Selected Essays from [ePub]

by Jonathan Franzen

Franzen writes very much as a pretentious, alienated ex-pat of our modern time; his critiques of modern-day technology, although eloquent and atypical, still manage to be overly cynical for my tastes—written with an eye towards analysis rather than a hope for change.

I enjoyed his more sentimental, personal essays, however, like "My Father's Brain," which felt very private. The kind of bravery exemplified in these essays I felt were preferable to his cold, brutal analysis of the general masses of today, as it painted him as more human and emotional, showing that he could relate to people in general.

My biggest problem with the book lies in the pretentious way he writes; the novel reads more like political debates I had read in my philosophy class rather than an essay born out of the heart or personal opinion.

Overall, an interesting read, and I would recommend it, as it does seem to do what it advertises—"How to be alone." An interesting insight to the book, if gleaning the right notions from the book, can be helpful to issues of the self and alone-ness. While the book did more of a "help me to read into how others are alone," I personally did not take it as advice to heart.

Overall, very well-written, and though I did not love it, it was very interesting and I recommend it.



Back to Top