Three unpublished stories by JD Salinger have leaked online—including The Ocean Full of Bowling Balls, a sort-of prequel to Catcher in the Rye often cited as the author's greatest unpublished work. PDF scans showed up on a members-only torrent site yesterday, and quickly made their way to Reddit. The uploader credits an apparently illegally published book sold on eBay, Buzzfeed reports. Titled Three Stories, the book is numbered 6 of 25 and contains the odd inscription, "The three stories in this book remain unpublished."
Until now, the stories were only available as supervised reads at university libraries; Ocean is at Princeton, the other two, Birthday Boy and Paula, are at the University of Texas. A Salinger scholar confirms the texts' authenticity—while adding that he quibbles "with the ethics (or lack of ethics)" in leaking them. While some unpublished Salinger works are expected as early as 2015, these three were all thought to be on lockdown until 50 years after his death—2060, the Verge reports. The eBay listing originally included a full London address for the seller, so police may be able to use that to find the source of the leak.