Jonathan’s Franzen’s latest novel Freedom is being pulped in the UK because of errors in the draft, according to the Guardian.
Franzen himself believes that his British publisher has mistakenly sent an earlier draft of his manuscript off to the printer rather than his final version. Franzen believes the printing is so erroneous that he’s urged his readers not to read the novel until a corrected version hits the shelves today.
In Australia, Harper Collins says the problem “typesetter’s error and the mistakes involve the occasional word, spelling and punctuation”, according to a press release in Bookseller and Publisher. Harper Collins are pulping unsold copies that remain in their warehouse, which (given that UK copies are being removed from sale) could create a collector’s item. Harper Collins will allow readers to exchange their book and has created a Franzen hotline (tel: 1300 551 721) to arrange a swap.
In today’s Guardian, Charlie Brooker gives worried publishers a chance to laugh at the version -control problem by pointing out that authors' indecision could be to blame:
“Worst of all, without the crushing finality of a concrete deadline looming over them, authors won’t be forced to make up their minds about anything any more, and before long all books will open like this: ‘James Bond strode into the casino. Actually, no he didn’t. He walked into a blazing warehouse. Except he wasn’t on foot. He was in a car. Or on a horse. Whatever. The important thing is, it was all really exciting.’”