My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What I love about this book is like Salinger’s other works that he really wrote for himself, not for us, his readers. That we could sense if he’s doing it because he loved it, he loved his characters, he loved the Glass family.
I never knew that an anti-plot or plotless story would be interesting until I read Salinger’s work. And, especially in Franny and Zooey (where the set was even minimal), the story was mainly driven based on the strong characters of every member of Glass’ family. At first, I thought this was only about seeing Franny and Zooey’s expressing their self-crisis and criticism upon mainstream society. Not until I finished reading it, I grabbed certain values that the story did not only focus on the self-crisis of the characters if you pay attention, but it’s also about love and hate relationship run in a family, about protecting each other as a family. How Buddy tried to reach Zooey and urged him to pursue his PhD, how Zooey asked Franny to at least think of their parents, Bessie and Les, how once Seymour told both Franny and Zooey to carry on doing things even when they did not like it solely for humanity and such (the Fat Lady thing), how in the end Zooey saved Franny from her own aimless idealism through Seymour philosophy, and such. Not to mention the Glass family member’s abnormality (sure, they are all freak prodigies), but those things are things normally run in the family. You know, a mom who urged her daughter to eat and have a healthy diet, a son who argued a lot with his mom, an old brother who told visionary things for sake of his younger brother/sister’s goodness, and such. It happens.
And, no, you cannot skim-read this kind of story. You should go through sentence every sentence, and get into it deeper to grab everything.