Book Review: The Salinger Contract by Adam Langer

The Salinger Contract by Adam Langer
The Salinger Contract by Adam Langer

Title: The Salinger Contract

Author: Adam Langer

Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Books about Books, Literary Fiction

Publisher: Open Road Media

Published: September 17, 2013

Page Amount: 269 pages

Blurb From GoodreadsAdam Langer, the narrator of this deft and wide-ranging novel by the author of the same name, tells the intertwining tales of two writers navigating a plot neither one of them could have ever imagined. There may be no other escape than to write their way out of it.
Adam is a writer and stay-at-home dad in Bloomington, Indiana, drawn into an uneasy friendship with the charismatic and bestselling thriller author Conner Joyce. Conner is having trouble writing his next book, and when a menacing stranger approaches him with an odd—and lucrative—proposal, events quickly begin to spiral out of control.

Why Read: Again apologies that I am again posting a Book Review on a Tuesday. I have just been in such a great book-reading phase that I couldn’t stand the thought of waiting until January until seeing this review on my blog! Why did I read the Salinger Contract? I actually received it quite a long time ago in a Book Riot Quarterly Box – and didn’t read it… because I thought it sounded odd. I found it randomly, and well… times change over a year and by this November I was far ready to read it!

Review: In general, book about books are some of my favorite things to pick up, and The Salinger Contract was no exception. Embarrassingly enough, I must admit that I have not actually read a single JD Salinger book… So perhaps many of the key phrases and plot devices were allusions – but I certainly missed all of them and still enjoyed it.

Perhaps the greatest thing about The Salinger Contract is its rare gift to master time between the interactions of the main character and Connor, a well-known writer. Connor’s voice was particularly strong in how he described the interactions between himself and Dex (the surface antagonist). Distinguishing the time between each chapter is reflected most clearly in how Connor’s reactions change and how the main character’s mood adapts.

The main character, our narrator, enjoys the company of Connor and agrees to see him again and again – though all evidence suggests that this writer’s life is going downhill for some mysterious reason. We are treated to that reason when Connor tells the narrator about Dex and Pavel, a pair of travelers who collect books, and to some extent their authors. All Connor must do is write a book about a crime for only Dex to read, and he will be paid an enormous sum of money – but he can never tell anyone.

Seems simple? It is anything but. This simple literary mystery turns into a crime thriller that will keep the reader guessing up until the very last second. The plot was very pleasantly formed in that I though I knew what was happening throughout each chapter – but by the end of the book – I caused a ruckus on the plane because I gasped too loudly and awoke the woman next to me. So it’s not your normal snatch-and-grab thriller.

Who would I recommend this book for? Certainly for any literary fiction fans, any crime fans, any literary-crime thriller fans (and anything in-between). Really: this book could be enjoyed by anyone. Especially those who have an ear for JD Salinger related mysteries and creepy people who have offers for easy money (which we all know is never true)

Rating: 5/5 Stars

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