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The Salinger Contract: A Novel Paperback – September 17, 2013
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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From Publishers Weekly
This playful literary thriller from Langer (The Thieves of Manhattan) about the imperiled state of writers and books in the 21st century suggests Paul Auster's New York Trilogy with a lighter touch. Narrator Adam Langer's quiet existence as a stay-at-home dad in Bloomington, Ind., is disrupted when thriller author Conner Joyce, whom Adam once profiled in his livelier past life as a journalist in New York City, comes to town on an author tour. Soon after the two renew their friendship, Conner reveals that he's received a bizarre offer. The wealthy, mysterious Dex wants Conner to write a novel for a private collection of unpublished manuscripts from the likes of Thomas Pynchon, Norman Mailer, and, of course, J.D. Salinger. Adam becomes the bestselling author's closest confidant as Conner's involvement with Dex turns dangerous. Langer stumbles with his strained characterization of Conner as an all-around regular guy, but his vision of the publishing world, which ranges from a half-empty Midwestern Borders to a young adult fantasy author who comes on like a foul-mouthed cross between J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer, is a wittily spooky creation. (Sept.)
Good writers’ bafflement at the commercial success of bad writers, combined with envy at their book advances, lies at the heart of many literary satires—and there’s definitely some of that going on in Langer’s twisty, thoroughly enjoyable bibliothriller. “Adam Langer” is a blocked writer and stay-at-home dad living in Bloomington, Indiana, where everything hinges on how well his wife navigates departmental politics at the university. But real drama intrudes when Conner Joyce, a rugged crime-fiction writer Langer once profiled, comes to town for a reading and makes Langer his confidant. Joyce’s career isn’t going so great, either—until he receives a mind-boggling offer from a mysterious patron of the arts. Easy money or a deal with the devil? Working the same vein as he did in his The Thieves of Manhattan (2010), the real Langer has fun zinging the author’s lot in the current publishing climate, and he cleverly blurs fact and fiction in a fast-moving plot. The way it ends feels a bit familiar, but, all in all, a perfect way to pass a couple of evenings. --Keir Graff
Top customer reviews
Be prepared for a story about something that could never, ever happen in real life. Just go with it for the fun of it. Toward the end (maybe the final 15% or so), the story ran out of steam and got melodramatic and preposterous (which it already was, but this was super preposterous). Also, there was a giant stretch when the title was explained. I was happily going wherever the author led me up to that 15%-remaining point, but then I was disappointed. The wrap-up was too forced. Still, it was a fun read and I'm glad I bought the book. I give this book four stars, not for literary quality, but for entertainment value.
I would highly recommend it to anyone who is drawn to good literature but also enjoys a good thriller full of twists and turns that make it hard to put down. Bravo!
Most recent customer reviews
From what Conner wrote,...Read more
The book held my attention for 250 pages. The story was unique,
and also the characters.Read more