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J.D.Salinger Paperback – May, 1985

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Book by James Lundquist

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. (May 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804464529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804464529
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,503,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patricia R. Andersen VINE VOICE on February 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Mr Lundquist had his work cut out for him in this biography of J.D. Salinger. Mr Salinger did not so-operate with this author and has refused publicity at all times. When "The Catcher in the Rye" came out in 1951, Mr Saliner escaped publicity by traveling to Europe.
Mr Lundquist pieces together what is known about Mr Salinger's life along with his stories ("Franny and Zooey", "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" among them) as well as Salinger's only novel "The Catcher in the Rye". You learn about Mr Salinger's part in the D-Day invasion, his correspondence with Ernest Hemingway and how often suicide or suicidal tendencies come up in his work.
I didn't know that Mr Salinger used his own experience at prep school in Holden Caulfield's life. Mr Lundquist also shows how Mr Salinger's religious beliefs, particularly about Zen Buddhism, underscore all his writing.
This is a very interesting book about J.D. Salinger, as it examines his life through his work and not just the typical "he was born on such and such a date, married So & So and had 3 kids..". I won't claim I understand the man or his writings completely, but it definitely does give you insight into his personality. I recommend this book highly if you want to know more about the reclusive writer of "The Catcher in the Rye".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andy on July 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm writing a thesis on The Catcher in the Rye, and I was expecting more from this book-length study of Salinger's work. Lundquist does give a good overview of much of what was known about Salinger at the time, but he makes too many assumptions and conveys gossip about Salinger as fact. Lundquist also tends to be a little too chatty about minor details, and in places, he provides a good deal of unnecessary information.

Warren French's "J.D. Salinger, Revisited" provides a much more objective, thorough, and accurate survey of Salinger's work. My recommendation would be to read French's work, then Ian Hamilton's, and then Paul Alexander's. Each depends upon the previous biographer, and it is interesting to see the slant each one has on a particular fact. Alexander, in particular, puts a lot of his own opinions into his biography, which is a bit annoying. Hamilton uses some, and French very little. Lundquist doesn't seem to put opinions in, but his work is NOT a good starting point for studying Salinger's work. In my opinion, French's work is the best there is.

There seems to be a recently published work "If you really want to hear about it". I haven't read it yet. From its description, it seems to be an excellent compilation of source documents without the editor's opinions. This would have been quite useful for my research.
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