Friday, 28 October 2016

Book Review: Franny & Zooey

Franny and ZooeyFranny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Franny and Zooey. What was the book about, anyway, if not about what we do to ourselves in a world of criticism and judgment, when we get carried along that way and lose sight of what our indy purposes are, if not about what happens to a family that was once seemingly so united and celebrated for its little unit of togetherness and genius, when it deteriorates and gets cut up by suicide and sending some to war and leaving the rest to smoke and think and worry and carry on in pursuit of something or in pursuit of not pursuing anything, detachment, if not about the funny window into a messy nuclear home life and the quirkiness of moms and sons and sisters, if not about prep schools and homecoming football games and lunches and fainting spells... if it wasn't about all that, to me, it was about something a bit more thoughtful, less fanciful, more serious even grave, gravely concerned with how we go about our lives faced with the butchers and fat ladies, the disappointments, the faded dreams and painful realities, the fakers finally unmasked and left with what if i'm a faker too, the horrifying naked truth somewhere... and alot of this was also covered in the Catcher In the Rye, so you know it was Salinger in that little bunker on his property in NH where he stole away for weeks at a time in his infantry boots and clothes, probably touching his dogtags from time to time not knowing day or night, night or day, trying to get off the edges and into the heart of something even if it left him with no peace of mind, celebrated in a world he once wanted to celebrate him then reclused himself from, the painful residuals of an earlier attachment, having to detach but going on writing all the same and living a pretty damn long and pretty well respected, earned kinda life... not caring about being prolific or getting his work out even while he was alive necessarily... and i love that about the man and the work... and what i most love about Franny and Zooey whatever it was about, was the smallness of the book in my hands, and the spareness of the cover, the clever east meets west font... but most of all, just the way the two grown kids got around-about-way to the heart-centered business of helping one another out. That's what i loved about it most of all.


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