Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review: Farther Away: Essays by Jonathan Franzen

Author: Jonathan Franzen
Title: Farther Away: Essays
Description: This is a book of collected essays that really don’t have much to do with one another—they just appear to be what he could get together in order to get to book length. They include a commencement address, a couple of travelogue type pieces, some book reviews, and some miscellaneous pieces.
Writing style: It varies. It’s very strong in the personal pieces—probably most strikingly in the eulogy he gave for David Foster Wallace and in the commencement address. The book reviews and other occasional pieces have a different voice.
Audience: Franzen fans.
Major ideas: One thing I didn’t realize before I read this book was how much Jonathan Franzen is interested in birds. So, somewhat unexpectedly, several of the pieces here speak to the preservation of species that are being hunted or that are losing their habitat.
Wrap-up: A mixed bag. 3/5*

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