Customer Reviews for

J. D. Salinger: A Life

Average Rating 3
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(6)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted January 25, 2011

    This book felt like the most academic and boring homework assignment

    Since Salinger's death I have been eagerly anticipating a biography that would explore the depths of this extraordinary author's life. Anyone who has read Salinger knows his genius; and anyone with the slightest interest in Salinger knows he lead a fascinating life. What I, and I imagine millions of fans, want to know is where did Salinger's genius come from, and why did he vanish from his adoring public? It was with great enthusiasm that I delved into this book.

    WHAT AN UTTER DISSAPOINTMENT!

    Firstly, it is poorly written. While Mr. Slawneski is certainly a fan (and probably fanatic) of Salinger, he clearly is no scholar, or for that matter, writer. After re-reading Slawenski's attempt to lay out the Salinger family tree three times, I gave up. It was as if he was trying to get me lost.

    However, I could forgive poor writing if the information was new and interesting. It's neither. There's really not much that is new in this book; it seems like the book is a rehashing of the information that's already been told about Salinger. The book utterly lacks any revelatory information. It's a lot of words that go nowhere. I felt like everything in the book came from Wikipedia. So why is the book over 450 pages?

    Because Slawenski, like the professor in the worst literature course you ever took, explores the minutiae of each of Salinger's works with mind-numbing detail. With as many words as Slawenski used, one would think he would have used some of them to delve into what made Salinger into the author he became. Sadly, Slawenski only regurgitates what we already knew about Salinger and offers no new insight.

    8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2011

    a fan letter - not a biography

    Imagine if the president of the J.D. Salinger Fan Club wrote a "biography" of J.D. Salinger. That is what this book is. I was expecting a biography, but this book is Slawenski's love letter to the object of his adoration.

    6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Best yet

    Excellent review of the life of this remarkable writer. More revelations still to come?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2011

    I liked it!

    I liked it, but I'm a lit major, a librarian, and have read everything
    Salinger wrote. I was in college when Catcher in the Rye and 9 stories were published and I identify with the angst. You need to be
    deeply involved with Salinger's mindset and have a literary knowledge
    of his works to appreciate this book. My personal favorite is Seymour, an Introduction and, of the stories, For Esme, which I read in The New Yorker when it was first published. Maybe he doesn't speak
    to today's youth as he did to mine.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2014

    I am reading this book now am almost finished.  I have always lo

    I am reading this book now am almost finished.  I have always loved Salinger's writing but I now I know so much more about the symbolism in the works and the author's life.  I was moved to write a review after seeing the negative comments here.  I'm not a lit major but I found this book very well written, entertaining and authoritative.  Now I can't wait to go back and re-read Salinger.  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2012

    Hagiography that is not recommended. By the end of the book the

    Hagiography that is not recommended. By the end of the book the reader is weary of the constant praise of Salinger. Also, be forewarned that every story Salinger ever wrote is tediously reviewed.

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  • Posted March 25, 2012

    Really enjoyed this!

    Really enjoyed this!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Good read!

    I love the one star review from the person who didn't even read the book. How can you possibly review a book you haven't even read?
    This is an excellent biography, especially considering how difficult it is to write anything about a man who sued anyone who tried. That alone must have been like walking through a minefield.
    I disagree with the person who wrote that this was a sort of love-letter. If that were true I wouldn't have finished the book not actually likeing Salinger at all. He painted the man for who he was, not who any devotee would have wanted him to be. Maybe a genius writer, but kind of a jerk as well.
    If you have any interest in Salinger's books, you would be foolish to ignore this comprehensive work-despite other reviewers complaints that there was little "new" info. Should he (Slawinski)have invented stuff? Pfft.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2011

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    Posted May 21, 2011

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    Posted April 23, 2011

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    Posted January 25, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2011

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