A Reader's Guide to Unfamiliar Literature
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A Good Place To Start

Franny and Zooey 5
The Catcher in the Rye 4

A Bad Place To Start

Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters; and Seymour, An Introduction 2


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J. D. Salinger

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Please consider recommending where to begin reading this author, or where not to. A few words about your experiences reading this author and why you make the recommendations you do will be helpful to other users. If you are the author or have studied this author extensively, please say so.

Marian March 11th, 2006 08:41 PM PST

Well, you have to read CATCHER IN THE RYE, don't you -- to see for yourself what all the fuss is about (and to find out what the title means!). After that, I would recommend "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" from NINE STORIES, because it offers a great contrast from CATCHER. There isn't all that much in total, so if you want to read it all, pace yourself.

emac52 February 13th, 2007 07:30 AM PST

One of those 'MUST READ' books, The Catcher In The Rye, although brilliant when first encountered as a teenager, has, for me at least, lost a little when revisited as an adult. Rather than feeling any rapport with Holden Caulfield, instead, I wanted to yell at him to 'snap out of it' and to 'grow up'. That said, I still think that you have to experience it, preferably before you finish high school, so that you too can ponder where the ducks go in winter!

imogen October 20th, 2008 05:38 PM PST

Outside the US, Nine Stories often published as For Esme with Love and Squalor


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Boiled down from the Wikipedia entry on Salinger:

Salinger was born in New York City to a Jewish father and an Irish Catholic mother. He attended Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania, upon which Pencey Prep in The Catcher in the Rye is based. Began writing in college. He served in the Army during World War II, where he saw combat action with the U.S. 4th Infantry Division in some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

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