Saturday February 22, 2020

Franzen embraces the culture of complaint

Farther Away by Jonathan Franzen. Fourth Estate, €18.90. Reviewed by Kevin Power.

28th July, 2012
Jonathan Franzen has produced an uneven work. Photo: Feargal Ward

Farther Away by Jonathan Franzen

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Jonathan Franzen is a champion complainer. He complains about BlackBerrys, which may be "sexy" but are also "great allies and enablers of narcissism". He complains about televisions in airports: "a small but apparently permanent diminution in the quality of the average traveller's life." He complains about planned obsolescence: "WordPerfect 5.0 for DOS won't even run on any computer I can buy now." He complains about people using their cellphones in...

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