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Publisher's Summary

A sharp and provocative new essay collection from the award-winning author of Freedom and The Corrections.  

In The End of the End of the Earth, which gathers essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years, Jonathan Franzen returns with renewed vigor to the themes - both human and literary - that have long preoccupied him. Whether exploring his complex relationship with his uncle, recounting his young adulthood in New York, or offering an illuminating look at the global seabird crisis, these pieces contain all the wit and disabused realism we’ve come to expect from Franzen.  

Taken together, these essays trace the progress of a unique and mature mind wrestling with itself, with literature, and with some of the most important issues of our day, made more pressing by the current political milieu. 

The End of the End of the Earth is remarkable, provocative, and necessary.

©2018 Jonathan Franzen (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"[Narrator Robert] Petkoff hits the difficult balance between being ironic and earnest that is so characteristic of the author's essays.... Petkoff makes sure this is an entertaining, as well as contemplative, experience." (AudioFile)

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brilliant! Every essay is a journey onto itself…

The writing and THINKING is superb and brilliantly wrought as one would expect from Jonathan Franzen. Robert Petkoff’s delivery, however, conforms to the prevailing standards of hyper-clarity… A plodding pace, scrupulously articulating every syllable and every ending consonant. Although he is very skilled I find it a bit labored and, on a long drive, exhausting on the ear… I much prefer the more relaxed, conversational - and therefore MUCH CLEARER – delivery of Dennis Boutsikaris (The Human Stain) or Richard Poe (East of Eden). (Not to be hard on Robert Petkoff… He may well have been following the directions of his producer who assumes that, since Jonathan Franzen frequently writes in long, compound, complex sentences, the delivery must be slowed down and exaggerated in the interest of clarity. Actually, (to my ears) the opposite is true: Our brains are NATURALLY TUNED to apprehend the cadences of normal conversation... not to the arduous enunciations of HYPER – CLARITY.

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not that exciting unless you like birds

I was a huge fan of the corrections so I was looking forward to this. although some parts were engaging a lot of it just didn't grab me. Also about half of it is about bird-watching which I was hoping I might get into But ultimately did not find that interesting. The narration was great though.