I love a train ride. It’s a great chance to curl up with a book and lose myself. Yesterday my treat was “Franny and Zooey” and at times I almost could not stop myself from laughing out loud. Salinger throws out classic lines like a prize fighter, punch after punch. Here’s one: Franny, a cute college co-ed, is having lunch with her young gentleman, Lane. Lane is a real loser, snobbish and self-centered. Franny stares at his plate. He is eating snails and frog legs. Suddenly she blurts out “Eat them snails”. Lane, completely oblivious to everything except his own greatness, continues pontificating about his own selfish concerns.
Skip ahead to the second section and you will be treated to an extended scene in a bathroom where Zooey’s (Franny’s older brother) Mother is an uninvited visitor. He entreats, threatens, and begs his mother to get out to no avail. Using biting, hilarious sarcasm, he debates his mother while chain smoking and soaking in tepid bathwater.