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The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History by…

The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History (2006)

by Jonathan Franzen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,1883410,387 (3.3)27



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» See also 27 mentions

English (33)  German (1)  All languages (34)
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Quando Franzen scrive mi fa sempre pensare "Mi piacerebbe prenderci una birra assieme".
Per certi versi è una rivisitazione (piacevole e interessante) più vicina al vero de "Le correzioni".
Delicato in certi passi, soprattutto nel capitolo finale, soprattutto alla fine.
Dopo avere letto questo libro biografico ho conosciuto meglio un uomo che mi sta simpatico ;-)
Chi apprezza Franzen non rimarrà deluso, insomma. ( )
  downisthenewup | Aug 17, 2017 |
Franzen delivers, as always, with clear, vocabulary rich descriptiveness. I could have done with less German. ( )
  cookierooks | Nov 16, 2016 |
Meh. I read it, and the writing itself was entertaining enough, but I kept thinking that I wished I were done with it. I know a lot more about the author's life and thoughts than I knew before I read it.

I like his fiction. But this memoir-y book did not do a lot for me. ( )
  Phyllis.Mann | Jul 13, 2015 |
3.25 stars

This is a series of little snapshots of the author's life, mostly when he was a child or teenager, but it does extend a little beyond that. It's not really a complete bio, it is just vignettes.

I was really mixed, there were chapters I liked – my favourite was the bird chapter – and others that were just o.k., maybe a little boring. So, for me, it really varied, depending on what story he was telling whether I really liked it or not. So, my rating varies by chapter. The bird chapter would be a 4, the first two chapters, would be a 3.5, and the other three chapters are just a 3 for me. I figure that averages to about 3.25. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jul 8, 2014 |
I'd never read any Franzen before, but I was in the annoying library in my old neighborhood and this jumped off the shelves into my hands so I took it home. I liked it. Franzen is just neurotic enough to pull off riveting essays about, well, navigating through life with various neuroses. The writing was colorful yet polished, though not so much as to dilute the color. I liked it well enough that I plan to check out his other essay collection and his well-known novel The Corrections. Hooray. ( )
  S.D. | Apr 4, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
Readers who want as much autobiographical detail as he is willing to provide should read The Discomfort Zone along with How to Be Alone. The theme common to both books is: how I learned to make my peace with the world and, by reading books, to be alone but not too alone; how I came in from the cold of being a difficult young man.

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Franzen, Jonathanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Scherpenisse, WimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374299196, Hardcover)

Jonathan Franzen arrived late, and last, in a family of boys in Webster Groves, Missouri. The Discomfort Zone is his intimate memoir of his growth from a "small and fundamentally ridiculous person," through an adolescence both excruciating and strangely happy, into an adult with embarrassing and unexpected passions. It's also a portrait of a middle-class family weathering the turbulence of the 1970s, and a vivid personal history of the decades in which America turned away from its midcentury idealism and became a more polarized society.

The story Franzen tells here draws on elements as varied as the explosive dynamics of a Christian youth fellowship in the 1970s, the effects of Kafka's fiction on his protracted quest to lose his virginity, the elaborate pranks that he and his friends orchestrated from the roof of his high school, his self-inflicted travails in selling his mother's house after her death, and the web of connections between his all-consuming marriage, the problem of global warming, and the life lessons to be learned in watching birds.

These chapters of a Midwestern youth and a New York adulthood are warmed by the same combination of comic scrutiny and unqualified affection that characterize Franzen's fiction, but here the main character is the author himself. Sparkling, daring, arrestingly honest, The Discomfort Zone narrates the formation of a unique mind and heart in the crucible of an everyday American family.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:31 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The author describes growing up in a family of all boys in Webster Groves, Missouri, reflecting on such topics as the dynamics of a Christian youth fellowship, his role as the school prankster, his marriage, and the life lessons he has learned from birds.… (more)

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