Farther Away has ratings and reviews. MJ said: Franzen’s second collection of non-fic trimmings is as strong as his first, albeit slacking on t. Farther Away: Essays [Jonathan Franzen] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In this incisive collection of speeches and essays, Jonathan. Editorial Reviews. Review. Praise for ‘Freedom’ ‘Deeper, funnier, sadder and truer than a work Farther Away: Essays – Kindle edition by Jonathan Franzen.

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It’s one of those quasi-profound doorstops that comes along every decade or so – Raintree Country comes to mind – or Gone with the Wind or James Michener or Leon Uris carther bestseller and over-praised. But, if you do not have a strong opinion, what is the point of writing at all? One of my favorite moments, when he’s lamenting Alice Munro’s relative unpopularity here in the States, and how she’s difficult to review: Like when he goes to China to investigate the factory where his puffin golf club cover is made, because he loves birds sooo much All in all, a pretty good read especially for Franzen frazen DFW fansbut absolutely nowhere near as good or hilarious as any fraanzen DFW’s essays.

I read anything by Franzen which is better explained in a review for The Corrections and read this collection with excitement.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. And, sure, I can admit that it probably doesn’t hurt that I agree with him on so much. Jonathan Franzen is one of my favorite writers. An intimate portrait of Franzen and who’d farter thought it?

The guy is a devoted bird watcher! This page was last edited on 24 Februaryat In China, he learns that a nature reserve is designed not simply to protect species of birds but the place itself. But he is no slouch on the extra-curricular writing front, and this is his second essay collection.

The inhabitants of this island welcomed him by printing the wrong version of his novel Freedomnecessitating the pulping of its entire first print run. Some of the essays included: A collection of essays and speeches written in the last five years. Love is all things.

So I admired the courage it took to revisit the site of these serial traumas in print. Fortunately, Franzen’s love of birds unlike, say, Annie Proulx’s ridiculously self-indulgent bird-watching paean Bird Cloud makes for compelling reading. Elsewhere Franzen puts it: One of the great burdens of genius is boredom; one of the great gifts of mediocrity is the ability to be easily amused. Aaway Franzen-Wallace friendship is, of course, on a much larger stage – they were successful and famous while me and my friend were not.


Farther Away

A few years before he died, he signed my hardcover copies of his two most recent books. He may well have a point, since I accept Mr Franzen Some people may find it heartening to see that even someone as talented, intelligent and self-critical as Mr Franzen cannot avoid including the odd clunker in this his second essay collection. Cutting through the noise is the critic’s goal, and Franzen is hard to hear too much of the time. I want to take time to really digest what Franzen is saying.

One of the most humiliating aspects of friendship with a genius – and again, Franzen never quite says this, although he sort of implies it by some of his anecdotes – is the fact that a genius is bored most of the time, and that includes most of the time he is with you.

Farther Away by Jonathan Franzen – review | Books | The Guardian

But I did snicker a lot. But my sloppy, often cruel, big-hearted friend was the sun, I was an orbiting satellite, a half-failed planet, chilly and mostly inert. Whereas, to love a specific person, and to identify with his or her struggles and joys as if they were your own, you have to surrender some of your self.

At times, I felt like a crusty English teacher, urging her student to make me feel why saving endangered bird species or whatever other cause is meaningful. Most books I read usually elicit a strong reaction from me.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. One way or another, the essays in Farther Away are attempts to enlarge the place where literature, and the responsiveness to it, can be preserved. May 20, Jennifer rated it it was ok.

Farther Away by Jonathan Franzen

His smackdown was harsh and unambiguous – he just didn’t have time for stupid shit emailed by stupid people. In the years since he refused Oprah Winfrey’s invitation to go onto her show to discuss his novel The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has developed though some might say “earned” or even “sought” a reputation as a crank, or a grouch. I disagree, but it’s entirely possible that for some readers, a little birding goes a long way, and Franzen is definitely an enthusiast.


Love is the deus ex machina we should let into our lives. The pieces in Farther Away are smart and well written, but they ultimately feel like the work of someone who isn’t risking much or pushing into new territory. Close loving relationships, which for most of us are a foundational source of meaning, have no standing in the Wallace fictional universe.

I’ll be seeking Franzen’s books like this It covers various issues which are important to Franzen including the life and suicide of his dear friend David Foster Wallace. And yet they always manage to disappoint me, flinching at the last second, resorting to some bit of contemporary correctitude or right-thinking.

This volume collects a bunch of essays, interviews, and reviews that, according to the info on the book flap, Awqy wrote in the last five years. In short I tend to agree with them, fret along side them, feel dismayed with them.

Few contemporary American writers are as good at ridiculing contemporary America as Jonathan Franzen is. Since I fartner personal experience in this area – I was once friends with a genius while I myself am most definitely not a genius – I admired Franzen’s efforts to explore this dynamic, which for the non-genius, can be humiliating among other things. Lionel Trilling, Randal Jarrell, W. He also brilliantly describes why short stories — Munro’s bread and butter — shouldn’t be dismissed by the general reading public.

Cranzen, his comments about DFW and the essay Farther Away are intensely personal pieces, but even in his book reviews and his mini-rants, he seems to put more of himself in it, as opposed to someone like Joe Queenan, whose One for the Books is reflective of his tastes, but still aloof, or Anne Fadiman’s At Large and at Small: Some of the other pieces are of a lesser quality – though still of interest – and some are very slight indeed.