Walter Palmer (left), a dentist and hunting enthusisast from the US state of Minnesota, prompted outrage on the internet when he killed a lion called Cecil that had been lured outside a national park in Zimbabwe. He is pictured here with a lion he killed in 2005. Franzen says his new book is partly a reaction against what he calls the "totalitarianism" of online culture.

In 'Purity', novelist Jonathan Franzen tackles the web's propensity for mob justice

Franzen takes hilarious aim at way the online world is policed by a mob - but, he tells Emma Brockes, he definitely isn't a misanthrope

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Walter Palmer (left), a dentist and hunting enthusisast from the US state of Minnesota, prompted outrage on the internet when he killed a lion called Cecil that had been lured outside a national park in Zimbabwe. He is pictured here with a lion he killed in 2005. Franzen says his new book is partly a reaction against what he calls the "totalitarianism" of online culture.
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