I’m not going to compare Franny and Zooey to The Catcher in the Rye. I’m not going to try and find similarities between Holden and Zooey. Mostly because for the life of me I can’t remember much about The Catcher in the Rye … and I own, get this, three copies of the book. How did I come across three copies? I’m not sure. But there they are, on my book shelf.
I got this book because I remember a friend of mine just LOVING it when we were younger. And I mean MUCH younger, like, fifth… maybe sixth grade? How she fell in love with it at such a young age really blows my mind, but I can’t say I blame her. I think even as a youngster you can still pick up on what is going on in it.
So, I should preface that this book really lacks a plot. But, that only bugged me for about five minutes, when I realized I was over halfway through the book and had NO IDEA where it was going/what I was to be looking forward to (other than the outcome of our dear whiney young Franny).
The book itself, in my opinion, reads like a play. I mean, the whole time I was imagining how I would turn this into a theatrical performance. They reference the theatre a lot in it, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s exactly what Salinger was going for. I mean, the book has all of about four main characters. Franny, Zooey, Lane – Franny’s beau, and Mrs. Glass – Franny and Zooey’s mother. The different parts of the book take place in about four different locales (Train station/Diner, Bathroom, Living Room, Bedrooms). The set design is outrageously EASY to envision.
Anyway, the point of the book is that Zooey (is it ZOH-EE or ZOO-EE?) has to help Franny overcome this little breakdown she is having. And, I LOVE him and I HATE him at the same time. The kid is so RUDE yet so sarcastic and funny that it drives me CRAZY. I hate the way he interacts with his mother, but he is pretty hysterical at times.
If you can’t read a book that doesn’t really seem to have a plot, then don’t try to read this one. It’s a relatively short book though, so it shouldn’t take too long to get through if you want to test it out. There is a religious theme going on in here... I am still trying to think about what EXACTLY this theme was getting at/ how it shapes the book.
I guess my favorite part is Zooey. He’s just a good character. He’s trying to be a good older brother and offer up advice, but he is just so rude and can’t formulate words probably the way he should – he’s one of those guys who is missing a filter between his brain and mouth – but still, he’s trying to help.
If you’ve read it, what did you take away most from the book?
Also, I HAD to use a lot of EMPHASIS while writing this because, by GOD, Salinger just LOVES to emphasize words in this book (and possibly in other work too, as I said, I can’t recall).
On to reading!