Lunchtime read: For Esme with Love and Squalor and other stories

The theme is Seymour again but this time the suicide is dealt with head-on with the holiday in Florida, which was mentioned in Seymour: an Introduction being the location for the final hours of a disturbed but obviously talented man.

There is no sense of impending doom in this story at all so the ending takes you by surprise and it is hard not to come to the conclusion – shared by the mother-in-law – that Seymour is unhinged.

A Perfect Day For Bananafish

* Muriel, Seymour’s wife, is in the hotel and makes a long distance call to New York and tells her mother that Seymour is acting reasonably normally but the mother is alarmed and argues that he should never have been let of hospital by the army

* Muriel defends her husband but there have obviously been issues around the grandmother and suggestions Seymour has made around her funeral arrangements and something to so with trees

* Meanwhile Seymour is on the beach and then plays with a little girl as they go into the water searching for bananafish but at the end when he kisses her foot as she plays the imaginary game you sense there is a bridge he cannot cross

* He then walks back into the hotel embarrasses a woman he accuses of looking at his feet in the lift walks into his room and gets his gun and then lies on the twin bed next to Muriel and blows his brains out

Where this collection of stories can go from there is hard to guess but there will be more tomorrow…

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