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How to Be Alone

How to Be Alone By Jonathan Franzen How to Be Alone From the National Book Award winning author of The Corrections a collection of essays that reveal him to be one of our sharpest toughest and most entertaining social criticsWhile the essays in this

  • Title: How to Be Alone
  • Author: Jonathan Franzen
  • ISBN: 9780312422165
  • Page: 390
  • Format: Paperback
  • How to Be Alone By Jonathan Franzen From the National Book Award winning author of The Corrections, a collection of essays that reveal him to be one of our sharpest, toughest, and most entertaining social criticsWhile the essays in this collection range in subject matter from the sex advice industry to the way a supermax prison works, each one wrestles with the essential themes of Franzen s writing the erosFrom the National Book Award winning author of The Corrections, a collection of essays that reveal him to be one of our sharpest, toughest, and most entertaining social criticsWhile the essays in this collection range in subject matter from the sex advice industry to the way a supermax prison works, each one wrestles with the essential themes of Franzen s writing the erosion of civil life and private dignity and the hidden persistence of loneliness in postmodern, imperial America Reprinted here for the first time is Franzen s controversial l996 investigation of the fate of the American novel in what became known as the Harper s essay, as well as his award winning narrative of his father s struggle with Alzheimer s disease, and a rueful account of his brief tenure as an Oprah Winfrey author.
    How to Be Alone By Jonathan Franzen

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    • How to Be Alone Best Read || [Jonathan Franzen]
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    How to Be Alone

    One thought on “How to Be Alone

    1. Carly on said:

      Ok, Jonathan Franzen WE GET IT You re a martyr for truth and beauty and all that is good because you read books and don t like technology and smoke cigarettes and still use a rotary telephone You are a superior human being because you don t watch t.v You could ve said that all in one paragraph, but you chose to do it in 300 palpably crotchety, Andy Rooney esque pages As Shruti rightly pointed out, it is surprisingly refreshing to read an author who annoys the shit out of you, especially with suc [...]

    2. Glenn Sumi on said:

      How To Be Alone a.k.a How To Make Some Quick Cash Between NovelsFull disclosure I love Jonathan Franzen, novelist The Corrections andFreedom are two of my favourite novels written in the past couple of decades And I can t wait to read his new book, out this fall.But that s Novelist Franzen Do I really need to read Essayist Franzen Especially when his prose is often fussy, whiny and awkward Here are two random passages from his uneven 2002 collection, How To Be Alone take a deeeeep breath, folks [...]

    3. Farren on said:

      Subtitled, YOU KIDS AND YOUR VAN HALEN RECORDS GET OFF MY LAWN by Jonathan Franzen.

    4. Richard Derus on said:

      This review has been revised and can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud I wish the title was prophetic.

    5. MJ Nicholls on said:

      Franzen hits the target when literature is being discussed The career making accidental cri de coeur Why Bother and The Reader in Exile and the Gaddis love in cum demolition Mr Difficult are all sublime pieces, if a little uncertain The reflective, personal essays show Franzen s likeable man on the street intellectualism, especially the Alzheimer s piece My Father s Brain and the hilarious Oprah era insight Meet Me in St Louis He is less successful when broadsheet feature writing Lost in the Ma [...]

    6. Ian "Marvin" Graye on said:

      Perchance to BotherThis isn t so much a review of the collection of essays called How to Be Alone , but some responses to one of the essays, Why Bother also known as The Harpers Essay or Perchance to Dream.I ve probably read the essay in one form or another half a dozen times since it was first published in 1996 I have to admit that each time the experience has become less satisfactory.The essay is 42 pages long Franzen cut about 25% of the Harper s Essay and changed its name.Still, the essay re [...]

    7. Chad on said:

      A girlfriend took this with her after we broke up along with many, many other books of mine So I guess she did a far better job of teaching me how to be alone than Mr Franzen ever could.

    8. Fred on said:

      to describe my objection to this book of essays i m going to use a word that i don t quite understand in this context but that feels correct to me somehow generous these essays aren t very generous i d imagine they were cathartic to write they certainly do a good job of demonstrating the author s intelligence but in essay after essay, i found myself waiting for the part where i d find out why i was supposed to give a fudge about what i was reading to choose one example that crops up over and ove [...]

    9. Mara on said:

      So Jonathan Franzen doesn t know I exist and couldn t possibly have written this just to show up as confirmation during a week when I needed exactly this sort of confirmation, right So it just felt that way.Also it could be the title attracted me because cultivating the sort of isolation required for reading and writing does mean being a little dangerously far from the herd and I am ambivalent about it, just as I have an odd little relationship with because it s a way of not being alone in somet [...]

    10. G.G. on said:

      No offense to Jonathan Franzen whose novels I ve not yet read but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this collection of his essays Surprised because many of them were written than twenty years ago and are about subjects that I m completely unfamiliar with Who d have thought than an essay about the Chicago Post Office Lost in the Mail, 1994 , for example, or the hitherto unknown to me American novelist William Gaddis Mr Difficult, 2002 would be so interesting As an ex smoker I found the essay [...]

    11. Shibbo on said:

      Minha pregui a mortal do Franzen j virou lenda entre meus amigos, que me olham cheios de condescend ncia pensando imagino coisas como ah, mas ela n o sabe ler n o leu direito n o entendeu retardadinha Jonathan Franzen bom um escritor Jonathan Franzen um bom ensa sta jornalista whatever Depois de ler esse livro, me sinto for ada a responder que sim.Jonathan Franzen o melhor escritor da nossa poca e merece todo esse incenso em torno de sua preciosa bundinha letrada Mas nem fodendo Eu gosto bastant [...]

    12. Andrew on said:

      A lot of people bitch about Jonathan Franzen, and probably with good reason Especially in a nation in which mainstream aesthetic values have become conflated with democracy facepalm , he s viewed as an out of touch elitist, an academic leftist, who unlike other academic leftists actually winds up on bestseller lists, and thus forces his opinions into the national conversation In fact, he s one of the few American writers today who actually seems willing to challenge the status quo, and further i [...]

    13. Nikola Jankovic on said:

      Pro itao sam dve Frantzenova knjige Na prvi pogled su dosta sli ne, govore o ameri kim porodicama iz predgra a, i napisane su u istom stilu Ali, dok me je Sloboda odu evila, Korekcije su me ostavile hladnog.Sli no je i sa ovom zbirkom eseja Najbolji su My Father s Brain i First City Prvi je kombinacija porodi ne istorije i injenica o Parkinsonovoj bolesti Svakako je mnogo izdvojiti 10 dolara za Kindle izdanje zbog jednog eseja od par desetina strana ali ako nekih tridesetak strana vredi toliko, [...]

    14. Roberta on said:

      How to Be Alone una raccolta di saggi pubblicati in vari momenti, il cui trait d union, a quanto pare, the problem of preserving individuality and complexity in a noisy and distracting mass culture the question of how to be alone Inoltre l intero libro vuole essere, almeno parzialmente, a record fo a movement away from an angry and frightened isolation toward an acceptance even a celebration of being a reader and a writer.A differenza di Zona disagio , gli argomenti non sono quasi mai personali [...]

    15. Kat on said:

      Franzen is somewhat dark, but in a real world, plain in front of you real and dark I like his explanations, his inclusion of family and his truthfulness Perhaps his explanations are a mirror for me, but I had read a few of these essays before they appeared in this book He is worth the poke of prod and read He is infinitely human, and his work is readable, and ultimately, human in its dimension of honesty I find it lovable and laudable, in that, he worries about readers understanding his writing [...]

    16. Richard on said:

      The thing that I like about this book is that it s written by a fellow curmudgeon who likes to complain about the current state the world Hey I like to do that too For most of the book Mr Franzen bemoans the decline of the literary novel, the wastefulness of modern society, the miserly plight of the working author, the degeneration of culture and the questionable morality of the criminal justice system He complains a lot.But Mr Franzen s complaints are not like my complaints That s to say, his c [...]

    17. Kathrina on said:

      Franzen, we know you ve been busy writing the Great American Novel and all, but you are overdue for a new collection of essays that embraces or at least nods towards the 21st century Several of these essays claim a date somewhere in the 90 s, but I swear his ode to rotary phones could be decades older Has he not been introduced to the cell phone He speaks of Touch Tones as cutting edge communication devices In 1995 he gave away a television that appears to have doubled as side table how long did [...]

    18. booklady on said:

      Update 13 November 2008 Franzen surprised me by saving the best for last His second from the last essay, Meet Me in St Louis turned out to be the best by far It s the most personal and also brings the book back to where it started, his childhood home and mine, St Louis The first essay, My Father s Brain is about his father s slow drift into Alzheimers and the author s own reluctance to accept where his father s going It is poignant in its understatedness In Meet Me in St Louis Franzen is relucta [...]

    19. Michela on said:

      Come stare soli una raccolta di 13 saggi, tra i quali io mi sento di salvarne solo due Il cervello di mio padre intoccabile per il tema che tratta Perch scrivere romanzi Di Franzen non ho ancora letto niente perch , sia la mole di Libert che quella di Le correzioni mi incutono un certo ti, che non lo stesso ti che incute un Tolstoj o un Dostoevskij, cio un ti rispettoso, ma piuttosto un ti da mattone Tutto il libro ruota attorno al problema della diminuzione dei lettori, causata soprattutto dall [...]

    20. Nidhi on said:

      He is a fairly pompous writer I will start with that because it s important to know the tone from which you will be inflicted pages and pages of advice on how to be proper reader in today s society This book is a series of essays written by Jonathan Franzen recently as well as revisited essays from his past He laments the fall of the novelist, the over importance put to privacy and the lack of care afforded to the the public, and deteriorating postal systems this essay, I must be honest, I did n [...]

    21. Caryn on said:

      This book sounded interesting, but when it comes down to it, Jonathan Franzen s personality keeps getting in the way He s got a pole up his ass, and he s so damned full of himself Anything interesting he might have to say is mitigated by the annoyance caused by hearing his persnickety voice in my head I might agree with some of his ideas if agreeing with him didn t make me feel somehow dirty.

    22. Bastian Greshake Tzovaras on said:

      This was kind of a weird read for me Franzen seems to be the kind of supporter of the form of cultural pessimism highbrow literature is dying TV and the internet are making us accept capitalism only rotary phones are acceptable seriously, I only half made up the last one, there is an essay on his rotary phone etc that in a way is still prevailing Still I enjoyed reading even some of those essays, even if I strongly disagree with his conclusions To have a closer look into the different topics of [...]

    23. Patrick on said:

      I should preface this by saying that I don t really like books that are just repackaged essays or features from magazines, and if I d been aware that that s what this was, I might not have been so eager to read it As it was, I d just finished reading The Corrections and wanted to get my hands on anything Franzen related as soon as possible This book slowed that urge to a screeching halt.It s not as if Franzen is a bad writer Far from it He s amazingly smart and talented, and surprisingly honest [...]

    24. Kenneth on said:

      There are thirteen essays making up this collection and though the theme is consistent solitude, isolation, independence the range is still broad and comprises topics as varied as writing, dementia, the prison system, city development etc To me they all hold up very well with the exception of Lost in the Mail about the postal system in Chicago an excruciatingly dull subject and expose although I understand it s really about the breakdown of public society and Erika Imports too short to make much [...]

    25. Zachary Martin on said:

      As a writer, I think this book of essays is bad for a person s soul Franzen is a good writer, the arguments are interesting, and I would have a hard time denying he isn t on to something For me, however, that something is a cynicism I find rather toxic Ultimately, though I think his insistence that anything that doesn t stick to the Charles Dickens Henry James model of the novel to be a waste of the readers time is about the most insecure reaction to experimental fiction going I really liked the [...]

    26. Barbara Francolini on said:

      Non so perch ma forse a causa del titolo mi aspettavo qualcosa di molto diverso Alcuni dei saggi di questa raccolta abbracciano argomenti che mi interessano poco e sono affrontati in maniera abbastanza asettica altri soprattutto quelli che si basano su una visione catastrofica della tecnologia palesano il limite del libro che rimane inevitabilmente datato Per , per , per devo dire che a me Franzen piace, e non ci posso far niente Ho trovato la sua scrittura comunque piacevole anche nei saggi in [...]

    27. Robert on said:

      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.

    28. Matt Schiavenza on said:

      I remember Franzen exploding onto the scene due to the controversy over Oprah s book club his novel, The Corrections, had been chosen for inclusion but Franzen refused to go on the show in protest of Oprah s effect on book sales I found this to be an overly precious position and avoided Franzen as a result But some of my friends raved about him and I thought I d take a shot on a book of essays Like all collections of the sort, this one is of variable quality A story about his father s affliction [...]

    29. Nathanael on said:

      There is perhaps nothing smug than an author writing about fiction s place in culture and about culture s turning of its back on fiction and on authors And Franzen is smug However add a small measure of self awareness the prig who knows he is one isn t so bad and Franzen s effort becomes worth while A good collection of essays, especially those on books.

    30. Maurizio Manco on said:

      Aspettarsi che un romanzo regga tutto il peso della nostra societ disturbata che ci aiuti a risolvere i nostri problemi contemporanei mi sembra una peculiare illusione americana Scrivere frasi talmente autentiche che si possa trovarvi rifugio Non abbastanza Non gi tanto Perch scrivere romanzi , p 84 La prima lezione che impariamo dalla lettura come stare soli Il lettore in esilio, p 178 La narrativa, pensavo, era la trasmutazione del vile metallo dell esperienza nell oro della lingua Scrivere na [...]

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