Speaking of Embargoes

Agh! The President got ahold of an ARC of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, which is not supposed to go on sale until next Tuesday, supposedly unleashing “a small panic in the publishing world.” (NYT Arts Beat Blog).

It seems that news sources made it sound like he bought a finished copy while vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, causing booksellers around the country to be beseiged with requests for copies. Apparently, they are sticking to the strict on-sale date (is there some irony in the fact that the book is titled Freedom?).

Some libraries are showing the book as being “in process,” with holds ranging from 4:1 to 10:1 in systems we checked.

Already a critical success here, reviews are beginning to break in the UK, with the Telegraph saying Franzen is “almost alone in his willingness to tackle America’s big issues.” The Guardian calls it the “novel of…the century.”

At left, the UK cover.

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