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Salinger Hardcover – September 3, 2013
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is not, as some reviewers here have implied, a transcript of the "Salinger" documentary film. At over 700 pages, it goes deeper than any movie could. It contains bibliographies of writings by and about J. D. Salinger, brief biographies of the people quoted in the book, and even descriptive sketches of the fictional Glass family. It does not, unfortunately, have an index,
and it is sometimes difficult to tell in what context a statement was made (such as an interview given specifically for this project, or some other source).
Other reviewers have lamented how the book is comprised of quotation after quotation and does not follow a traditional narrative format. But what better way to learn about Salinger's life than to read firsthand accounts directly from the people who knew him? Instead of reading the biographer's description, let Jean Miller, for example, tell how she met Salinger on the beach when she was fourteen (inspiring his stories "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" and "For Esme - With Love and Squalor"). Occasionally, the same stories are told by different voices, although this does not result in monotony, as some reviewers suggest.Read more ›
It is, LITERALLY (in the old sense of the word, not the new one, which has no meaning) hundreds of pages of quotes, loosely organized around a general theme. There is no attempt at a through-line to paint a complete picture, no connecting the dots, no thought whatsoever.
This book is not written. It's not even really edited. It could best be described as curated, but only barely.
And honestly, if it is even just a transcript of the movie, I am no longer interested in seeing the movie...... Such a disappointment.
Unless what you want is field notes, in which case, this is a gold mine. You just have to do all the digging.
The trailer for the associated documentary film flashed in front of me at a theater. It looked exciting. I had read only "Catcher In The Rye," and knew little about Salinger the man. When I saw the book, I clicked on it right away. I wish I had checked the customer reviews first. As stated, you get hundreds of pages of disconnected drivel.
Person 1: When Jerry came back from the war, he never was the same.
Person 2: Something happened to him over there.
Person 3: The Jerry who went to Europe was not the Jerry who came home.
These are not actual quotes, but the text is that shallow. The same banal thoughts are repeated ENDLESSLY. Twenty, thirty, fifty times, a new person says exactly the same thing. I stuck it out to the end, curious to see if the 'authors' would provide any conclusion whatever. They do. In the final chapter, they bring their psychological examination of Salinger to a bombastic, unsupported conclusion. This was almost fun, like watching an Olympic competition for blowhards.
This publication is a horrible mess. Try any other book on Salinger, or just go read Wikipedia, you'll be much better off.
During this excruciating yawnfest, I reflected on a larger phenomenon. People like Salerno and Shields ask, "What was wrong with Salinger? He must have been deeply wounded. If he were healthy, he would welcome our attention.Read more ›
My major problem with this book is that it seems to be deliberately deceptive in the information it purports and the haphazard way that information is presented. I found it a cynical insult to readers. Everything is told from the outside looking in, with no consideration that Salinger might have had a point of view. Rumors and innuendo, often supplied by "anonymous sources" void of citation are presented as indisputable facts (Gestapo agents, sexual predilections, and missing testicles to name but a few) and what is passed off as literary analysis of Salinger's writings reads like cheap parody. We are given the deliberate illusion that the authors interviewed all of the people they present, when, in reality, most of the text has been lifted from previous books, interviews, and articles. Some of the speakers have been long dead; still they're allowed to chime in as if they were in the room.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Salinger is about the reclusive author of the 1951 ‘great American novel’ Catcher in the Rye. It is an epic book of 698 pages – 575 pages of text and 123 pages of annexes – that... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Martina A. Nicolls
I think that the authors decided to throw everything into the mix. Indeed, I'm surprised that they didn't interview me. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Allen Horne
Get ready for a multi-media journey into the mind of the 20th century.Published 9 months ago by M. Di Giovanni
Here is the problem. The authors' basic premise is that Salinger's WWII Army service is the long-sought, mysterious solution to his behavior for the rest of his life- but in... Read morePublished 9 months ago by TrooperCMD
This book accommodates the documentary of same name. One of the authors is the director of documentary!! Very good. Very huge long book.Published 16 months ago by Mas