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The Discomfort Zone Audio CD – 28 August 2006
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The Discomfort Zone is Franzen's memoir of growth from his boyhood as a "small and fundamentally ridiculous person," through an adolescence both excruciating and strangely happy, into an adult with embarrassing and unexpected passions. It's also a portrait of a Midwestern middle-class family weathering the turbulence of the 1970s and a vivid personal history of an America turning its back on a certain idealism. Daring, honest, and written with the comic scrutiny and unqualified affection that marks Franzen's fiction, The Discomfort Zone tells of the formation of one young mind in the crucible of an everyday American family.
- Publisher : Highbridge Co; Unabridged edition (28 August 2006)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1598870548
- ISBN-13 : 978-1598870541
- Dimensions : 12.95 x 1.8 x 14.78 cm
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4 out of 5
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A 'great' American writer?Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 18 September 2015
I read this author on impulse, as I had heard that he had been described as a 'great' American writer. May be I selected the wrong book to determine whether he is or isn't a great writer, but I found him pretentious, unfocused and overly verbose. I do not consider it good writing, to describe something in a way that the reader needs to be constantly referring to a dictionary, in order to understand it. The book was erratic and skipped from one uninteresting subject to another, without any real understanding of what he was trying to achieve. It seemed like a scrapbook of memories, that he thought the reader might be interested in. I was not. The book depicted him as spoiled, wealthy with a puerile sense of humour. A writer, I guess so but, Great, surely not.
Lyrical, innovative and playful - I will read this again and againReviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 January 2014
Jonathan Franzen became my favourite author after I read "The Corrections" - and read it again and again. The book is so deeply layered and each section so valuable and intertwined with the others that it is a pleasure to reread, but what appeals before all else is Franzen's breathtaking style. In "The Discomfort Zone" he is playful, self-deprecating; he solicits our compassion and makes us cringe and laugh along with his younger self. There were so many great lines and great passages that I took to reading it with a pen in hand to underline things. I would definitely recommend this to any fan of Franzen's work.
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A German ScholarReviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 April 2020
The chapter 'The Other Language' is the best account of sex and learning German that I know.
Five StarsReviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 December 2015
although generally I love Franzen. Freedom and The Corrections are much betterReviewed in the United Kingdom on 2 February 2015
Patchy, although generally I love Franzen. Freedom and The Corrections are much better.