Blurb: Two wonderful stories about members of the Glass family by the author of ‘The Catcher in the Rye’. The first story takes place in downtown New Haven during the weekend of ‘the Yale game’ and follows Franny Glass on a date with her collegiate boyfriend. The second focuses on Zooey Glass, a somewhat emotionally toughened genius. As his younger sister Franny hits an emotional crisis in her parents' Manhattan living room, Zooey comes to her aid, offering love, understanding, and words of sage advice.
Thoughts: In short, I fell in love with this book (or more technically, short story and novella). It manages to be incredibly profound while retaining a feeling of total inconsequentiality. It deals with religious philosophy, devotion and fanaticism, but so conversationally and uniquely and it doesn't feel at all didactic or overbearing. Salinger manages to talk about the meaning, or lack thereof, of life in a way that doesn't feel at all hackneyed or like it's been done before.
I also, as I did with The Catcher in the Rye, fell in love with his characters. Something about them - the patterns in their speech, their movement and what they say - makes them feel very real, but at the same time utterly unique. For me at least, they are the kind of characters you want to know and understand everything about.
I think in a way I preferred this book to The Catcher in the Rye. It may have much less of a plot, but for me the characters and the ideas were much more interesting. Either way, I would wholeheartedly recommend it.