Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul—the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter’s dreams. Together wi
I was reading along with the main character Patty Berglund’s autobiographical statement “Mistakes Were Made” (p 27 – 187) and was lapping it up until soap bubbles began appearing between me and the page. The bubbles became suds – undeniable suds. I could not divest...more
had a dysfunctional relationship with your parents?
had a college best friend that turned out to be toxic?
started up as an idealist but then compromised into working for the dark side?
cheated on your nice guy husband with his cool best friend?
had a teenage son who ran away from home to shack up with the neighbor’s underage daughter?
been corrupted by the military-industrial complex?
If you answer "yes" to any of the above queries, you would probably be able to recognize a part of your...more
'Cause there are things I love here. Franzen sculpts, particularly in the brilliant first hundred (or so) pages, a precise and subtly eccentric narrative structure which defines an expansiveness--literally, in the fir...more
It's definitely a five-star so far. Very fun to read....more
Anyway, I'll save the longer review for a few weeks.
In the meantime, enjoy it.
Explanatory Digression: The state of CT uses the CA...more
I tend to read books fast - flipping through the pages at a breakneck speed so I can move on to the next one - but Freedom made me slow down to appreciate Jonathan Franzen's beautiful, ingenious prose. He possesses a style of writing I have never had the pleasure to read before; it's poetic yet concise, and the narrative is cunning and intelligent. There...more
first of all, keep in mind that i'm a character person. as long as the characters are interesting and the writing is interesting then i'm hooked. i don't really care if there's a plot, which is good, cause this book didn't really have one. but i *really* enjoyed the characters - i found them all, for the most part, fascinating, flawed, nuanced, angsty, confused, depressed, occasionally...more
*Writers probably can't ever ditch certain fundamental aspects of their style. With DFW it's the slightly manic, ever-looping association of ideas as his brain connects his current thought to stuff you would never have imagined. Franzen seems unable to dodge the unevenness trap - brilliant for long stretches, interspersed with material that is either preachy, superfluous, or both.
*Less powerful than "The Corrections" because his characters are less universal. Arguably they...more
And when I say doody I mean human fecal matter in all its wondrous metaphorical implications.* If you didn’t think that poopy could make for an effect literary device, then wait till your eyes digest a few specific pages of this bad boy. It might make you defecate in excitement! When primary character, Joey Bergland, is pulling apart a piece of his own crapola to save his wedding band from the assured irretrievability of the Texas sewage system, you go ah,...more
9/30 update: Well, once again I will prove just how uncool I am, because I'm thinking this is really very good, I'm engrossed, I like the characters flaws and all, unlike The Corrections this book has heart.
Finished last week,...more
L’autore si rivela immediatamente, come uno dei migliori contemporanei, capac...more
To keep in style of the book this review will be just a lot of rambling.
I mean, it was mostly a soap opera. And I just don’t do soap operas. I can just about manage about 10 minutes every 5th episode, but that’s about it. And Franzen submitted me to 570 bloody pages of a soap opera which I had to digest in a few sittings.
Like in all soap operas, everything ends well and love conquers all, of course some characters might have to be killed off along the way, but it seems like a small pri...more
(Abridged for your convenience in list form)
Before you think I'm mean, please note that "freedom is terrible" is kind of the point of Franzen's book: Freedom doesn't get you what you want. Uninhibited, it brings a whole slew of problems along with it and, assuming you're not a slave or living in North Korea, the fact that your life is miserable is not due to a lack of freedom.
Ironically, you can also substitute the book Freedom for the word freedom above, and i...more
|Do we agree it's boring?||25||160||May 11, 2013 06:03am|
|Have you read this book? Do we agree that it is timelessly good?||103||550||Apr 10, 2013 08:17pm|
|New book review due 9/23||3||41||Sep 23, 2012 06:40pm|
|Zero population growth game. What name for a ZPG campaign would appeal to college students?||2||23||Jul 17, 2012 06:36am|
Franzen's other honors include a 1988 Whiting Writers' Award, Granta's Best Of Young Ameri...more