Friends, I suffer – from the feeling that Jonathan Franzen’s autobiographic “The Discomfort Zone” is completely boring. Am I the only stupid, ignorant, and non-attentative reader out here who feels like this?

Well, in his book, Franzen tells us about his childhood, namely about his mother, father, brother, and house to sell. Wait, he also elaborates on boring youth recreation trips and – linked with everything else – his continuously present feelings of inferiority.

Yes, I know that Franzen has won the National Book Award – and is seen as a Great American Novelist by the Times magazine and others. However.

Maybe I have read too much of David Foster Wallace “The pale King”, lately, with this explosive, overwhelming sentences and characters with paranoid anxiety neuroses, shooting us from day-to-day-situations into the endless universe of imagination.

Maybe I have also gotten used too much to Ian McEwan’s brilliance in the last couple of weeks, e.g. in Sweet Tooth or On Chesil Beach. Both books simply thrilling, draw you into the action, the flow, as well as into the minds and anxieties of the characters.

So how does Ian McEwan brings the magic whereas Franzen is compiling a boring sauce? Is this because of “McEwan’s skilful circling back, his ability to make everything that happens matter one way or another” – as C P Howe writes?

Possible. In conclusion – and how embarrassing to admit – I could not even finish Franzen’s “Discomfort Zone”. …maybe I should give Franzen another chance for his controversial “Freedom”.

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