Novelist Jonathan Franzen appeared on All Things Considered this evening to discuss the theft of his glasses at a book party. Follow this link to listen to the appearance. An excerpt: “Franzen told Kelly he doesn’t plan to press charges. ‘I’ve been laughing about the whole thing and observing the anguish secondhand,’ he said.”
In addition, U.K. GQ has an interview with the glasses thief, “a 27-year-old postgrad from Liverpool, currently studying computational aerospace design at Imperial College London.”
The story has generated some controversy. LA Times staff writer Carolyn Kellogg called the story “the lamest book ‘news’ story of the year.” One-Minute Book Reviews editor Janice Harayda pointed out that U.K. taxpayers were complaining about the event in the comments section of The Bookseller.
One reader wrote: “How disgraceful! Not the fact that his glasses were stolen, but the fact that the police sent out a helicopter to try to catch the thieves! How much did that cost the tax paying public? Is this even newsworthy? Scraping the barrel Bookseller, you really are!”
Bookseller writer Graeme Neill responded: “I think it is newsworthy – I can’t remember a book trade event that was so eventful and involved the police since I have worked here (almost four years now). We’re not the only ones who deemed it interesting. The Daily Telegraph, Guardian, Independent and BBC are among the news outlets that reported what happened last night.”