Raise high the roof beam, carpenters, and Seymour--an introduction.


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Mar 6, 2008

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Does literature hold any greater treasure than the Glass family for readers seeking psychological candor? It is difficult to imagine. The allure of Franny, Buddy, Zooey, and Seymour can be so powerful that the page seems hardly sturdy enough to hold up the dialog. Salinger, whose secretive late-stages of writing promise much more on the Glasses, has developed his family portrait across many books and short stories. This one introduces Seymour on his wedding day, through the eyes of his brother. The writing is luminous, unfolded in real time, and its substance is unalloyed: characters fighting to reconcile their feelings and their obligations to the external world. It is incumbent upon all readers of post-war American literature to acquaint themselves fully with the Glass family, now omitting more obscure but essential components like "Hapworth 16, 1924". This book, along with "Franny & Zooey", is a good point of entry.

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