Jonathan Franzen's new novel, Freedom, is getting lots of attention: Excellent reviews, a cover story in Time magazine, #1 on the bestseller lists, and now the ultimate assurance of selling zillions of copies -- being selected for the Oprah Winfrey Book Club. What makes the Oprah selection particularly noteworthy is that she picked Franzen's book, The Corrections, in 2001, and then Franzen apparently gave the impression that he was conflicted about being an Oprah pick, so she rescinded the offer, all of which produced plenty of media attention and guaranteed the sale of zillions anyway. Apparently now all is forgiven, and good publicity is produced for all involved.
My sister Joan and I were talking about it over coffee at Barnes and Noble a few minutes ago. She is on the waiting list for Freedom at the library, and I'm debating whether to buy a copy. There is something appealing about being part of a group reading, even with Oprah fans, and I liked The Corrections quite a lot, and the Freedom story even takes place here in the Twin Cities. The downside: It's 576 pages, and I've become such a slow book reader, which of course is why I can't borrow it from the library and be expected to read it in three weeks. This might have to wait for cold winter nights. Although they are quickly approaching. Darn! Another weather reference!