Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger


11 Critic Reviews

The Catcher in the Rye may be Salinger's most famous book, but for me, Franny and Zooey is his masterpiece. Frenetic, exhausting and uncompromising...


The author writes: FRANNY came out in The New Yorker in 1955, and was swiftly followed, in 1957 by ZOOEY. Both stories are early, critical entries in a narrative series I'm doing about a family of settlers in twentieth-century New York, the Glasses. It is a long-term project, patently an ambiguous one, and there is a real-enough danger, I suppose that sooner or later I'll bog down, perhaps disappear entirely, in my own methods, locutions, and mannerisms. On the whole, though, I'm very hopeful. I love working on these Glass stories, I've been waiting for them most of my life, and I think I have fairly decent, monomaniacal plans to finish them with due care and all-available skill.

About J.D. Salinger

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J. D. Salinger was born in New York City on January 1, 1919. He attended Manhattan public schools, Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania, and three colleges, but received no degrees. He joined the U. S. Army in 1942 and fought in the D-Day invasion at Normandy as well as the Battle of the Bulge, but suffered a nervous breakdown and checked himself into an Army hospital in Germany in 1945. In December 1945, his short story I'm Crazy was published in Collier's. In 1947, his short story A Perfect Day for Bananafish was published in The New Yorker. Throughout his lifetime, he wrote more than 30 short stories and a handful of novellas, which were published in magazines and later collected in works such as Nine Stories, Franny and Zooey, and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction. The Catcher in the Rye, published in 1951, was his only novel. His last published story, Hapworth 16, 1924, appeared in 1965. He spent the remainder of his years in seclusion and silence. He died of natural causes on January 27, 2010 at the age of 91.
Published January 30, 1961 by Little, Brown and Company. 208 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Franny and Zooey
All: 11 | Positive: 8 | Negative: 3


Above average
on Sep 14 2015

Salinger's two books have created an audience which has made a fetish of every nuance of relationship to his own personal life and here -- in this cerebral exercise of the precision in communication there will be much to implement the saga.

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Above average
on Aug 24 2015

Not as effective as Catcher, this is nevertheless excellent fare for Salinger adherents which include countless young adults among them.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by John Updike on Sep 17 1980

These two stories -- the first medium-short, the second novella-length -- are contiguous in time, and have as their common subject Franny's spiritual crisis...The Franny of "Franny" and the Franny of "Zooey" are not the same person. The heroine of "Franny" is a pretty college girl passing through a plausible moment of disgust.

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Reviewed by Nicola Davis on Jul 23 2014

The Catcher in the Rye may be Salinger's most famous book, but for me, Franny and Zooey is his masterpiece. Frenetic, exhausting and uncompromising...

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Above average
Reviewed by Sabrina on Nov 11 2008

I’ll admit that I don’t know how to react to it. Is it a character study? Philosophical debate? Religious enlightenment story? Whatever it is, I do know there’s a lot of inaction going on, unless you count lips flapping endlessly...F and Z was engrossing, and pages flew by, but I’m overall I’m not sure if I liked it as much as I respected it.

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Englewood Review of Books

Reviewed by Craig D. Katzenmille on Aug 23 2013

All in all, I think this book is a must-read. It wrestles with and guides the reader through some of the more toxic tendencies for religion—being overbearing...and guilt-inducing (as an immature repetition of the Jesus Prayer was for Zooey), for example. But the book also constructs ways of thinking about religion and spirituality healthily.

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Brothers Judd

Reviewed by brothersjudd on Dec 25 1999

This beautiful revelatory story is so suffused with empathy, humanity and spirituality, I had very nearly the same reaction as Franny...If you have ever read and enjoyed The Catcher in the Rye, you owe it to yourself to read this book...It is one of the most moving and profoundly Christian works I've ever read.

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Reading World

Above average
Reviewed by Susan on Dec 19 2011

Salinger is an extraordinary writer. The characters were very real. I could see the settings precisely and watch the scenes as though I were watching a play. The humor leaped out at unpredictable moments, biting and cruel, but the love between the brother and sister was subtly sweet, and the contrast made me more aware of both.

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The Novel World

Below average
Reviewed by TheNovelWorld on Oct 17 2011

I found both Franny and Zooey to be annoying, and pompous...I just found the entire character list to be unlikable, from Franny’s ordinary boyfriend, to Zooey’s child-actor ego, and their father’s obliviousness to anything negative in their lives.

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The Story Girl

on Apr 18 2011

Despite my mixed feelings about some aspects of the book, my overall impression is a good one. I haven't read any other Salinger, but now I am intrigued.

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Above average
Reviewed by John Self on Jul 27 2009

What makes me uncomfortable about Franny and Zooey is that we know that this search for spiritual enlightenment also exercised Salinger at the time (and thereafter, at great length). It feels almost as though the reader is prying on Salinger’s private struggles...

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JD Fleming

JD Fleming 27 Jan 2016

Liked the book