J.D. Salinger: A Life

January 13, 2012

J.D. Salinger: A Life
By: Kenneth Slawenski
428 Pages

Before I read this book I knew next to nothing about J.D. Salinger. I knew he write a book that went on to become a classic and that he was known for his reclusive life as much as for Catcher In The Rye. That's it. My curiosity was peeked, to say the least. 

Kenneth Slawenski accomplishes a difficult task: let you get to know a man very few people knew. In J.D. Salinger, Kenneth goes the extra mile whenever he can. For example, very little is known of Mr. Salinger's Army days. Salinger, himself, refused to talk about them. Kenneth gathers information about them and gives you as close an idea of what he did during those years. I was drawn to Salinger's CIC work during the war. The information he helped to gather has made history.

Not knowing much about the book's subject prior to reading it, I also didn't know about Salinger's work outside of Catcher In The Rye. I had no idea he wrote several short stories and was deemed successful from them. I had no idea how many times his stories were rejected before getting published. For some reason, I just thought getting published came a bit easier for him than it actually did.

I did feel the author went into too much detail at times. I grew restless with the analogies and theories as to what was behind each of Salinger's works. I'm one of those people that don't want interpretation in biographies because, I feel, they could be wrong. I was drawn to the facts more.

Rating: Borrow From The Library


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