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The Salinger Contract by Adam Langer is a novel that reads like a biography. The premise is bazaar, but plausible, and, since the author writes as himself, gives the reader a sense of this being a true story. It is a thriller that is slow paced most of the time. It is an indictment on the current state of publishing, and skewers the "big house" publishers for the ways authors are treated. It is a sociological exploration of what makes people (especially, but not exclusively, authors) tick, and, what it would take to sell one's soul to the devil.
A one-book-wonder author, is approached by a more prolific author with a tale that is told in installments. The story pulls in references to many famous authors such as J D Salinger, Norman Mailer and Truman Capote to B. Traven. It explores what constitutes inspiration, practicality of profit, "formula" writing, and delving into one's own creativity.
As an overly cautious person, I found the risks that each author takes foolhardy, but I was compelled to keep reading. I had to know how it all turned out.
The book is well written, intriguing, and very original. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves thrillers, psychological explorations, and social commentary. This book has it all.