Wednesday 17 January 2018

'Book of the century' pulped after printing error

John Spain

IT was not the expected launch for the "book of the century".

Thousands of copies of a much-heralded new work by American author Jonathan Franzen have been recalled and will be pulped by the publisher.

Some 80,000 editions of 'Freedom', the author's first major work in nine years, have mistakes in them following a printing error.

Mr Franzen is one of the world's most high profile authors and there was massive anticipation in advance of the release of the new book. However, the author has revealed the book has errors in it following a printing mistake.

Speaking to an audience in London, he said British printers had mistakenly published an earlier draft of his text.

Mr Franzen will take to the stage at a sold-out event in the Pavilion Theatre in Dun Laoghaire today as part of a promotional tour for the new book.

He has urged his many fans not to read the novel until the correct version is released in bookshops in the coming week.

The American author rose to major international prominence in 2001 with the release of 'The Corrections', which went on to sell three million copies.

'Freedom' is a follow-on novel from that and was eagerly anticipated by readers not just in the US but around the world.

Mr Franzen recently appeared on the front cover of 'Time' magazine, the first novelist to be given that recognition in 10 years.

Publishers Fourth Estate said they would be happy to offer readers the opportunity to exchange their copies for a new one, including the final corrections, to be available next week.

The publishers have said the mistakes were trivial and amounted only to "the odd word, spelling, punctuation -- that sort of thing. It was a typesetter's error".

However, the author was seen to be clearly upset as a result.

The US edition, the audio book and the ebook are not affected.

Critics have hailed the new release as "brilliant", "a masterpiece" and "an indelible portrait of our times".

Irish Independent

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