Jonathan Franzen’s Glasses Thief Speaks, Reveals The Workings Of His Criminal Mind

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oe Kohen/Getty Images for The New Yorker

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 16: Writer Jonathan Franzen attends The 2009 New Yorker Festival: Fiction Night at Cedar Lake on October 16, 2009 in New York City.

The miscreant who stole Jonathan Franzen’s famous eyeglasses has finally opened up with his side of the story. Why did he do it? Because was drunk.

In an interview that The Awl will probably have a field day with, GQ has gotten in touch with 27-year-old rapscallion James Fletcher, the aerospace design student who stole Jonathan Franzen’s glasses Monday night. Fletcher’s reasoning behind the stunt was, well, it was sort of to be be expected: He was drunk and bored:

[After crashing the release party for Franzen’s Freedom] we sat drinking excessive champagne for a while and talking to some of the guests there until I realised just how dull it all was. If you’re going to gatecrash a party, the highlight of it surely can’t consist of several predictable nervous speeches and vacuous conversations. So I decided to do something.

But don’t think by stealing the author’s glasses he was disrespecting Franzen. It turns out Fletcher has high praise for the bespectacled author:

What do I think of┬áJonathan Franzen? He is one of the most talented writers out there and I have the utmost respect for the man. I just hope he didn’t get the wrong impression from my actions and was able to take it all in good humour. If the hijacked party, the Tube strikes and the pulverised books didn’t give him a good impression of our reception for him, hopefully he can at least agree that it was an eventful visit.

Read the whole interview, which has a delightful account of the time Fletcher spent hiding from the police in a pond, at