In the Shane Salerno directed documentary, SALINGER, we are reminded that J.D. Salinger is one of America’s mostly celebrated writers along with Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams. Salinger’s work has grossed an estimated $6 million dollars and his 1951 novel “The Catcher In The Rye” is also one of the most controversial and talked about, but not for the reasons one would think. You see this particular novel has been linked to the assassinations and/or attempted assassinations of John Lennon, Ronald Reagan, actress Rebecca Schaeffer (from the defunct ABC sitcom “My Sister Sam”) and the shooters Mark David Chapman, John Hinckley, Jr. and Robert John Pardo.
For those reasons alone, Salinger proves to be a subject of curiosity. Never mind his complex relationships with mostly teenage girls, his obsession with being published by the affluential periodical – The New Yorker, the extreme protectiveness of his work and becoming a recluse living out the rest of his days in Cornish, New Hampshire passing away in 2010 at 91 years old.
Joyce Maynard, a prolific writer in her own right, speaks of how complex and it was to love and bear children with Salinger. Many are interviewed and all have one comment in common…Salinger, when pushed the wrong way, would simply shut down and shut you out.
He would retreat to his writing, which he continued to develop in Cornish for nearly 40 years after he retreated from public view. According to this documentary, we won’t ever see “The Catcher In The Rye” on film, but we will be able to read some new works being released between 2015 – 2020, which include and are not limited to:
—an anthology, The Family Glass, which will include the existing Glass family stories along with five new ones as well as a Glass family geneaology.
—a World War II novel inspired by Salinger’s enormously complicated relationship with his first wife, Sylvia, who may have been a Gestapo informant.
—a manual of the Hindu Vedanta religion, which Salinger followed for the last 50 years of his life.
—a novella based on Salinger’s own experiences that, according to the authors, “takes the form of a counterintelligence agent’s diary entries during World War II.”
—“a complete retooling” of Salinger’s unpublished Holden Caulfield story “The Last and Best of the Peter Pans,” which will be packaged with the existing Caulfield stories as well as new stories and The Catcher in the Rye, “creating a complete history of the Caulfield family.”
Due to being a military brat, I never had “The Catcher In The Rye” as required reading in high school or college. I feel like I may have just missed that semester at each school I attended, Therefore, SALINGER, was very fascinating and encouraged me to purchase many J.D. Salinger novels that I will begin reading as soon as this review is posted…LOL Check it out for yourselves…