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Franzen Jonathan download all books 8 books

Genre: Prose

Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul—the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter—environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man—she was doing her small part to build a better world.

But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz—outré rocker and Walter's college best friend and rival—still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become "a very different kind of neighbor," an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street's attentive eyes?

In his first novel since , Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage.  comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of 's characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.

Genre: Prose

Jonathan Franzen is the author of three novels: The Corrections, The Twenty-Seventh City, and Strong Motion. He has been named one of the Granta 20 Best Novelists under 40 and is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and Harper’s. In Strong Motion, Louis Holland arrives in Boston in a spring of ecological upheaval (a rash of earthquakes on the North Shore) and odd luck: the first earthquake kills his grandmother. Louis tries to maintain his independence, but falls in love with a Harvard seismologist whose discoveries about the earthquakes’ cause complicate everything.

“Bold, layered. Mr. Franzen lavishes vigorous, expansive prose not only on the big moments of sexual and emotional upheaval, but also on various sideshows and subthemes. An affirmation of Franzen’s fierce imagination and distinctive seriocomic voice. his will be a career to watch.”

— Josh Rubins,

"Ingenious. Strong Motion is more than a novel with a compelling plot and a genuine romance (complete with hghly charged love scenes); Franzen also writes a fluid prose that registers the observations of his wickedly sharp eye.”

— Douglas Seibold,

“Complicated and absorbing with a fair mix of intrigue, social commentary and humor laced with a tinge of malice.”

— Anne Gowen,

“Strong Motion is a roller coaster thriller. Franzen captures with unnerving exactness what it feels like to be young, disaffected and outside mainstream America. There is an uncannily perceptive emotional truth to this book, and it strikes with the flinty anger of an early-sixties protest song.”

— Will Dana,

“Franzen is one of the most extraordinary writers around. Strong Motion shows all the brilliance of The Twenty-Seventh City.”

— Laura Shapiro,

“Lyrical, dramatic and, above all, fearless. Reading Strong Motion, one is not in the hands of a writer as a fine jeweler or a simple storyteller. Rather, we’re in the presence of a great American moralist in the tradition of Dreiser, Twain or Sinclair Lewis.”

— Ephraim Paul,

“With this work, Franzen confidently assumes a position as one of the brightest lights of American letters. Part thriller, part comedy of manners, Strong Motion is full of suspense.”

— Alicia Metcalf Miller,

“Wry, meticulously realistic, and good.”

“Franzen’s dark vision of an ailing society has the same power as Don DeLillo’s, but less of the numbing pessimism.”

“Base and startling as a right to the jaw. [Franzen] is a writer of almost frightening talent and promise.”

— Margaria Fichtner,

Genre: Prose

From Publishers WeeklyFrom Library Journal

Highly gifted first novelist Franzen has devised for himself an arduous proving ground in this ambitious, grand-scale thriller. Literate, sophisticated, funny, fast-paced, it’s a virtuoso performance that does not quite succeed, but it will keep readers engrossed nonetheless. Bombay police commissioner S. Jammu, a member of a revolutionary cell of hazy but violent persuasion, contrives to become police chief of St. Louis. In a matter of months, she is the most powerful political force in the metropolis. Her ostensible agenda is the revival of St. Louis (once the nation’s fourth-ranked city and now its 27th) through the reunification of its depressed inner city and affluent suburban country. But this is merely a front for a scheme to make a killing in real estate on behalf of her millionaire mother, a Bombay slumlord. Jammu identifies 12 influential men whose compliance is vital to achieving her ends and concentrates all the means at her disposal toward securing their cooperation. Eventually, the force of Jammu’s will focuses on Martin Probst, one of St. Louis’s most prominent citizens, and their fates become intertwined. Franzen is an accomplished stylist whose flexible, muscular, often sardonic prose seems spot-on in its rendition of dialogue, internal monologue and observation of the everyday minutiae of American manners. His imagination is prodigious, his scope sweeping; but in the end, he loses control of his material. Introducing an initially confusing superabundance of characters, he then allows some of them to fade out completely and others to become flat. The result is that, despite deft intercutting and some surprising twists at the end, the reader is not wholly satisfied. Any potential for greater resonance is left undeveloped, and this densely written work ends up as merely a bravura exercise. 40,000 copy first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; BOMC and QPBC selections.

Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

In the late 1980s, the city of St. Louis appoints as police chief an enigmatic young Indian woman named Jammu. Unbeknownst to her supporters, she is a dedicated terrorist. Standing alone against her is Martin Probst, builder of the famous Golden Arch of St. Louis. Jammu attempts first to isolate him, then seduce him to her side. This is a quirky novel, composed of wildly disparate elements. Franzen weaves graceful, affecting descriptions of the daily lives of the Probsts around a grotesque melodrama. The descriptive portions are almost lyrical, narrated in a minimalist prose, which contrasts well with the grand style of the melodramatic sections. The blend ultimately palls, however, and the murky plot grows murkier. Franzen takes many risks in his first novel; many, not all, work. Recommended. David Keymer, SUNY Coll. of Technology, Utica

Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Genre: Prose

Passionate, strong-minded nonfiction from the National Book Award-winning author of The CorrectionsJonathan Franzen’s The Corrections was the best-loved and most-written-about novel of 2001. Nearly every in-depth review of it discussed what became known as “The Harper’s Essay,” Franzen’s controversial 1996 investigation of the fate of the American novel. This essay is reprinted for the first time in How to be Alone, along with the personal essays and the dead-on reportage that earned Franzen a wide readership before the success of The Corrections. Although his subjects range from the sex-advice industry to the way a supermax prison works, each piece wrestles with familiar themes of Franzen’s writing: the erosion of civic life and private dignity and the hidden persistence of loneliness in postmodern, imperial America. Recent pieces include a moving essay on his father’s stuggle with Alzheimer’s disease (which has already been reprinted around the world) and a rueful account of Franzen’s brief tenure as an Oprah Winfrey author.

As a collection, these essays record what Franzen calls “a movement away from an angry and frightened isolation toward an acceptance — even a celebration — of being a reader and a writer.” At the same time they show the wry distrust of the claims of technology and psychology, the love-hate relationship with consumerism, and the subversive belief in the tragic shape of the individual life that help make Franzen one of our sharpest, toughest, and most entertaining social critics.

Genre: Prose

Jonathan Franzen’s was the runaway most-discussed novel of 2010, an ambitious and searching engagement with life in America in the twenty-first century. In , Sam Tanenhaus proclaimed it “a masterpiece of American fiction” and lauded its illumination, “through the steady radiance of its author’s profound moral intelligence, [of] the world we thought we knew.”

In , which gathers together essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years, Franzen returns with renewed vigor to the themes, both human and literary, that have long preoccupied him. Whether recounting his violent encounter with bird poachers in Cyprus, examining his mixed feelings about the suicide of his friend and rival David Foster Wallace, or offering a moving and witty take on the ways that technology has changed how people express their love, these pieces deliver on Franzen’s implicit promise to conceal nothing. On a trip to China to see first-hand the environmental devastation there, he doesn’t omit mention of his excitement and awe at the pace of China’s economic development; the trip becomes a journey out of his own prejudice and moral condemnation. Taken together, these essays trace the progress of unique and mature mind wrestling with itself, with literature, and with some of the most important issues of our day. is remarkable, provocative, and necessary.

Praise for :

“[Franzen’s] new collection takes the reader on a closely guided tour of his private concerns… the miscorrelation between merit and fame, the breakdown of a marriage, birds, the waning relevance of the novel in popular culture… Franzen rewards the reader with extended meditations on common phenomena we might otherwise consider unremarkable… the observations [he] makes regarding subjects like cell phone etiquette, the ever-evolving face of modern love and technology are trenchant… With , Mr. Franzen demonstrates his ability to dissect the kinds of quotidian concerns that so often evade scrutiny… It may be eight years before he releases his next shimmering novel; in the meantime Mr. Franzen seems intent on keeping the conversation going. at least achieves that.”

—Alex Fankuchen,

“Throughout the book, Franzen suggests that storytelling is a way to interpret and relieve our collective suffering — a vehicle for social connection — and that apathy can be challenged with Molotov cocktails of ‘bottomless empathy, born out of the heart’s revelation that another person is every bit as real as you are’… Combining personal history with cultural events and the minutiae of daily life, Franzen evokes Joan Didion’s tone of rigorous self-examination, and [David Foster] Wallace’s wit and philosophical prowess. Whether he is writing about technologies’ assault on sincerity or analyzing Alice Munro’s short stories, what emerges are works of literary theory and cultural critique that are ambitious, brooding and charmingly funny… The essays in are rigorous, artful devotions navigating morally complex topics. At the heart of this collection are the ways ‘engagement with something you love compels you to face up to who you really are.’ Collectively, they are a source of authenticity and refuge — a way out of loneliness.”

—Kathryn Savage,

“Together, the short pieces take a deep, often tangled look at the relationship between writing and self… [Franzen’s] persistent questioning rings genuine and honest… Part of the joy in reading these essays is in their variety: Franzen has thrown together a buffet of essays, speeches, lectures, bits of memoir and journalism, and a few oddballs, like an extended fictional interview with New York State and her entourage (publicist, attorney, historian, geologist)… Each finds a home in the collection because, in the end, each informs Franzen’s capabilities as a writer… The material all fits together as an eclectic mix of Franzen’s fiction-style prose — that plain language rendered rich by its novel construction and telling detail — and a candid, earnest investigation of what makes for great writing. It’s inspiring on two levels: the quality of the writing, and the content about the quality of writing… a collection of thought-provoking, potent essays that rouse a renewed desire to read good books in a culture that is, as Franzen says, marked by its ‘saturation in entertainment.’ The texts are both a testament to and an illustration of what attracts people to books — a delicate play between writer, text, character, and reader that prompts excellent questions and provides surprising answers.”

—Emily Withrow,

“ is, from beginning to end, a celebration of love: what provokes it and what endangers it, what joys it brings and what terrors it produces… takes its title from the New Yorker essay in which Franzen first discussed the suicide of his friend the novelist David Foster Wallace… art elegy, part literary criticism, part travelogue… “Farther Away” is one of the strangest, most powerful documents of mourning that I’ve ever read. reveals a kinder Franzen, a writer who has no truck with sentimentality but is a clear-eyed defender of sentiment. At one point, Franzen lists the many things that he is against: ‘weak narrative, overly lyrical prose, solipsism, self-indulgence…’ The list goes on. But is such a wonderful collection because of the things Franzen is for — the ennobling effects of love and imaginative experience, our need to escape from the isolated self and journey farther away, toward other places and other people. Like the best fiction, charts a way out of loneliness.”

—Anthony Domestico,

“Franzen captivates readers whether ranting about such everyday concerns as bad cellphone manners or lamenting the diminishing relevance of the novel or examining the talented, troubled life and suicide of his close friend and literary brother, David Foster Wallace… At his best, Franzen exposes himself. He does so often and unapologetically, with understated humor, level-headed alienation and rare insight, typically at the nexus of self-analysis and self-indulgence.”

—Don Oldenburg,

“[Franzen’s] essays are riddled with aphorisms (‘One half of a passion is obsession, the other half is love’) and, surprisingly, humour (theory and sex prove incompatible bedfellows when his wife-to-be declares: ‘You can’t deconstruct and undress at the same time’). A multifaceted and revealing collection, actually brings the reader closer to the author.”

“[Franzen is] after something more elusive: identity, we might call it, which he understands to be not fixed but fluid, a set of reactions or impressions in evolution, a constant variation on the self. ‘[W]hat this means, in practice,’ he notes in the text of a lecture called ‘On Autobiographical Fiction,’ ‘is that you have to become a different person to write the next book. The person you already are already wrote the best book you could. There’s no way to move forward without changing yourself. Without, in other words, working on the story of your own life. Which is to say: your autobiography.’

This is an essential point, the heart of everything, made all the more so because Franzen’s fiction is not autobiographical in any overt way. And yet, what else could it be when literature is, must be, the result of ‘a personal struggle, a direct and total engagement with the author's story of his or her own life’? Such an intention runs throughout these essays, whether critical (takes on Paula Fox, Christina Snead, Donald Antrim, Dostoevsky) or experiential (an account of bird preservation efforts in the Mediterranean, a tirade about the effect of cellphones on urban life)… On the surface, these pieces have nothing to do with each other, yet what is either one about if not authenticity? Again and again, that's the question Franzen raises in this collection… What Franzen is getting at is the concept of being ‘islanded,’ the notion that — no matter what — we are on our own, all the time… In that sense, all of it — from the kid in that car to the teenager wandering New York to the birder on Robinson Crusoe's island — is of a piece with David Foster Wallace and even Neil Armstrong: isolated dots of consciousness in a capricious universe, trying to find a point of real connection before time runs out.”

—David Ulin,

“This book of essays by Jonathan Franzen covers various subjects but the unifying theme is truthfulness. He stands for lucidity of expression, which is not the same thing as ease. The lesson of Franzen is that honesty and excellence come from blood, sweat and tears… This is Franzen at his finest… Narcissism must never be confused with love. This is Franzen’s distilled wisdom… He is unflinching about the price of empathy… This is a book for those interested in how to live as well as how to write.”

—Sarah Sands,

“, Jonathan Franzen’s recent collection of essays, proves to be a deeply personal portrait of a contemporary writer at work… Many of ’s features explore creativity and craftsmanship: their tensions and intersections and how those forces can be used together to create a beautiful object… The book, while full of intellect, is also full of puns, anecdotes, and self-effacing jokes about being a cranky, old-fashioned Luddite. In other words, Jonathan Franzen knows what some people think about him, and he couldn’t care less, an attitude in keeping with his public personality. Because, despite the fiery exchanges that can erupt around him, Franzen usually appears untouched by the conflagration, reacting with detached humor or insightful observation… The most personal moments in come in the essays about Franzen’s passions… These essays have sentiment but also clear-eyed pragmatism. Franzen relates the situations he encounters with the objective eye of a scientist, even though you can clearly feel his emotion just under the surface… With , Jonathan Franzen has proved once again why his intelligence, empathy, and humor have earned him widespread acclaim — and also why, whether you love him or hate him, we need his voice as a catalyst for literary conversations in the 21st century.”

—Ben Pfeiffer,

“Ultimately, is a meditation on the obscure other half of a world right in front of our faces — the private horror of a public figure struggling with depression, the unspoken loneliness of an individual living in a world of people perpetually turned off because their devices are turned on, the perils of a bird i…

Jonathan FranzenFreedomThe CorrectionsStrong MotionThe Twenty-Seventh CityHow to Be AloneThe Discomfort Zone

ReviewAbout the Author

Genre: Prose

A Notable Book of the Year

The Discomfort Zone

Genre: Prose

Amazon.com ReviewFrom Publishers Weekly

Jonathan Franzen’s exhilarating novel tells a spellbinding story with sexy comic brio, and evokes a quirky family akin to Anne Tyler’s, only bitter. Franzen’s great at describing Christmas homecomings gone awry, cruise-ship follies, self-deluded academics, breast-obsessed screenwriters, stodgy old farts and edgy Tribeca bohemians equally at sea in their lives, and the mad, bad, dangerous worlds of the Internet boom and the fissioning post-Soviet East.

All five members of the Lambert family get their due, as everybody’s lives swirl out of control. Paterfamilias Alfred is slipping into dementia, even as one of his inventions inspires a pharmaceutical giant to revolutionize treatment of his disease. His stubborn wife, Enid, specializes in denial; so do their kids, each in an idiosyncratic way. Their hepcat son, Chip, lost a college sinecure by seducing a student, and his new career as a screenwriter is in peril. Chip’s sister, Denise, is a chic chef perpetually in hot water, romantically speaking; banker brother Gary wonders if his stifling marriage is driving him nuts. We inhabit these troubled minds in turn, sinking into sorrow punctuated by laughter, reveling in Franzen’s satirical eye:

Gary in recent years had observed, with plate tectonically cumulative anxiety, that population was continuing to flow out of the Midwest and toward the cooler coasts…. Gary wished that all further migration [could] be banned and all Midwesterners encouraged to revert to eating pasty foods and wearing dowdy clothes and playing board games, in order that a strategic national reserve of cluelessness might be maintained, a wilderness of taste which would enable people of privilege, like himself, to feel extremely civilized in perpetuity.

Franzen is funny and on the money. This book puts him on the literary map.

— Tim Appelo

If some authors are masters of suspense, others postmodern verbal acrobats, and still others complex-character pointillists, few excel in all three arenas. In his long-awaited third novel, Franzen does. Unlike his previous works, The 27th City (1988) and Strong Motion (1992), which tackled St. Louis and Boston, respectively, this one skips from city to city (New York; St. Jude; Philadelphia; Vilnius, Lithuania) as it follows the delamination of the Lambert family Alfred, once a rigid disciplinarian, flounders against Parkinson’s-induced dementia; Enid, his loyal and embittered wife, lusts for the perfect Midwestern Christmas; Denise, their daughter, launches the hippest restaurant in Philly; and Gary, their oldest son, grapples with depression, while Chip, his brother, attempts to shore his eroding self-confidence by joining forces with a self-mocking, Eastern-Bloc politician. As in his other novels, Franzen blends these personal dramas with expert technical cartwheels and savage commentary on larger social issues, such as the imbecility of laissez-faire parenting and the farcical nature of U.S.-Third World relations. The result is a book made of equal parts fury and humor, one that takes a dry-eyed look at our culture, at our pains and insecurities, while offering hope that, occasionally at least, we can reach some kind of understanding. This is, simply, a masterpiece. Agent, Susan Golomb. (Sept.)Forecast: Franzen has always been a writer’s writer and his previous novels have earned critical admiration, but his sales haven’t yet reached the level of, say, Don DeLillo at his hottest. Still, if the ancillary rights sales and the buzz at BEA are any indication, The Corrections should be his breakout book. Its varied subject matter will endear it to a genre-crossing section of fans (both David Foster Wallace and Michael Cunningham contributed rave blurbs) and FSG’s publicity campaign will guarantee plenty of press. QPB main, BOMC alternate. Foreign rights sold in the U.K., Denmark, Holland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Spain. Nine-city author tour.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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