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An instant New York Times bestseller, this “explosive biography” (People) of one of the most beloved and mysterious figures of the twentieth century is “as close as we’ll ever get to being inside J.D. Salinger’s head” (Entertainment Weekly).

This “revealing” (The New York Times) and “engrossing” (The Wall Street Journal) oral biography, “fascinating and unique” (The Washington Post) and “an unmitigated success” (USA TODAY), has redefined our understanding of one of the most mysterious figures of the twentieth century.

In nine years of work on Salinger, and especially in the years since the author’s death, David Shields and Shane Salerno interviewed more than 200 people on five continents, many of whom had previously refused to go on the record about their relationship with Salinger. This oral biography offers direct eyewitness accounts from Salinger’s World War II brothers-in-arms, his family members, his close friends, his lovers, his classmates, his neighbors, his editors, his publishers, his New Yorker colleagues, and people with whom he had relationships that were secret even to his own family. Their intimate recollections are supported by more that 175 photos (many never seen before), diaries, legal records, and private documents that are woven throughout; in addition, appearing here for the first time, are Salinger’s “lost letters”—ranging from the 1940s to 2008, revealing his intimate views on love, literature, fame, religion, war, and death, and providing a raw and revelatory self-portrait.

The result is “unprecedented” (Associated Press), “genuinely valuable” (Time), and “strips away the sheen of [Salinger’s] exceptionalism, trading in his genius for something much more real” (Los Angeles Times). According to the Sunday Times of London, Salinger is “a stupendous work…I predict with the utmost confidence that, after this, the world will not need another Salinger biography.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442365711
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date: 09/03/2013
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

David Shields is the author of fifteen books, including the New York Times bestseller The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead; Reality Hunger, named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications; and Black Planet, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His work has been translated into twenty languages.

Shane Salerno is the director, producer, and writer of Salinger, which premiered theatrically in 2013 from the Weinstein Company and will debut as the 200th episode of American Masters on PBS in early 2014. In addition to Salinger, Salerno has written and produced a number of successful films and TV series. He most recently co-wrote and served as executive producer of the critically acclaimed film Savages, directed by three-time Oscar winner Oliver Stone.

Campbell Scott directed the film Off The Map, and received the best actor award from the National Board of Review for his performance in Roger Dodger. His other films include The Secret Lives of Dentists, The Dying Gaul, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle and Big Night, which he also co-directed.

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Salinger 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Brian-Allard More than 1 year ago
J.D. Salinger was a beloved and celebrated author for his works like Catcher in the Rye, but he was a recluse and little was known about the man. Now David Shields and Shane Salerno take us on a journey into what drove this very private man. It is an excellent book. It goes in depth into those in his life – his family, his lovers, his neighbors, and his editors.
HopeLife More than 1 year ago
Salinger is a superb account of the life of famed author J.D. Salinger. It traces his childhood, his war years, the writing of Catcher in the Rye, and his disappearance from the public eye. The two authors have done a fine job researching the life of this elusive icon.
JiffyPopYumYum More than 1 year ago
An absolutely brilliant account of the life and career of J.D. Salinger!
SarahMcClurg More than 1 year ago
This book could not be any better. It provides an insightful look into the mind of a great man. I was thoroughly impressed with the depth of research and insight into J.D. Salinger's troubled life. A true gem!
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Skidrow82 More than 1 year ago
The format is not the best, definitely, but it's got plenty of information you'd sure want to know about Salinger. I haven't seen the documentary but many people said that the book is just the script for it.
MarienicollBetaIN More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, by the ones who knew him mostly well. I fear the man will never get his right to privacy even in death. There's even know decades of popularity of so much increase on labeling a person. Did Salinger ever owe anyone anything? All the man wanted to do was to be left alone. He didn't run the worlds rich and famous,he didn't trust. because he chose to take the low road and not give into peoples asperations of the fame, they could find nothing more than to attack and attack with devious hatred. He was in noway a hunter of children. He found comfort in their innocence, the careless lives of what the world should be like. Salinger, has the right to keep negativity out of his life and negative people. Once he did this it caused a uproar. Who are we to live his life for him or demand what he should be? Shame on you all. He knew with fame and fanfare, comes the lies, the using, the blackmail. He chose to live his life away from all of that. I say good for him. He did live his life how he felt he wanted too. Shame on those for stalking him, taking cheap shots at him and invading him with a want of one photograph so you could have your paycheck. HE owed you nothing. Salinger, got his way,you are all waiting for more of his writing so you can incriminate him some more. He had his own world, far be it he didn't need or want yours. I hope you can all leave him alone, but I'm sure you wont, once an invader always an invader.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a profound entry into the subjective inner experience and the relationships of a most complex, damaged, but gifted man. Shields and Salerno should be praised for making the many links between J.D.'s lived experience and his writing, as well. I feel I came to know Salinger intimately, feeling his pain, and seeing how it played out in destructive and creative ways.
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mitchiko More than 1 year ago
I had thought I had ordered the audiobook, but when the hard copy arrived, I thought I would try to read it. I could not get past the first chapter. Having individuals give their opinion on the man, did nothing for me. I had wanted to see the movie, but after attempting to read the book, I will pass.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why would anyone be interested ? If you must get it from the library pictures dont do well on nook page counter
MornDew247 More than 1 year ago
Please. This whole book seems like a retelling of Kenneth Slawenski's Salinger: A Life, which came out a few years ago and which was excellent. Nothing new. In fact, I would not be suprised if this author read his book first. JMO.