A New York Times bestselling magnum opus for our morally complex times from the author of Freedom
Young Pip Tyler doesn't know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she's saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she's squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother--her only family--is hazardous. But she doesn't have a c
I've heard Franzen haters reference Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, and while I enjoyed that work, I think she is not in the same league with Franzen with respect to his deliberate sentence, paragraph, and story construction as well as his relatable rendering of the human psyche in his last three books. (If you want to experience less refined Franzen, check out Strong Motion...it's great but stylistically very different.)
Re-reading this answer, I'm concerned that I come across as a pompous ass. I don't think I am, I think it's more that I don't mind that Franzen might be.
Franzen is an artist and a craftsman. If you appreciated the Corrections and Freedom, you'll appreciate Purity (and be glad you read it.)
but me, i just didn't like it.
and that surprised me. the only other book i have read by franzen was The Corrections, and i liked it a lot. this one sounded like such a crazy departure from franzen's general small-scope but deep-focus take on themes of marriage and family and other interpersonal relationships (i mean, rev ...more
The author of The Corrections and Freedom can write. Who cares what people who don’t read his books – and only troll Twitter – think?
But now I’m reconsidering.
His new novel is ponderous, bloated and tin-eared. Something’s wrong when a book only gets going at ...more
and think about what was written). When I had natural reading breaks....(driving in a car, acupuncture session, swimming, etc. ).... my thoughts were still with this book.
Jonathan Franzen is an immensely gifted writer. Plus, contemporary fiction --is a
genre I enjoy. However, this book may not be for everyone: It' ...more
Franzen, in his de facto status as an enshrined Serious Author, has taken up as a provocateur - not in the effective simplicity of Norman Mailer who just punched people, but in the smug mouthing of cliches and enjoying the publicity and fervor from the social media he so claims to despise.
Pip, or Purity, is some manic pixie cutout with stereotyped daddy issues. She apparently wants older men and money to pay off her $130,000 of student loan debt. (That is a recurring number, a ...more
- Jonathan Franzen, Purity
I went into this novel with the same trepidation I approach with all of Jonathan Franzen's novels. I admire his talent. Generally, enjoy his fiction, style, and prose, but also end up worn out and wrung out after reading them. Both The Corrections and Freedom ...more
”After all, as Aquinas wrote, the least degree of pain in Purgatory ‘surpasses the greatest pain that one can endure in this world.’”
----Stephen Greenblatt in Hamlet in Purgatory
Writing a novel is an intimate act. And a novel about intimate acts is even more revealing. After listening, twice, to Purity read on audio by Jenna Lamia, Dylan Baker, and Robert Petkoff, I immediately listened to several of the author interviews Franzen gave in the push phase of his novel promoti ...more
It’s tempting to hear that — and mock that — as the author’s cri de coeur. Who else has ever worn the mantle of “The Great American Novelist” so uncomfortably, so unable to relish his fame or renounce it? Even as we’ve largely expelled literary writers f ...more
Franzen was the big draw at BEA this year—there to promote ...more
The criticism this book received put me in mind of the reaction to Tom Wolfe’s I Am Charlotte Simm ...more
What darkens Purity and weakens its realist musculature is Franzen’s atavistic treatment of male and female character. In Purity’s calculus, men are predators, women prey, and rape an inevitable aspect of being. We are asked to regard the male characters’ sexual urges — including rape, incest, pedophilia, the consumption of brutal pornography, and acts of murder ...more
So much densely packed Franzen-ness to savor here, I don't even know where to begin. I'd have to say Purity, Jonathan Franzen's eagerly-awaited fifth novel (in a roughly 25-year writing career) doesn't disappoint his fans (or certainly not this one), but that is not to say it's a smooth ride navigating this monster. There were several times I found myself fumbling through this, wondering when the heck clarity would ensue. It doesn't help matters that in typical Franzen-fashion, a Pulp ...more
With all those caveats ...more
I may have read this in a flu-induced delirium but I thought his equating the internet machine with the totalitarian state of the GDR was just inspired.
Moral absolutism, as ironically wielded with the title "purity," was a philosophy of ...more
“Don't talk to me about hatred if you haven't been married.”J. Franzen, "Purity"
In reading novels, I think I can successfully put aside my contempt for an author. It wasn't always so. Twenty years ago I'd not have been able to give an unbiased read to an author such as Franzen after hearing his repulsive supercilious air in successive interviews.
I enj ...more
|Goodreads Librari...: Add book cover||2||12||Jun 17, 2017 09:49AM|
|Plot question (spoilers)||5||38||Apr 01, 2017 01:33PM|
|Play Book Tag: Purity/Franzen - 5 stars||8||32||Sep 09, 2016 05:35AM|
|Has Franzen become too big to edit?||7||56||Aug 28, 2016 06:54PM|
|Franzen on Seth Meyers, reading from Purity, but with a twist||1||11||Aug 07, 2016 06:38PM|
Franzen's other honors include a 1988 Whiting Writers' Award, Granta's Best Of Young Ameri ...more