J. D. Salinger

The Escape Artist
CD - unabridged
Audio (5 discs)
Product Number: BN5872
Released: Jun 03, 2014
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781480584389
Narrator/s: Grover Gardner
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
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A spirited, deeply personal inquiry into the near-mythic life and canonical work of J. D. Salinger by a writer known for his sensitivity to the Manhattan culture that was Salinger's great theme. Three years after his death at ninety-one, J.D. Salinger remains our most mythic writer. The Catcher in the Rye (1951) became an American classic, and he was for a long time the writer for The New Yorker. Franny and Zooey and Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters introduced, by way of the Glass family, a new type in contemporary literature: the introspective, voluble cast of characters whose stage is the Upper East Side of New York. But fame proved a burden, and in 1953 Salinger fled to New Hampshire, spending the next half century in isolation. Beller has followed his subject's trail, from his Park Avenue childhood to his final refuge, barnstorming across New England to visit various Salinger shrines, interviewing just about everyone alive who ever knew Salinger. The result is a quest biography in the tradition of Geoff Dyer's Out of Sheer Rage, a book as much about the biographer as about the subject-two vivid, entertaining stories in one.

Professional reviews

"As Thomas Beller delves into Salinger's writings, letters, and early youth, narrator Grover Gardner narrates in the direct tone so familiar to Salinger devotees. Author Beller's approach to this Salinger biography is to infuse it with his passion for the elusive writer's classic works, while drawing personal parallels to his own life. Gardner narrates simply and quietly, with little emphasis or emotion, but still conveys the famed author's private life, family background, and struggles as an artist with insight and depth. Beller examines Salinger's personal motivations, especially his ultimate choice to spend half a century in seclusion in small-town New Hampshire. This biography sheds light on the popular author's perplexing flight from the publishing world and his fans from 1953 until his death in his 90s. A.W. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"