Friday, September 06, 2013

Two new books

SALINGER. By and large I like this book, though it is sad we live in a culture where it would be written. Yet I read it, making me part of the problem.

I liked the oral history approach, the long opening section about Salinger's traumatic war experiences, the point and counterpoint of differing views of just about everything. I didn't like a strange section that read like a jazz improv on literary themes, pure self-indulgence. I don't agree with the conclusion that religion ruined S's art. 5 posthumous books are coming out, so how does anyone know? We see S being sweet and being a monster. That is, being human. Not a great bio but it surely kept my interest and, best, has me returning to the work.

FOURTH AND LONG: THE FIGHT FOR THE SOUL OF COLLEGE FOOTBALL. Disappointing because the title is misleading. This is a behind the scenes look at four teams in the Big Ten and "the fight" is an occasional afterthought. A good essay on the subject may be here but mostly the book is something very different. Not what I expected or wanted.

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