How to Be Alone: Essays

3.6 avg rating
( 8,875 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780312422165: How to Be Alone: Essays

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 critics

While 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.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

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 exposť 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

About the Author:

Jonathan Franzen won the National Book Award for fiction for The Corrections in 2001, and is the author of two other critically acclaimed novels, The Twenty-Seventh City and Strong Motion. He is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and Harper's.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Jonathan Franzen
ISBN 10: 0312422164 ISBN 13: 9780312422165
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
BWB
(Valley Stream, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97803124221650000000

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.48
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Jonathan Franzen
Published by MacMillan Publishers
ISBN 10: 0312422164 ISBN 13: 9780312422165
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description MacMillan Publishers. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0312422164

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.90
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Franzen, Jonathan
ISBN 10: 0312422164 ISBN 13: 9780312422165
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2003. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VV-9780312422165

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.47
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Franzen, Jonathan
ISBN 10: 0312422164 ISBN 13: 9780312422165
New Quantity Available: 14
Seller
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2003. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780312422165

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.28
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Jonathan Frantzen
Published by St Martin s Press, United States (2003)
ISBN 10: 0312422164 ISBN 13: 9780312422165
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised, Expanded. 210 x 138 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 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. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780312422165

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 13.59
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Franzen, Jonathan
ISBN 10: 0312422164 ISBN 13: 9780312422165
New Paperback Quantity Available: 16
Seller
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 824626

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.10
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Franzen, Jonathan
Published by Picador
ISBN 10: 0312422164 ISBN 13: 9780312422165
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: > 20
Seller
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Picador. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0312422164 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # NATARAJB1FI832849

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.14
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Jonathan Frantzen
Published by St Martin s Press, United States (2003)
ISBN 10: 0312422164 ISBN 13: 9780312422165
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised, Expanded. 210 x 138 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 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. Bookseller Inventory # ABZ9780312422165

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.30
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Jonathan Franzen
ISBN 10: 0312422164 ISBN 13: 9780312422165
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
READERS PRIDE
(PLANO, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. NEW Book in Mint Condition -- Great DEAL !! Fast Shipping -- Friendly Customer Service -- Buy with Confidence!. Bookseller Inventory # RP0312422164BN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 10.48
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Jonathan Frantzen
Published by St Martin s Press, United States (2003)
ISBN 10: 0312422164 ISBN 13: 9780312422165
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description St Martin s Press, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised, Expanded. 210 x 138 mm. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. 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 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. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780312422165

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.78
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book