HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

How To Be Alone, Essays by Jonathan Franzen
Loading...

How To Be Alone, Essays (original 2002; edition 2002)

by Jonathan Franzen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,024223,308 (3.57)53
Member:vivaval
Title:How To Be Alone, Essays
Authors:Jonathan Franzen
Info:Farrar, 2002 (2002), Edition: 1St Edition, Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:essays, american, non-fiction, Jonathan Franzen

Work details

How to Be Alone: Essays by Jonathan Franzen (2002)

  1. 00
    Trouble: Stories by Patrick Somerville (woollams812)
    woollams812: This wonderful collection of humor is a gem in paper form.
None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 53 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
It's rare I find myself agreeing with the New york Times, Boston Globe and Chicago Tribune, but their descriptions of Jonathan Franzen as a "pompous prick, an "ego-blinded snob", and a "spoiled,whiny little brat" are spot on.

While the language is just as complex and florid as in his novels, these essays reveal far to much about the man behind the typewriter, and none of it is flattering.
( )
  bensdad00 | Jan 10, 2017 |
The essay "My Father's Brain" is excellent. It chronicles Franzen's father's death from Alzheimer's. The essay about Franzen's kerfuffle with Oprah is also very good. The other essays are well-written and enjoyable. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
I'm very sympathetic to his concerns w/r/t fiction, so that part of the book was actually interesting and quite neat. And his Alzheimer's essay is astonishingly good. But that said, the book is saddled with many just-OK essays. I just couldn't get excited about it past the first few chapters. ( )
  gregorybrown | Oct 18, 2015 |
In all fairness, this book wasn't what I had expected it to be. But it was still very hard to get through because it was pretentious and boring and lacking in any real human insight that I would find relevant. I can see why this author's previous work made it onto Oprah's book list; that's right where he deserves to be. ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
About "Why Bother?": Like sitting at a cafe listening to a depressed cynic whose intelligence and style keep you there, despite the sinking feeling in your heart and knowing that this guy should step outside of himself now and then. ( )
  wrk1 | Jan 15, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Für Kathy Chetkovich
First words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Mein dritter Roman, Die Korrekturen, an dem ich viele Jahre gearbeitet hatte, erschien eine Woche vor dem Einsturz des World Trade Center. (aus "Ein Wort zu diesem Buch")
Quotations
Last words
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312422164, Paperback)

Jonathan Franzen is smart and brash, the kind of person you want as your social critic but not as a brother-in-law. Many of the 14 essays in How to Be Alone, by the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Corrections, first appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and elsewhere. A long, much-discussed rumination on the American novel, (newly) titled "Why Bother?," is included, as well as essays on privacy obsession, the U.S. post office, New York City, big tobacco, and new prisons. At his best, as in "My Father's Brain," a piece on his father's struggle with Alzheimer's, Franzen can make the ordinary world utterly riveting. But at times, it can be difficult to discern where Franzen stands on any particular subject, as he often takes both sides of an argument. Valid attempts to reflect ambiguity s! ometimes lead to obfuscation, especially in his essays on privacy and tobacco, although his belief that small-town America of years gone by offered the individual little privacy certainly rings true. Franzen can write with panache, as in this comment after he watched, without headphones, a TV show during a flight: "(It) became an exposé of the hydraulics of insincere smiles." A few of the shorter pieces appear to be filler. Franzen shines brightest when he gets edgy and a little angry, as in "The Reader in Exile": "Instead of Manassas battlefield, a historical theme park. Instead of organizing narratives, a map of the world as complex as the world itself. Instead of a soul, membership in a crowd. Instead of wisdom, data." --Mark Frutkin, Amazon.ca

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:29 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The author presents his 1996 work, "The Harper's Essay," offering additional writings that consider a central theme of the erosion of civic life and private dignity and the increasing persistence of loneliness in postmodern American.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
3 avail.
107 wanted
3 pay4 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.57)
0.5 1
1 9
1.5
2 28
2.5 6
3 116
3.5 27
4 142
4.5 11
5 51

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 112,460,724 books! | Top bar: Always visible