Saturday, May 19, 2012

I love JD

I know some of you are thinking of that handsome young Doctor in Scrubs (and I do love him too if you must know, I've got a lot of love to go around), but in this instance I'm referring to the remarkable JD Salinger and his book "Franny and Zooey"
The book is two short stories sewn together, one called Franny, and the other (rather predictably) titled Zooey (ok it's only predictable when you know the full title I suppose, but you know what I mean).... (especially when he bursts into song - that's when he's at his cutest I find).. and anyway - this book was picked for my local book club, and I got my second hand copy from the nice Amazonians, (they've some amount of cheap books in Brazil, must be all the rainforests) and so my copy had been intriguingly gifted to someone from their parents for their 22nd Birthday - imagine that?!  A skinny book, for a 22nd birthday present, maybe they pushed the boat out for his 21st... There was nothing written on the back, so, with no hint apart from a dedication stating that it was being offered with the enthusiasm of a one year old offering a cold lima bean - (and when he plays those hilarious tricks with the dead dog), I dived in.
In summary, in 178 or so pages - the main character Franny stares twice (maybe even more often, but definitely at least twice) at the ceiling (and then there's those times he has that sweet little sing song voice where he talks about the lessons learned during the day aka the half hour that the show has lasted).  She has a fight with her boyfriend - who's a bit of a drip, then goes home all mopey, not over the boyfriend, more because she wants to find some kind of inner peace, so she's home all mopey and her mother and brother try to cheer her up and then she falls asleep in the end. (or when he thinks out loud in the middle of the corridor)
So in summary, not much happens, the action covers about 3 hours in total, and yet it is  COM PLETE LY transfixing.  He's a genius of a writer, that's all there is to it.  Shows you the minute telltale signifiers of a person's mood, effortlessly brings you into the hot, smoke filled, world of the characters and doesn't let you out. So, yeah, I love him.  There were bits that I didn't love too, but sure no one's perfect, (except JD from scrubs maybe)... And it is the ONLY book I've managed to finish this year so far... apart from "La Gatita", "Colours for Babies", "Shapes for Babies", "Words for Babies" and "Jenni, an Chearc Beag Donn" (Jenny the little brown hen).  I'm still struggling through "Teddy is Polite" it's a hard hitting drama about a Teddy forced to recognise the consequences of his actions - I'm fairly sure it's not by a JD of any kind.

The book list is gonna be short this year.


Titus said...

He's a genius of a writer, that's all there is to it. Shows you the minute telltale signifiers of a person's mood...

How can ignore that?

Great review. What's Scrubs?

And next, next, you've got to for 'The Sisters Brothers', Patrick de Witt. Just finished it, absolutely loved it.

swiss said...

i had a moment there where i thought your post was going to be a paean to jack daniels.

i'm not such a fan of salinger but it's always great to hear the enthusiasm of you/those who are.

i too have read the sisters brothers and enjoyed it. me i'd recommend flowers for algernon as one of my recent reads.

but first you've got to get thru teddy. is it true it was influenced by camus' l'etranger?

Niamh B said...

Titus Scrubs is great craic, just a silly american sitcom, but I always get some bit of a giggle out of it. (check it out for JD alone!)
Might check out the sis's bros - but currently have another JD from the liberry.
Ha swiss, never thought of Jack D, god it could've been Jack Dee too! Haven't had that kind of JD in a long time and in no rush back to it. flowers for algernon - sounds very fleury.
I think it was the other way around re Teddy and l'etranger... there are definite echo's throughout Camus work of some of the themes, like when Sammy won't let Teddy play with his trainset, it's so copied in "the fall" as they say on wikipedia "Clamence's argument posits, somewhat paradoxically, that freedom from suffering is attained only through submission to something greater than oneself"

swiss said...

i read the algernon book after hearing about it on the radio - before that i only knew, and had been put off by, the title. it's of its time but my, how i wish i'd read it years ago. the girl who was reviewing had but on readin it twenty years later found it still had the same effect on her.

if there's still books when the wee man is in his youth this, along wiht mockingbird and yes, catcher in the rye, would most likely be my top three american novels for him to read.

Louise said...

Read it a zillion years ago-must order my copy from Brazil:) love that u got an inscription on ur one-sort of an intriguing idea to wonder about all those secret notes!!! Heads off to think:)

Words A Day said...

Thanks for the recommendation, I like the sounds of it- and i havent finished a book in yonks, nothing is grabbing to amazon:)

Kat Mortensen said...

Just a flying visit - no time to comment (I will later), but I notice you've got the old link to my blog in your sidebar. That will only get you some guy in Georgia who stole the url.

If you change it to this: you can actually see my blog! Yay!

Back later, after I take mom shopping for her groceries.


Niamh B said...

Swiss i wish i kept good filing system oN here and i'd have saved the recommendation for when i need it, will just have to write it down somewhere,
Louise i know, it's a big part of the fun of amazon,
Words, hope it's to your liking, i may be exaggerating from the excitement of having finished something!!!
Tks kat, he's some cheeky pup isn't he?

davidmohan said...

I really want to read this book - it sounds like something I would like. I just got his collection of short stories and am enjoying them so far.

Niamh B said...

thanks david -you definitely should - I've since been reading a couple more of his and they're not as good - still good, but not as good - not sure if it's the thrill of the newness of the writing though, would be interested in checking out his stories though.

Niamh B said...

ie that the newness of the writing is now gone