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Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction

( 23 )

Overview

The author writes: The two long pieces in this book originally came out in The New Yorker—RAISE HIGH THE ROOF BEAM, CARPENTERS in 1955, SEYMOUR—An Introduction in 1959. Whatever their differences in mood or effect, they are both very much concerned with Seymour Glass, who is the main character in my still-uncompleted series about the Glass family. It struck me that they had better be collected together, if not deliberately paired off, in something of a hurry, if I mean them to avoid unduly or undesirably close ...

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Overview

The author writes: The two long pieces in this book originally came out in The New Yorker—RAISE HIGH THE ROOF BEAM, CARPENTERS in 1955, SEYMOUR—An Introduction in 1959. Whatever their differences in mood or effect, they are both very much concerned with Seymour Glass, who is the main character in my still-uncompleted series about the Glass family. It struck me that they had better be collected together, if not deliberately paired off, in something of a hurry, if I mean them to avoid unduly or undesirably close contact with new material in the series. There is only my word for it, granted, but I have several new Glass stories coming along—waxing, dilating—each in its own way, but I suspect the less said about them, in mixed company, the better. Oddly, the joys and satisfactions of working on the Glass family peculiarly increase and deepen for me with the years. I can't say why, though. Not, at least, outside the casino proper of my fiction.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316769518
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 5/1/2013
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 112,804
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 4.18 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

J. D. Salinger
His cloistered lifestyle and limited output have not prevented readers and writers from lionizing J. D. Salinger. With one-of-a-kind stories and the classic novel The Catcher in the Rye, he captured, with wit and poignance, a growing malaise in post-war America.

Biography

Jerome David Salinger, was born in New York City on Jan. 1, 1919, and established his reputation on the basis of a single novel, The Catcher in the Rye (1951), whose principal character, Holden Caulfield, epitomized the growing pains of a generation of high school and college students. The public attention that followed the success of the book led Salinger to move from New York to the remote hills of Cornish, New Hampshire. Before that he had published only a few short stories; one of them, "A Perfect Day for Bananafish," which appeared in The New Yorker in 1949, introduced readers to Seymour Glass, a character who subsequently figured in Franny and Zooey (1961) and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenter and Seymour: An Introduction (1963), Salinger's only other published books. Of his 35 published short stories, those which Salinger wishes to preserve are collected in Nine Stories (1953).

Author biography copyright 1993, Grolier, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jerome David Salinger (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Cornish, New Hampshire
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 1, 1919
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      January 27, 2010
    2. Place of Death:
      Cornish, New Hampshire

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 23 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 23 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2009

    A quirky but fascinating tale

    To those who may not be aware, J.D. Salinger's Raise High the Roof Beam
    Carpenters and Seymour:an Introduction is the last of three books about
    the lives of the fictional Glass family living in New York City at the
    beginning of the 20th century. The other two books in the series are Nine Stories, and Franny and Zooey. The Nine Stories introduces the mem-bers of this large extended family, Franny and Zooey tells the lives of
    the Glass family's two youngest children and the Raise High (the book in question) tells of the older brother Seymour's planned wedding,
    his jilting of his bride and later elopement - the story is told in first-person narrative by his younger brother Buddy as is Seymour, an Introduction.

    The book is an absorbing and often touching chronicle of the lives of all the characters as they cope with their lives in ways both sucess- fully and often not, but you will not be bored. Some may be put off by
    the frequent salty language but even so it does not compare to what you
    hear in the media nowadays - in any case, this was Salinger's style and
    you do go with the flow as you continue reading.

    As alluded to above, this is the third book of a series, so for the nar-
    rative to make perfect chronological sense, you should start with Nine
    Stories, then Franny and Zooey and conclude with Raise High, etc. One
    can, I suppose read one and not the others, but a lot would be lost if you did so and really, the tale of this lovably eccentric famlly would simply not make sense. Do yourselves a favor - get all three (especially
    at these prices) and enjoy.

    P.S. I have left out a lot of details so as not to give anything away -
    why spoil the fun?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    Excellent book. I was not a reader; however, when I began to rea

    Excellent book.
    I was not a reader; however, when I began to read because of this book. It is fascinating how a writer can capture his imagination and transfer it to such an immense story!
    I must warn you, this is not a book for people who do not read between the lines, in other words not to offend anyone if you are not as thoughtful as some of us do not bother to buy it you will simply get bored.
    This is a book for the intellectuals, if there are any left. (not to be taken harshly)
    Other than that J.D. hits home with this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2007

    Perfection

    I, too, read Raise High before Catcher...and even after reading the latter, I still prefer the former. I might even go as far as to say that it's one of my favorite works of literature ever. It gripped me from the start, and though some may see it to be superficial, I did not read it that way. It's incredibly well-written, and there are just little phrases within that have stayed with me. Like the descriptions of Franny's flying with the dust on her fingertips, or some of the passages from Seymour's journal, or even the utterly perfect description of a lazy summer's day in uptown Manhattan. It's severely underrated.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2006

    Different

    Seymour an Introduction was my favorite. Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters just seemed pointless. In the first one I kind of thought Charlotte was Muriel but then I changed my mind. That story was weird it reminded me of Franny and Zooey. This book was hard to follow at times so I had to go back and reread certain parts. I love J.D. Salinger's style of writing, its unique.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2003

    Seymour then, and Seymour now

    Once these two stories meant a great deal to me.I read them and reread them.Salinger had for me then the status of example, of the writer who had found a way of seeing the world,and telling its truth .I am so far I must admit from Salinger's way of seeing things now ,that it is difficult for me to cherish these stories as I once did. Surely they are highly entertaining exercises in the art of the colloquial.Surely they too contain an invention, a cast, the Glass family who are appealing and interesting. They too create an atmosphere,of a time , of New York Upper West Side thirties reality which it is a pleasure to dwell in. The hero Seymour , the suffering sick holy man ,the poet whose East- West verses are so persuasively hyped by his writer- brother Buddy, did too represent in my mind some kind of vague model.'John Keats, John Keats,John, Put your scarf on' a poem of Seymour's is an example of that kind of delightful Salingerese which Seymour too seems to be wholly embued with. This is in my mind still a wonderful enjoyable humorous book to read. But the Eastern philosphy ,the preciousness of the Glass family self- worship, the whole as it were superior if not snobbish stance of Salinger are far from me now. I too must admit that as a religious Jew I find a real superficiality in the rejection of the 'Western religions, and the world of the Bible. Salinger was ,and in a sense is a favorite author of mind, and he helped me reach two masters of his Kafka, and Kierkegaard for which I am deeply grateful. But he does not make it past adolescence in his view of the world. Jews are forbidden to kill themselves, even half Jews, even fictional Jews.It would have been more difficult,but far more courageous had Seymour continued writing his remarkable poems and receiving endless rejection slips for them. And nonetheless persisted. It too, and this is perhaps unfair would have been more courageous had Salinger not withdrawn wholly into his own little world, but faced some of the complicated realities his own particular family knew, and turned in a different way to understand ,and help his readers. But this is perhaps asking too much for a writer who after all has given so many readers so much joy and truth.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2002

    Superb Salinger

    Having read 'Raise High...' before reading 'Catcher in the Rye' I perhaps approached it with a fewer expectations than other readers. I found it both accessible and deeply complex, with beauty drawn out of the most everyday occurance. The brotherly love between Buddy and Seymour is a far cry from the saccharine Hollywood norm, embracing both the faults and merits of the subjects, producing rounder characters. Simply a beautiful piece of writing you should try for yourself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2002

    only half so far

    i have only read half of this book so far (guess which half) and have found it to be very good. from what i remember, typical Salinger. many say it is not like Catcher in the Rye, true: the story is different. however, if you enjoy Mr.Salinger's writing style, you will undoubtedly enjoy (at least the first half of) this book. if you read it trying to get a deeper meaning out of it, you may find it a bit more stressful. but read for the shear joy of reading, people! don't just read for a class or a club; read for yourself! you don't always have to get some deeper meaning out of a book to enjoy it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2001

    A Book That One Has to Take Time to Read

    (I do not want to upset any people that think this is a fantastic book.)I find that the first part of this book was incredible. I loved it and I felt so much feeling was there. I finished the first part in about an hour, I think. The second part, though, was a lot more time consuming. I understand JD Salinger's incredible form of writing, but I felt that on the second half he pushed it a bit. I understand that Buddy Glass talks about his brother with unyielding affection, but it all gets tangled up in a bit of a soliloqoy. I did, however, really, indulgingly enjoy the character of Seymour. He seems like an amazing person. I would read this book, especially if I like JD Salinger, but I do not think it is one of his best. (My final note on this book for this review is that this book goes wildly off of the subject; oppresive reader beware.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2001

    simply incredible

    Similarly, I am shocked to see that this book has not gotten the attention it so dearly deserves. For anyone who has fallen in love with Seymour from Nine Stories, and Franny and Zooey, it provides a much more detailed glimpse into the real Seymour. Raise High is a rather humourous account of Buddy attending Seymour's wedding, well, what was supposed to be his wedding, and has all the plot elements that most people tend to look for. Seymour: An Introduction, on the other hand, is a foray into the mind of an author struggling to describe his brother, who is at once fully knowable and an enigma. Perhaps the most interesting thing you pick up when reading Seymour, is that Teddy IS Seymour, and that A Perfect Day for Bananafish is another look at the same story that Teddy describes. Seymour is also full of tidbits of mystical insight that, no matter what you believe, make you stop and think, and make you want to re-read it again and again, for each time you gleam some new jewel of wisdom. I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2000

    I rush, in disbelief to be the first to review this

    I was taken by suprise when I saw that this book has no reviews and 'The Catcher in the Rye' has over 200. Maybe because it seems to be a different type of book; one that after many readings, (of 'Seymour and Inroduction' especially) always seems to be the first reading. 'Raise High the Roof Beam Carpenters' almost seems to carry on from 'Nine Stories' whilst 'Seymour' is something entirely different. You may declare that 'Seymour' has no plot,that it is not the same as 'The Catcher in the Rye' or that you simply don't like the cover. However, the anecdote at the beginning of 'Raise High...' about horses may help you get over this. Maybe you're simply looking at the wrong things to judge the book. 'Seymour' gives the impression of a very articulate narrator finding that he can only be hopelessly inarticulate, (no, not even inarticulate), but inadequate in his attempts to put the essence of his dead brother neatly and coherently onto the typewritten page.The nearest thing to describe the frustration at being unable to stick to and complete the self-appointed task the narrator has set himself would be one of those age old dreams when you try to run and your legs won't work. It's not 'The Catcher in the Rye', and I guess readers are disappointed to not find a carbon copy of Salinger's other work in these two stories. It's not neat, or easy but it is still Salinger and I feel mute as I can only write with affection for it.

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    Posted October 19, 2009

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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    Posted January 30, 2011

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    Posted June 9, 2009

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    Posted November 30, 2008

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