-Smith’s Blue Period -- loneliness, isolation, misrepresentation, reinvention, escape, connection? Who is Jean De Daumier-Smith -- we never really know since this the name the narrator calls himself. The fact that we never know Jean’s real name is significant; it serves to highlight the idea of misrepresentation and reinvention. Jean appears to be uncomfortable with who he is and by changing his name Salinger allows Jean to reinvent himself. The trigger for Jean wishing to reinvent himself stems from the loneliness and isolation that he feels possibly due to his mother’s death. By reinventing himself, Jean is able to escape from the painful realities of the world around him. We, all of us, can relate.


This collection of stories should be read over and over again. When I next read these stories I’ll discover something new about one of the characters or catch a new allusion or reference. What insights will I glean about the Glass family?

I could go on forever about the themes here. I could write pages about these people. I wonder where Esme is now. What will become of Teddy? Does the Chief find love and is he actually The Laughing Man?

It's what's left unsaid here that really intrigues. Words may go unuttered, but still one hopes ...

Profile Image for s.penkevich.
776 reviews5,367 followers
May 20, 2022
I bought this collection in college after an overnight work shift, having not even realized it existed until I saw it on the shelf at the Borders Books and Music (RIP, amazing book chain) near my apartment. I was thrilled and texted a bunch of people all naively saying "did you know Salinger wrote a short story book!?" They all did, of course, but the weird part was that when I woke up to all the reply texts after having fallen asleep reading the book, they were all saying "woah, he actually just died today."
So I've always felt like Salinger was so outraged by my Salinger ignorance that he up and died. Sorry all.

But this is a fantastic collection. To Esme – With Love and Squalor and The Laughing Man were the big standouts to me. Much of his best writing is in here and the collection is a perfect catalyst to his themes across a collection of beautiful gems that flow thematically.
Profile Image for Guille.
739 reviews1,443 followers
April 17, 2021

No todos, es cierto, pero cuánto me han gustado algunos, casi todos, de estos nueve cuentos: Un día perfecto para el pez banana, El tío Wiggly en Conecticut, Justo antes de la guerra con los esquimales, El hombre que ríe, Para Esmé, con amor y sordidez, Linda boquita y verdes mis ojos.

Me gustan las ambigüedades que se encuentran en cada relato, lo no dicho, lo tan solo insinuado; me gustan sus diálogos y como retratan a los personajes; me gusta, me parece fascinante, como con tan poco nos hace sentir tanto sobre los hombres y mujeres que viven en sus cuentos, sus angustias, sus penas, sus carencias, su soledad, el horror de la guerra; me gusta la inteligencia de contar algo relatando otra cosa; me gusta el tratamiento de los niños y sus relaciones con los adultos; me gusta Salinger y prometo desde ya una relectura de su, para mí muy lejano, “El guardián entre el centeno” que, tras la lectura de estos cuentos, seguramente no supe valorar como se merece.
Profile Image for Paul Bryant.
2,178 reviews9,218 followers
December 30, 2010
If kidnappers had snatched up J D Salinger some time in the early 1970s, driven like madmen through the night and the next day too and imprisoned him in a small but pleasant room somewhere near Boise, furnished him with with all mod cons, and told him he wasn't going anyplace soon until he'd finished at the very least another nine stories, and at best three or four complete novels; and if the kidnappers - due to an endearing cocktail of naivete and compassion (because you know they were just literature fans like you and me, not blank-eyed killers, and they weren't entirely convinced about this whole caper to begin with let it be said) let JD go for long walks (to get inspiration, but really to beat on a nearby farmhouse door and call the cops); and if they were then rounded up (not too hard, said the cops) and put on trial - not a jury in the land would have convicted them.
When the prosecution rested and the defence opened, their lawyer would simply have issued a copy of Nine Stories to all 12 jurors and said "Ladies and gentlemen, I rest my case."

This is not to say that each of the Nine is such a great golden glowing nugget of controlled power, insight and wisdom (some are) but that the whole is such eloquent proof of the perspicacity, intelligence and all-round humanbeingness of JDS that reading this collection is very bittersweet - how lovely it all is, and how very little of it there is, when duller, pudgier-fingered writers type on, and on, and publish, and publish.
Anyone who has encountered comments by myself on Ye Olde Catcher in Ye Rye will now accuse me of inconsistency, or at least, be expecting me to accuse JDS of the same. How can I hate the novel for its unbearable whine and Johnny-one-note somebody-shut-him-up-please tiresomeness and yet enjoy all the rest of JDS as I do? They're cut from the same cloth, it's not like Picasso's blue period and Picasso the cubist which could have been different guys, or the Velvet Underground's first and third albums which could have been a different band. But I've come across this in different areas of the universe - can't stand Tom Waits until Swordfishtrombones, think he's a genius for three albums, then can't stand him again. Shakespeare's tragedies - oui! Shakespeare's comedies - er, non! So maybe not that unusual.

JDS famously published all his stuff between 1951 and 1963 and then STOPPED. (Which is why the kidnappers pounced, they gave him a good ten year rest and that was ENOUGH to their way of thinking.) And he stopped just as things were getting really interesting. He writes of the murderous conformities of American educated middle-class life and of the outcasts and especially young kids who either subvert this button-down world or bail out swiftly. Just as he stopped publishing things began to change. the 60s began swinging, and the youthquake (as it has been termed) was upon us. Just the very stuff that you might have thought would have fascinated JD. What do the kids do when they try to make their own rules up? I feel the absence of JDS throughout the 60s and 70s, as i feel the absence of another American writer who STOPPED in 1963, Sylvia Plath. I want to know what these two clever clogs would have made of the tumultuous ten years which followed the self-stilling of their voices.

But back to the Nine Stories - and to steal a fellow reviewer's catch-phrase:

Is it a classic?

Answer : Yes. Goddamn!

PS : I realise I also speculated upon the advisability of kidnapping Thomas Bernhard elsewhere but that was to save the world from any further novels like Extinction, whereas the JD Salinger kidnap is for the opposite reason. But I would like to publicly state that I do not condone the imprisonment of any writers for any reasons, so please don't try this at home.

Profile Image for Robin.
475 reviews2,556 followers
December 30, 2018
Adverbs. It's all because of adverbs that I read this collection. I asked a wonderful teacher of mine about adverbs (whether to use them, and all that), and the main gist of his answer was: "Read Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger. He's the master of the adverb."

Good lord, he is. The almost 200 page collection is positively (see what I did there?) LITTERED with them. One beautifully (ha!) placed adverb after the next. In one paragraph I counted five. Five gorgeous adverbs in a single, solitary paragraph. And it works - oh, how it works - magnificently. (Take that, Stephen King.)

Besides the adverbs, I found two of the most incredible short stories I've ever read: A Perfect Day for Bananafish and For Esmé - with Love and Squalor. Both of these stories left me with a catch in my throat, my pulse racing (and not just because of the adverbs), and a compulsion to peel the pages back and re-experience the power and emotions through this man's cunningly chosen words. I tried to explain Esmé to my mother and found myself choking up with tears.

Interestingly (I could do this all day), both stories are similar, though one is devastating and the other hopeful. Both involve a post WWII soldier suffering from PTSD. Both involve the absolute delightful innocence of a child. Both feature the most perfect dialogue. Actually, all of the nine stories feature dialogue. I'm going to have to re-read this one day, just to study the dialogue. One of the stories is almost 100% one side of a telephone call. I mean, this guy was brilliant. I just wish he'd written more.

Not all the stories contain the potency of the two I mentioned. But each story deserves to be read thoughtfully and enjoyed fully, methodically, even reverently.

5 stars, for Esmé.
Profile Image for emma.
1,821 reviews45.5k followers
February 6, 2020
If I were more put together, I’d have nine tiny one-sentence reviews for this and talk about each story, but I’m not, and so as is it’s a miracle that I have any notes on it at all and also am writing this less than three months after reading it.

I always know if I REALLY like a book that is of VERY high quality if it makes me miss being in literature classes. This one, for example, made me desperately wish I were in one so I could debate “Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes” for at LEAST one million years.

But alas, I am a genius and therefore no longer in college.

Plus I don’t think I ever would have read this in any class anyway.

Some of these stories didn’t work for me but I REALLY liked some of them, as indicated above. Salinger writes so gorgeously, and there are some truly lovely characters here - Esmé and Charles, Teddy, the Glass family.

It is a very small book of very small stories that I liked very much.

Bottom line: What I just said!


earlier, i stated that i am J.D. Salinger trash.

this statement is confirmed.

review to come / 4 stars
Profile Image for İntellecta.
198 reviews1,531 followers
December 14, 2018
Nine Stories by J.D Salinger "There are nine deep, enigmatic narratives. It is always about the motives of childlike innocence, the adult world and the invaders of war in the lives of individuals and the isolation of a traumatized man. I was surprised that some stories bored me, although literary quality can be no doubt. Salinger's dialogues are fabulous, the course of the stories consistent. It's the portrait of an absolutely static Society.

Profile Image for Rolls.
130 reviews313 followers
March 6, 2007
Salinger's "Nine Stories" should be renamed "How to Write Short Stories." While many hold up "Catcher in the Rye" as the zenith of his achievements for me it will always be this wistful and brave little book. I re-read it two or three times or year. I love it that much.

To be honest out of the nine stories collected here I would say that only a third are Salinger's best. "Perfect Day for Banafish," "For Esme - With Love and Squalor," and "The Laughing Man" are to me the peaks of short fiction. Everything that Salinger does best he does in these three tales. Nobody wrote children better than him. They leap off the page at you right into your lap. Esme, her brother, Seymour's little friend and the narrator of "Laughing Man" are so vivid and real you feel like running them all down the street for ice cream and cake. They are that true to life.

Same goes for Seymour in "Banana Fish" and the narrator of "For Esme." Nobody got into the heads of brilliant but troubled young people better than Salinger. What we hear about Seymour as opposed to what we see creates a palpable (and beautiful)tension. The narrator of "For Esme"'s war inflicted emotional problems are drawn with such artistry as to flood over you as you read.

"Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut," "Daumier-Smith's Blue Period," and "War with the Eskimos" to me fall into the "damn entertaining but not great" category. These stories are beautifully observed, funny, poignant and always a pleasure to read but lack that magic the first three have to spare. Of course that being said even being good but not great Salinger makes them better than most.

Finally "Teddy," "Down in the Dinghy" and "Pretty Mouth Green My Eyes" are good stories but I feel they suffer from being collected in the same book as the others. Each alone is enthralling but not a one of them is a patch on "Esme," or "Bananafish." Where the other stories feel like a full meal these come off more like snacks. Tasty but not quite filling.

If you like Salinger and want to read something by him that won't make you want to shoot a president or a sixties rock star this my friend is the book for you.

Profile Image for Valeriu Gherghel.
Author 6 books1,216 followers
March 14, 2023
Tot ce-a scris mai bun Salinger...

Nici un prozator n-a făcut mai puțin pentru gloria de care a avut parte. Unii au publicat zeci de cărți, J.D. Salinger s-a oprit la trei. Gloria a fost instantanee și, după 1965, s-a hrănit din speranța tenace a admiratorilor că Salinger scrie, scrie, scrie, chiar dacă a renunțat să mai publice. Joyce Maynard a vorbit de un seif în care s-ar găsi manuscrise destinate unei publicări postume. Însuși Salinger s-a jurat că nu a renunțat niciodată la scris.

Cele nouă povestiri mi-au plăcut dintotdeauna. Tonul lor vine din Cehov, Joyce - Oameni din Dublin - și Hemingway. Naratorul menționează doar gesturile și faptele personajelor. Nu spune niciodată ce gîndesc cu adevărat, nu menționează motivele. După ce discută cu Sybil și înoată pe mare, abulicul Seymour Glass își trage un glonte în cap. Nimic nu prevestește acest deznodămînt:
„Aruncă o privire spre tînăra femeie care dormea întinsă pe unul din cele două paturi alăturate. Se îndreptă apoi spre un geamantan, îl deschise și scoase de sub un maldăr de chiloți și tricouri un revolver de calibru 7, 65. Trase afară magazia de cartușe, o cercetă și apoi o băgă la loc. Ridică piedica pistolului. Se duse apoi și se așeză pe patul neocupat, privi spre soția lui, potrivi pistolul și-și descărcă un glonte în tîmpla dreaptă!”.

Sigur, putem formula ipoteze în legătură cu gestul lui „gratuit”. Seymour Glass tocmai s-a întors din război, acolo s-a petrecut ceva rău, nu aflăm ce, nici naratorul nu știe. Soția, prietenii și rudele îl privesc cu neîncredere, Seymour s-a schimbat în chip vădit, nu mai e omul de odinioară: poate ar fi nevoie de un medic, sugerează mama lui Muriel într-o discuție la telefon.

Nu știu dacă ați remarcat, în povestirle lui J.D. Salinger (publicate între 1948 și 1953), copiii sînt mai inteligenți decît adulții. Conversațiile decurg firesc, descrierile sînt minuțioase, „neobișnuit de precise, complete, intense și persistente”. Să mai spun? Povestirea mea preferată rămîne „Pentru Esmé, cu dragoste și abjecție”...
December 9, 2022
Having been put off reading ‘A Catcher in the Rye’, I thought this was a good way to sample J.D. Salinger, and what a thoroughly satisfying collection of short stories to ruminate and reflect on. To appraise, commend, and to even reason with. A book where all the characters and their stories felt real – too real which makes this collection all the more unforgettable.

A truly sobering read but a triumph of a book for its exploration of the flawed human mind portrayed alongside real and powerful themes, accompanied by some superb characters to deliver many hard-hitting, important, but also simple messages.

In each of the nine stories, no emotion is spared, no sentiment is over or under stated, as the trials and tribulations of life are laid bare in simple texts with some strong and poignant themes running through all of them.

My favourites are 'For Esmé - with Love and Squalor', the story the book takes its title from. The most disturbing was the first story – 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish' which left me a little shocked at the ending. Also wonderful are ‘Down at the Dinghy’ about a mother trying to coach her son in dealing with fear, and ‘Teddy’ which explores multiple encounters onboard a luxury liner. All superbly written.

My least favourite was ‘The Laughing Man’ and ‘Just before the war with Eskimos’, mainly because the ending felt flat in both.

Each story is unique with the constant call for awareness, understanding and appreciation of the human mind, the internal conflict many wrestle with and how innocence can see beyond the furs and glitz to focus on what really matters – kindness and understanding.

The themes are endless, depression, suicide, loneliness, death, infidelity, greed, PTSD, love, and highlights the consequences of not seeing the obvious signs or not looking beyond yourself. For example, the wife in A Perfect Day for Bananafish jokes about her husband’s solemn mood not seeing the suicidal behaviour nor hearing the desperation in his words.

In ‘For Esme – with love and Squalor’ Esme is a young girl who meets an American soldier before he goes off to war. Despondent and battle weary the soldier has one of the most innocent but affecting conversations which helps pull him back from his current depressive state. The child then gifts her father’s watch and writes that this is on loan to help the sergeant through the war. Full of hope, innocence, touching and written with such simplicity and beauty.

However, this book is an experience and will take you on an emotional journey where the reader will experience a fusion of hope and hopelessness, sympathy, empathy, and despondency. Also kindness, and generosity of spirit, and even a sense of frustration at the many self-destructive and / or selfish acts. Most of all, we shine a light on ‘choice, understanding, acceptance and kindness’ and what a beautiful way to explore these themes through 9 short stories. Brilliant.
Profile Image for Lorna.
652 reviews352 followers
November 1, 2021
Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger may be one of the best collections of short stories that I have read. It was clear from the opening story, A Perfect Day for Bananafish, followed by Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut, that this was the writing of probably one of the greatest authors of the twentieth century. And my favorite was For Esme--with Love and Squalor.

Quite a few years ago, when I became interested in the literary works of J.D. Salinger, I read what was touted as the definitive biography by David Shields, Salinger. I found the book riveting, particularly the graphic portrayals of Salinger's experiences during World War II, including the landing on Utah Beach in Normandy on D-Day, June 6, 1944, and all that ensued. Salinger also fought in the Battle of the Bulge near the end of the war and was also among the first soldiers to enter the recently liberated concentration camp at Dachau, Germany. Salinger, like so many others, was deeply affected by his experiences during the war and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. The effects of this PTSD informed his writing from then on. And never was it so striking as in this treasure of short stories, many of them written for The New Yorker.

This was such a compelling book by one of our master literary authors of the twentieth century. A humble salute, not only to J.D. Salinger's literary expertise but to his humanity and service to our country. I was so touched by his writing in a foxhole while the bombs were falling all around. And I know that one of his favorite authors was Ernest Hemingway, who we know had a typewriter in his foxhole as they both gave us some of the greatest literature of the twentieth century. Thank you.
Profile Image for Gypsy.
397 reviews502 followers
December 22, 2017

نمدونم ترجمه یه نارسایی‌هایی داشت واقعاً یا نه، ولی ویرایشش یه‌‌کم اعصابمو خرد می‌کرد. کتابی که اینقد تجدید چاپ شده اونم. سلینجر اونم. داستان‌کوتاهاش اونم. سلینجر برا من یه جورایی مث دوا شده. هرازگاهی باید یه چیزی ازش بخونم که دوباره ریکاوری بشم. چندتا از داستان‌های این مجموعه رو قبلاً هم خونده بودم(مثل یک روز خوش برای موز ماهی و دهانم فلان و چشمانم چنان :همر: خدایی چه مناسبتی داشت این اسم من نفهمیدم!) و کلاً دوست داشتم. بازم اینو خواهم خوند. ولی نه اینطور پشت سر هم. هر داستانو دیگه می‌کشه می‌رم می‌خونم. مثلاً تدی رو می‌دونم دیری نمی‌گذره که می‌رم باز می‌خونم. عجب فضایی داشت.
Profile Image for AiK.
468 reviews107 followers
February 24, 2023
Элоиза Венглер – внешне успешная женщина, удачно вышедшая замуж, живущая в богатом особняке. Ей не нужно работать, у нее есть прислуга, поэтому домом она тоже не занимается. Она мается бездельем. Ее жизнь пуста, и она пытается заполнить ее встречами с подругой по колледжу, выпивкой и … воспоминаниями о прежних развеселых днях и своей любви к Уолту, который погиб на войне. Она эгоцентрична, равнодушна к своей дочери Рамоне, она безучастна к просьбе служанке позволить ее мужу переночевать в ее комнатенке. В общем, в ней нет ничего, что вызывало бы хоть какую-то симпатию. Напротив, наши симпатии и сожаление вызывает ее дочка, которая живет в воображаемом мире и под расспросами матери, которые та задает для смеха, рассказывает Мэри Джейн о своем невидимом друге Джимми. Это покинутый, одинокий ребенок, ненужный своей матери, не имеющий друзей и придумавший себе воображаемый мир. Но… оказалось, что этот воображаемый мир – проекция мира ее матери. Ведь Элоиза в своем безделии и ничегонеделании живет воспоминаниями о Уолте – это тоже воображаемый друг. На это наталкивает то, что Рамона заявляет, что Джимми умер, попав под машину и теперь у нее новый невидимый друг – Микки. Элоиза прекрасно осознает, как она выглядит в глазах людей, и в финале она умоляющим голосом спрашивает подругу: «Ведь я же была хорошая?». Когда она стала «плохой» – тогда, когда потеряла любовь? И как жить человеку, который потерял свою любовь? Сможет ли она стать снова «хорошей»? Зависит ли то, что человек становится хорошим, когда любит или когда счастлив? Вот такие вопросы ставит перед нами Сэлинджер.

"Девять рассказов" - это сборник, куда входит и рассказ "Лапа-растяпа".
Мои обзоры по другим рассказам и повестям можно посмотреть по ссылкам:
Profile Image for Ken.
Author 3 books901 followers
January 22, 2023
This collection of stories sent me back. I read them long ago and half expected to be "sent back" by memory cells saying, "Oh, yeah. I recall this one," but, no. Not a one. Past the sleepy town of Vague, even.

What sent me back was time and place. Can't say if it's ME when I read them (at so young an age) or the stories, which struck me as being paradoxically quaint yet sophisticated at the same time. I made an update saying it reminded me of black and white film. All those dates from the 50s. My earliest recollections are the early 60s, but that's close enough. The Zapruder film and other footage of JFK's Dallas visit looks like another planet. All those hats and librarian-like cat glasses. Thin ties. Thin people (processed food and sugar still hadn't caught up with us).

Even the later 60s bother me. The grainy color footage of people waving goodbye to the train carrying RFK. My God. How Salinger gets mixed up in all THIS is beyond me.

The stories, though. Dialogue is Salinger's métier (which I think is French for "favorite way to show off"). His characters talk, therefore they are. And they say things like wudja and whatcha and things like that. And, as I noted in his other book, Salinger italicizes to prove the mettle of his ear. "What do you expect?"

Sometimes, instead of describing an action, Salinger will have his characters react to the action, leaving it to the reader to infer. Often he'll populate the stories with children, some bratty (advisable) and some precocious (less so). Only Teddy in the last story grates a bit. And the interactions between adults and children in the first and last story seem naive by today's "stranger danger" standards. That's a bit of lost innocence, too, given that the adults in these stories have only good intentions.

Coolest of all is how J.D. is at ease with most any kind of protagonist -- male, female, little girl, little boy. He can do the flashback. He can do chronology. He can get philosophical in a Buddhist kind of way. He can use the news (such as wartime stories), he can be funny, and he can be shocking (first story, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" being a perfect day for examples).

So maybe I was ready. In the right mood to revisit this particular book. Maybe, in its meditative way, it took me back to simpler times -- even though both Salinger and I know those times were no more simple than our own tortured times.

Whatever. Glad I impulse-picked it up. The itch met its scratch.

Until next time, Nine Stories. Maybe in 2051, if you're not doing anything and I'm not on my Teddy-like 53rd reincarnation.
Profile Image for Mevsim Yenice.
Author 4 books966 followers
June 2, 2018
Bir süredir kitap seçimlerimden yana oldukça şanslı olduğumu hissediyorum. Ama yine de itiraf etmek gerekirse, uzun bir süredir beni bu kadar etkileyen, çiviyle yerime çakan öyküler okumamıştım.

Yıllardır rafta okunmayı bekleyen kitaplardan biriydi Salinger’ın Dokuz Öyküsü. İyi ki beklemiş. Benim gibi öykü delisi biri için, bazı öykülerin, bazı atmosferlerin doğru zamanı var gibi geliyor hep. Mesela 10 yıl önce okumuş olsam araya gidebilecek bir kitaptı benim için bu, o nedenle tam da şu günlerde okumuş olmaktan çok memnunum.

Ayrıntılarda boğulabileceği, kolaylıkla ajite edebileceği her konuyu ve sahneyi öyle güzel göğüslemiş ki hayran olmamak elde değil. Öykülerin içine yerleştirdiği önemsiz gözüken ufacık bir anın, göz kırpan bir ayrıntının, dönüp dolaşıp muhteşem sona hizmet edecek sağlam birer yapı taşına dönüşmesi, okuyucu olarak tam bir doyum sağladı bende. Her öykünün bitiminde aradığımı hem verdi hem de peşinden koşturttu Salinger. Yaşadığımı hissettirdi kısaca.

Dokuz öykünün hemen hepsinde, çocuk ve yetişkin perspektifi var. Karşılıklı diyaloglar gerçekçi ve o kadar vurucu ki hafızaya kazınıyor. Çocukların olduğu her yerde kendiliğinden ortaya çıkan “saflık” ve savaşın olduğu her yerde yine kendiliğinden kaçınılmaz olarak meydana gelen “yıkım, huzursuzluk, kirlenme” sırt sırta ilerliyor öykülerde. Bu kontrast kurguyu dipdiri tutuyor. Öykülerin bel kemiğini güçlendiriyor.

Ve en güzeli de, hemen hemen 9 öykünün hepsinde de unutulmayacak karakterler yaratmış Salinger. Ben artık aradan yıllar da geçse, yüzlerce kitap da okusam, binlerce kahramanla da tanışsam Esme, Seymour, Teddy, Eloise, De-Daumier Smith ve Ginnie’yi unutamam mesela, bundan eminim.

İyi metin okumak isteyenlere kesinlikle tavsiye edeceğim bir kitap Salinger’dan Dokuz Öykü.

Profile Image for Chloe.
348 reviews529 followers
January 29, 2010
I was sitting at my cube farm today, moving numbers from one spreadsheet to another, cursing the internet tracking that keeps me from daytime Goodreading and daydreaming of pixies and unicorns when I received an email from my wife that utterly rocked my world. ":( Salinger's dead," read the short missive, and with that my world grew a little more gray. Normally news of celebrity death does little but placate my immense Schadenfreude, but Salinger's death is a serious blow to me and I feel compelled to emote all over my computer screen (don't worry, I have tissues).

Who remembers the moment when they first fell passionately in love with reading? I'm not talking about when you realized that reading was enjoyable, or a good distraction from your family, or a great way to spend a sunny day in the park. I'm talking about when you realized that this was it: life could throw anything at you and, as long as you had reading, you could cope and move on. That rather than simply entertaining, your world could be expanded and fleshed out by what you glean through a page- that this great human fuck-up can best be understood by placing yourself within the head of strangers and seeing the world through their eyes for a time.

I can chart the exact instant this thought struck me- when I first finished reading Salinger's Nine Stories, particularly the utterly heart-breaking "A Perfect Day for Bananafish." To this day this book is still my favorite of his limited oeuvre and a surefire contender for Top 5 favorites of all time. While he is deservedly renowned for Holden Caulfield's teen angst, it is the subtle pathos of Nine Stories that marks him as an author without equal.

The alienated Seymour Glass, who I always pictured as a stand-in for Salinger himself, and his tragic inability to connect with anyone but young children. The prescient Teddy, whose thinly-veiled Buddhism came years before the Beats began reading Suzuki. Esme, Charles and the damaged Sergeant X- all three of whom I feel an unceasing tenderness for. The idolized Chief and the heartbreak of Mary Hudson. All of these stories I can return to again and again, myself changed by the passing of time, and find something new and rewarding to take from them. Whether it is his absolutely perfect dialogue (I know of no other author who so accurately captures the rhythm and cadence of speech), his impulse (need?) to include a death in nearly all of his stories as if to remind us that even imaginary friends can get hit by buses, his endless attempts to put into words the passive disconnection from the rest of humankind that we all, at one point or other, feel overwhelmed by. There is more literary merit in this slim volume than the whole New York Times bestseller list.

I've often harbored the dream of hanging out in Salinger's tiny New Hampshire village and somehow attracting the eye of the reclusive author- carrying groceries across the street or some such menial chore. We would get to talking and he would offer to read some of my meager works and, wonder of wonders, offer a few words of advice. You know, Daydreaming 101. Sadly this will never be. If there is a bright side to this tragic passing, it is that hopefully he’s been writing feverishly for the past 60 years and his estate will begin posthumously publishing. This is the only real kind of immortality available, and hopefully Salinger's words will be read for centuries to come.
Profile Image for Emily B.
424 reviews417 followers
May 25, 2022
I haven't read any Salinger in many years and this was on my shelf for over a year before I actually read it. I'm so glad I finally picked it up.

Each story was a good length, entertaining and clever. Overall these were my kinds of short stories
I also liked how they related to Salingers other work including Franny and Zooey
Profile Image for F.
294 reviews251 followers
October 10, 2018
Didnt enjoy any of the short stories and didnt enjoy getting to know the characters in any.
Seemed to have a theme of wealthy people in solitude in someway or another.
Profile Image for Agir(آگِر).
437 reviews484 followers
July 28, 2021
دختر گفت شما می‌دونید نکبت چیه؟
گفتم گمونم هرروز دارم بیشتر باهاش آشنا میشم
گفت: خداحافظ، امیدوارم تو جنگ روحتون سالم بمونه


حتما تصاویرِ اعزام سربازان به جنگ را دیده‌اید. سربازان سوار بر قطار و زنان در صف هایی بلند و پهن برایشان دست تکان می‌دهند تا شجاع‌ترشان کنند و ترس را از آنها دور کنند.
در آن لحظه شاید سرباز با لبی خندان به بازگشتی افتخارآمیز می‌اندیشد که معشوقش برای او آغوش خواهد گشود و مردم بر سرشان گل خواهند ریخت.
اما آنچه که بعدها اتفاق می‌افتد فرق زیادی دارد!!
در صورت زنده ماندن، لبان او به ندرت خواهند خندید و جامعه که او را به سمت مرگ هُل داده بود، از دیدن جسدِ زنده‌ی او بیزار است...

سالینجر در چند داستان از این کتاب به زندگیِ غم انگیز سربازانِ جنگ پرداخته؛ به طرد شدگی و اینکه چقد دوباره شانس این را دارند کودک درونشان زنده شود!؟
Profile Image for Jeanette (Ms. Feisty).
2,179 reviews1,897 followers
November 28, 2009
This is one of "those" books. The ones where I turn the final page and sigh and wonder how I can convince other people that it's worth reading. Consider this: There are 30,520 ratings for this book here on Good Reads. The average of all those ratings is 4.18. Nothing I could say would be more convincing than that. Read it and marvel.

My two favorite stories are For Esme--With Love and Squalor, and Down at the Dinghy. I think I liked these best because I love the way Salinger writes about children. Tender and charming without ever being cutesy. I fell in love with the precocious Esme within the space of a few pages. I wanted a whole book about her!

Down at the Dinghy features a sensitive little boy in self-exile on the family dinghy, and the way his mother gently coaxes him to come back up to the house. This is Salinger's true genius---creating perfect word pictures of ordinary events.

Nine Stories should be required study for every creative writing program. An unpretentious, seemingly effortless, utterly original voice. If I could write just ONE story comparable to these, I'd be so puffed up with pride I'd bust right outta my corset!

NB: The first story, A Perfect Day for Bananafish, can be quite jarring if you're not familiar with the Glass family featured in the novel Franny and Zooey. Seymour is the eldest child of that family, and always referred to in the past tense or at a remove in Salinger's other works. This is your one chance to see him while he's still alive. His sweet, gentle nuttiness with the little girl on the beach is especially touching.

Profile Image for Majeed Estiri.
Author 6 books475 followers
January 1, 2020
فکر میکنم اگر قرار باشد 5 مجموعه داستان را به عنوان بهترین مجموعه داستان های قرن بیستم انتخاب کنیم یکیش حتما این کتاب است.
هر نویسندهء جوانی که زیرپوستی نوشتن را از کارور آموخت باید این مجموعه را بخواند تا سرکشی را از سلینجر یاد بگیرد.
Profile Image for Mariel.
667 reviews1,047 followers
March 12, 2011
It has been a long time since I read Nine Stories. For once I don't care about getting older. This wasn't about that. So I started rereading Nine Stories in my car on my work lunch breaks. Getting through the day necessities stuff. I really needed an old friend. I was at a loss in a bad depths of despair kinda way that I cannot put in a meaningful way that will mean shit to anyone else. I remembered Nine Stories was good to me. I'm in no mood for anything more than that. Friends.

This probably won't make any sense to people who don't struggle with stupidity. There's a sick cloud feeling in my head that I get when I try to understand math, or something like that that requires logical thought. I never read instructions, either. I've been feeling this sick, cloudy feeling of anxious stupidity for no math related reasons. Just in general. It really sucks.

So Salinger is my breath of fresh air from that feeling. I find I don't want to read anything but short stories right now.

And other feelings... (I have a feeling I've mentioned this elsewhere on goodreads. Oh well.) When I was a kid (four?) I read this Peanuts comic strip. Charlie Brown was struggling to explain his mixed up feelings of being sad, happy, angry, all those free-range emotions, all at one time. I quoted that to my family to try to explain how I was feeling. They laughed their asses off. I slunk off to mood all by myself. It's really not about getting older. I'm still doing that. I've never found a better way than Charlie to explain that stuff. All of my moods are Peanuts broods... Anyway. Those feelings led to my reread. I needed them all. (You already wrote a review intro, Mariel. I can have more than one! Picking books is serious business! All at once!)

I remembered four of the nine stories well, the rest not at all. Shit. This throws new light on the ethics of my memory and reviewing books I read a long time ago. It's not a comfortable feeling. (Not that I won't still do it.) I'll include my old thoughts if I remember any.

A Perfect Day for Bananafish:
Confession: I totally got into J.D. Salinger because of Robert Smith of The Cure. (According to youtube, there is a band named Bananafishbones.) Bananafishbones - The Cure
I did remember this story. Of course I did.

Old Mariel thoughts: This Muriel girl sucks. (I'm interested in all literary Mariels, Muriels, d other avariations on that theme. I draw the line at Mary. Mary-Ellens need not apply either. Who has the time?)

I don't remember my old thoughts well enough. Did I relate to Seymour more? I think I relate to him more now just because I remember that old me had a massive inferiority complex when it came to precocious kids. Not that I enjoy the company of three year old girls (I've spent enough time in the company of ones related to me). Now? She wasn't all that precocious. Seymour is the permanently precocious.

My ex once told me that kids stared at me because they sensed that I was one of them. I don't like him for saying that.

I know too well the feeling of talking to people who respond as Seymour and Buddy do to their young girl friends. I get exactly those kinds of responses. It actually feels really lonely.

This wasn't what was in my head while I was rereading in my car. What is special about the precocious? The ability to surprise. It isn't lack of artifice, or knowing rules. That simply isn't true. (The little girl reminded me of mind games that older girls would play on a boyfriend with her jealousy of the younger girl he was friends with.)

It isn't good, the preoccupation with what other people notice. I don't want to think about relating to Seymour being offended when he thought the girl in the car was looking at his feet.

I've said it all before about this thing about strangers. The great things about kids is that they are all strangers. There's something about talking to strangers who don't know all other threads to heap onto everything else to the point they can't listen to the point of what you're feeling.

Maybe I don't really want to talk about suicide on goodreads. It has been in my life. There's a part of my brain that splits: 1. The person who dies. It's not up to me. Why would anyone want to go on living if they CAN'T go on living? 2. The people left behind. I've almost been them. I don't want to be them. That stuff I wrote earlier about threads... It's too much. This time... I was only feeling Seymour side. It's that kinda story.

I didn't feel less lonely reading this one. I'm not sure what I felt except... I don't know. There's a time when leading someone else to look at bananafish isn't enough, when raising yourself isn't enough. Potential for what, anyway?

Ruh roh, Raggy. If they are all this long this is gonna be a long ass review...

Uncle Wiggily in Connecticut
Confession: I can't spell Connecticut without cheating.
I didn't have invisible friends. I made friends out of inanimate objects. I've never really and truly stopped doing that. To myself I describe it as my Tom Hanks in Castaway with Wilson the Volley Ball moments. I'll stop ever doing it when I don't feel like that. Castawayed.

I loved it when Jimmy gets killed and the little girl immediately replaces him with a new best friend. When a little kid I maimed my paper Care Bear doll (cut his leg off) and then couldn't stop crying over the loss of his leg (with vows of never hurting him again). I feel an affinity with Ramona. I'm sure she killed him for the tragedy of it all. (Or it really was the dog's fault.)

I had a depressing feeling off this one. Maybe I get this from other Salinger females, like their good times end when they pretend not to be young anymore? I loved it when the mom, Eloise, wants reassurement of her past from her college friend, Mary Jane. What is the fun in being a dinner party person, anyway? Cocktails, dinner parties: same difference.

Just Before the War with the Eskimos:
No confessions. (I'm not admitting to once writing a really bad story about an eskimo.)
I found reassuring so much the details like Selena coming back in a dress when she had been wearing shorts. (Even if it didn't annoy Ginnie as it normally would have.) I'd have been steamed. I hate waiting. I hate waiting soooo much. I hate it when people know you are waiting and run errands and shit. It gives me a sick and frustrated feeling. Anyway.

I hope Ginnie will appreciate others noticing the interesting details, and how they put them, in more worthier people than Selena, her brother or his friend. What a shame. Younger me probably felt sad that she crushed on a guy who liked her (probably) prettier and more socially at ease sister. I probably also noted that Eric spoke like someone Holden would find annoying (his "grand" and all). I've always wanted to save people in stories from uninteresting characters. "You can do better!"

P.s. The Eskimos will go after the French first. Maybe they don't wanna be named after a dessert cake any longer.

The Laughing Man:
Confession: Talk of athetlics of any kind usually make my eyes glaze over. I admit to having an "Oh fuck" moment. I'm a jerk.

I loved this story. I feel so much impatience with stories about beautiful people. It means fuck all to me to read the word beautiful. In this story the Chief and his Mary Hudson are beautiful like heroes of memory, and of stories. I feel embarrassed trying to describe this. I loved the Laughing Man stories that he told the kids.

You know what? I haven't done a list in ages.

Coolest bus drivers:
1. Chief
2. Bus-Driver Stu from The Adventures of Pete and Pete
3. Otto from The Simpsons

It occurs to me now that Bus-Driver Stu holding the kids hostage to his relationship problems might've been a nod to this story. Awesome. Pete and Pete makes me happy like almost nothing else does. It's like ideals like how The Laughing Man does beauty. Not definitions, just living as day to day without reading the rules first. I suck at describing this. If I were them I'd never forget those stories either.

Down at the Dinghy:
My confessions are embarrassing. I'm not gonna tell the story of when I tried to run away. It's not a nice story like this one.
I didn't remember this story despite once naming a bird I took care of after Boo Boo.
It must be great to have a mom like Boo Boo.

For Esme- with Love and Squalor:
I liked this story much more as an adult than I did as a teenager. I was too close in age to Esme, perhaps. I was probably jealous of Esme because she was so smart for her age (I may as well confess that smart kids make me feel really bad about being a dumb adult). No poise either. But that doesn't matter at all. Old me! It was so sweet the way the brother and sister were with each other. How Esme missed her father (she was likely jealous of her mama so I wasn't that unusual as a teen, I guess)... Anyway, it made me happy how happy Buddy is to have his letter. I'm glad that he wrote his story and engaged more than his brother did with his girl friends. Friendships should be more than something the other cannot understand.

Pretty Mouth and Green My Eyes:
I am losing steam with this one. I felt bad for Arthur... but I didn't want to spend time in their marriage problems. It makes me uncomfortable to hear about them. There's nothing I can do for them. You know?

I did read that PJ Harvey made a nod to this story title in her song Angelene. This is one of my all-time favorite Peejay songs. Thanks, wikipedia trivia!

De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period:
"The fact is always obvious much too late, but the most singular difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is a solid and joy a liquid."
I feel disconnected with much of this story, as with 'Pretty Mouth'. Blame my desperate impatientness for something... Maybe I want a life affirming day that beats any bananafish day, or anything. Something more sustaining. What the hell is gonna happen next?

Teddy is right. It isn't so good that way, loving for the sake of loving. Sighs. But I do think too much. I wonder how Seymour would like talking to Teddy. He'd meditate and not give practiced answers, for sure. No pet nothing. Number two reasons this time. The little girl... Number one too. It's complicated.

It did help. I'll always need more. I think, though, that Salinger didn't owe anybody to publish anything. (I'll always need more. That's exhausting.) Not any more than Seymour did with what he put out. I guess it's not always a perfect day for bananafish. I'm so glad these were published, though. I needed them like Buddy. It's not all a smile. I've already said that lame-o stuff about my Peanuts emotions. That's the best I've got. I wish I had better. Number one and number two reasons.
Profile Image for Hank1972.
111 reviews36 followers
November 5, 2022

Che meraviglia questi nove racconti !! Come ha detto qualcuno, forse costituiscono l’opera migliore di JD Salinger, meglio del Giovane Holden.

Per lo stile, sicuramente: dialoghi costruiti perfettamente, eleganza, precisione, concisione che punta ad esaltare anche il non detto lasciando spazio alla nostra immaginazione, titoli che non si dimenticano.
E per i contenuti che si snodano e intrecciano nelle nove prove e tracciano un filo rosso, da seguire come in un romanzo. Emozionante in tante parti, divertente in diversi passaggi, movimentato e sorprendente talvolta.

JDS scrive il giovane Holden nelle pause della II guerra mondiale

JDS partecipò alla seconda guerra mondiale, sbarcò a Utah beach nel D Day, avanzò di battaglia in battaglia per la liberazione dell'Europa, fino a Monaco ed al campo di sterminio di Dachau. Soffrì di stress post traumatico. Le due vette dei 9 racconti, Un giorno ideale per i pescibanana e Per Esmé: con amore e squallore poggiano su questa sua esperienza. E sono bellissimi.

Oona O'Neill fu il grande amore di JDS, destinataria delle sue lettere dal fronte; ad un certo punto le lettere non trovarono più risposta. Oona aveva sposato Charlie Chaplin. Bella bocca e occhi miei verdi è la storia di un tradimento, anche un po' di quello subito da JDS.

Oona O'Neill e Charlie Chaplin

JDS è di padre ebreo come Lionel, il bimbo protagonista di Giù al dinghy che, sconvolto da una frase antisemita diretta contro il padre, ritroverà la serinità grazie alle cure amorevoli della madre.

L'incanto della fanciullezza la ritroviamo nè L'Uomo Ghignante, la squadra di baseball ed un racconto (nel racconto) fantastico ricreano la magia di quel periodo della nostra vita.

Le difficoltà e conflittualità dell'adolescenza sono invece al centro di Alla vigilia della guerra contro gli Eschimesi.

Il "rifugio" di Salinger in New Hampshire dopo il ritiro dalla scena pubblica

Il dialogo spettacolare di Lo zio Wiggily nel Connecticut tra due ex compagne di college ci riporta con malinconia ai sogni e amori dell'adolescenza in contrapposizione impietosa alla realtà attuale.

Le aspirazioni artistiche e qualche esperienza mistica le troviamo in Il periodo Blu di De Daumier-Smith, dove il nostro è impegnato in un'improbabile scuola d'arte per corrispondenza condotta da due coniugi giapponesi in quel di Montreal.

Teddy è un altro dei ragazzi speciali di JDS e ci porterà verso la trascendenza spirituale e le religioni orientali, una risposta diversa, la stessa che sperimenterà per una vita l'autore, rispetto a quella originata dai pescibanana, chiudendo così il cerchio di queste nove storie.

Swami Nikhilananda, monaco induista, fondatore del Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, Manhattan, New York, maestro spirituale di vedanta-yoga di Salinger.
Profile Image for ατζινάβωτο φέγι..
176 reviews6 followers
November 17, 2016
Αν θελήσεις ποτέ να γράψεις διηγήματα, να ξέρεις οτι δε θα το κάνεις ποτέ τοσο καλά οσο ο Σάλιντζερ.
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