In The Salinger Contract, author Adam Langer writes about a fictional version of himself who has a strange friendship with an Connor Joyce, an author of a series of mystery/adventure novels who gets himself in trouble.
The plot idea is great! An extremely rich book collector contacts popular authors and pays them handsomely to write a book for him. Only one copy of the book will be produced, nobody outside the collector’s house will read it, and the author can’t tell anyone else what’s happening. Connor Joyce, idiot of the highest caliber, breaks the agreement.
The narration from fake-Langer distracted from the story. We’d have a chapter of action, and then fake-Langer would interject to say something insipid like how it was still raining or how he’d have to get home soon because of the children.
Fake-Langer is also a very unpleasant narrator. He hates where he lives, to the point where he and his wife write a hate-blog mocking and slamming everyone in their sleepy Indiana college town. He tosses massive amounts of disdain toward entire genres of books, book bloggers, women in general (honestly, almost every female mentioned has negative adjectives attached to her) and giant book stores.
I would have loved this book twice as much if it had been written exclusively from Connor’s point of view. Then we would have also avoided the awkward conversations between Connor and fake-Langer. Connor talks to fake-Langer as if he were either a five-year-old boy or a dog, with lots of “buddys” and “pals.”
The twists were pretty implausible. The book goes on and on about how Connor writes very well-researched mystery books. So to have him try and dispose of something in a really basic and stupid way — why? Why?
I’m truly amazed by the high ratings on Goodreads. I paid for this one as part of the Book Riot Quarterly box, which is probably why I’m more critical than the “I got this for freeeeeeeee!!!11” crowd.
This is the 35th book I read in 2014. View all my reviews on Goodreads!