Thursday, August 23, 2012

Franny and Zooey: A Book Review

This review contains NO spoilers. Enjoy. (:

Today's book review is for a book I actually finished a few weeks back, J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey. Though I typically find that I lose fuel to my fire of book reviewing if I don't do so within a few days of completing said book, I recently went back to reread certain parts and gained some of that fuel back. So before it burns out once again, I want to present to you my book review for Franny and Zooey

(photographed: J.D. Salinger's Franny and Zooey)

Franny and Zooey is composed of one short story, "Franny," and one novella, "Zooey." The story features these two members, a brother and sister, of the Glass family (a family that Salinger also uses in some other works). Since my particular copy of the book lacks a back cover description, I was trying to come up with my own. It was no surprise, if you've read either Franny and Zooey or, from what I've heard, "Seymour An Introduction," that these two books lack a traditional plot structure.

Which reminds me..

A friend that I once recommended to read The Catcher In the Rye, was approximately one-third of her way through the book when she told me she had no idea where the book was headed. And compared to Franny and Zooey, The Catcher in the Rye looks like The Five People You Meet In Heaven in terms of traditional plot structure. You at least know what Holden is thinking and what he wants to do next. You do not get that luxury with Franny and Zooey.

So, essentially, that was my drawn out way of saying there is no way (for me anyway) to summarize the plot of this book without simply giving away one event after another.

My reaction to this book:

Of J.D. Salinger's works, I have thus far completed The Catcher in the Rye, Nine Stories, and Franny and Zooey. While Franny and Zooey is probably my least favorite (I enjoyed "Franny" more than "Zooey") it still has that Salinger voice that I love. Like, Ayn Rand, Salinger could have written about puss-filled boils and I would have still believed it to be brilliant. (By that I meant that Ayn Rand was brilliant. She does not write about puss-filled boils just so we're clear.) Stories such like "Franny" and "Zooey" are successful to me despite their lack of plot because the seemingly random succession of events convey an emotion rather than a conventional story. In a world where religions conflict, sometimes you just really need something -anything- to believe in to keep you going.

"An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else's."

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