Kate's Reviews > Nine Stories

Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger
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's review
Jul 01, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2012, one-day
Read on July 01, 2012

This has been on my shelves for a couple of years. I usually bring it out during readathons but never get to it, which is just as well because despite it's small size, the stories took a bit for me to get through. Nine Stories was a library sale purchase, an impulse buy to make myself read books not published in the last 20 years or so.

I'm glad I read this, there were even a few stories that I really liked and found myself puzzled and challenged by, but in all honesty I won't re-read this book again. Too much of the dialogue is flippant and, to a working class woman of modern times, hard to decipher. Most of the stories end without any resolution, without any real answers, and a few times, without any clue as to what the point of the story is supposed to be... at least to me. These are stories to be read, studied and discussed, Salinger's short story collection is not just a casual read.

The main problem is that except for a few characters, I couldn't relate to, or like, any of them. I've only read Catcher in the Rye by Salinger, so I'm just going to assume that he doesn't really concern himself with likeability. And maybe that's more honest than most books I've read recently. Salinger's characters are positively teeming with faults. There are no Mary Sues to be found. In fact, most of the stories depict women who are absolutely horrible and vapid... but then he does the same with most of the male characters.

So is this book for you? If you like short stories and want to read something with some depth then yes, I think you'd like this. A few of my favorite stories were The Laughing Man, De Daumier-Smith's Blue Period, Down at the Dinghy, and Teddy. While I didn't like some of the stories, I think most would make excellent discussions for book clubs.

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