Jonathan Franzen Would Hate This eBook

March 7, 2024

When Jonathan Franzen bashed Twitter, he was just carrying on the relentless crusade he’s waging against the Internet and social media every time he steps up to a mic. He’s like a bookish, bizarro world Chuck D. — Black Steel Glasses in the Hour of Social Media Chaos. The outrage he’s kicked off makes him kind of the closest thing literature has to a bad boy though. From Michelle Houellebecq to Jonathan Littell to Jonathan Franzen, middle aged white guys seem like the only ones who can generate high level righteous anger anymore. public-enemy-it-takes-a-nation-of-millions-to-hold-us-back-album-cover

But we’re a digital publishing operation so of course we’re piling on this Two Minute Hate. If Franzen’s railed against eBooks and decried Twitter, what better way to zing him then to make a Franzen targetted eBook out of Twitter itself?

We sourced some top tweets  from #jonathanfranzenhates and bookified them with Vook, thereby creating hypothetical Franzine kryptonite—a digital book version of a social media stream of tweets attacking the author for questioning its right to exist, wrapped up in another digital medium (the eBook) the author detests maybe more.

In movies, people are always realizing they’ve succeeded-but-too-ambitiously by doing something that symbolically indicates they’ve “destroyed the thing they love.” I think this happens in Boogie Nights, or Adaptation. If that TV trope has any basis in fact, our platform is definitely a victory, as it’s allowing us to cleverly abuse an author whose work we love. But so it goes in the digital future!

Click this link to get the ePub version of “The eBook Franzen Would Hate”

To download and read it, click here for instructions.

And much respect to Storify and the Guardian, whose Tweet stream story inspired us to make an actual eBook book.