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Plot question (spoilers)

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message 1: by Richard (last edited Oct 13, 2016 05:52AM) (new) - added it

Richard I don't get how Andreas Wolf arranges it so that Pip comes into contact with Tom and Leila. He works out who Pip is and who her mother is, and arranges for her to be recruited to the Sunlight Project by Annagret. But how does that lead to Pip ending up in Tom & Leila's house?


Elizabeth B. It is spelled out late in the book - Andreas sends Pip to work for Tom for the specific purpose of spying on him and having her sabotage him, in revenge for Tom's intention (as imagined by the mentally unstable Andreas) to expose Andreas's dark secret. Remember that he found Anabel and Pip only by first tracking Tom and figuring out who his first wife must have been. Tom was always Andreas's target. He gives Pip the lead on the thermonuclear warhead, tells her who to offer it to - Tom - and it unfolds from there.


message 3: by Nguyen (new) - added it

Nguyen Xuan Spreading over three continents and involving three generations, Purity is about a devastating friendship that unexpectedly started, withered over the years before tragically going astray.
It all began in a pub in Berlin just after the Wall came down. Both men were in their late thirties, one from East Germany, the other from the U.S.. Andreas, a bright charismatic dissident, came from a prominent East German family and Tom was a fledgeling journalist from Denver. Both were unhappy for different reasons. The two young men went along so well the American readily helped his new friend remove the body of a man he had killed and buried in his parents'yard and bury it at a safer place and the two went their separate ways. Tom became a respected journalist and Andreas an outlaw in exile in Bolivia because of European and American warrants for his arrest on spying and hacking charges.
Twenty-five years after they met all hell broke loose when Andreas came across an interview in a leading review which he thought disclosed his American friend's possible intent to denounce the murder he had committed and set out to "search for dirt" on him as a way to "inflict pain and chaos" on him at a distance. Finding out Tom had divorced and his wife, a billionaire's daughter, had vanished and got a daughter unbeknownst to Tom, he conceived and carried out a Machiavellian scheme against him and nearly succeeded, only to take his own life presumably out of inextinguishable guilt.
Purity is no ordinary novel. Instead of being told straight away, many stories are delivered by way of clues and bits scattered throughout the book whose reading partly amounts to assembling pieces of a huge puzzle, a fastidious, even irritating but eventually completely rewarding experience.
Take Andreas's obsession with sex. We learn in Chapter One that when from his hideout in Bolivia he tried to lure Tom's daughter into an intern with his organization, Andreas hinted in an email to her that his mother had shown him her genitals when he was seven years old. In Chapter Four she boasted to him that "she hasn't told anyone about [him] and [his] mom's vagina." Then we learn in Chapter Two that "[going] out to the family's dacha on a Friday afternoon [he] found [his] mother sitting stark naked between two rose bushes" and suddenly remembered that " when he saw her pussy in the rose garden ... this wasn't the first time he'd seen it," that she'd shown it to him once before, to answer some precocious question of his." But the whole picture only comes in Chapter Six, when we are told "what having Katya as a mother had been like, what it was to be psychologically fucked with, day after day, to be not only too young and too weak to fight, but unable even to be angry, because she'd seduced him to be wanting it."
The same applies to the dinner Andreas invited his new friend to after he had helped him move the body of the man he killed. Tom noted in his memoir, Chapter Five, that Andreas had told him, when they separated: "Get some sleep. Meet me here at seven. We'll have dinner, " to which he replied: "Sounds good," but that "[he] never saw [Andreas] again." Then we learn in Chapter Six that some months later Tom sent Andreas a letter from New York to apologize for "balling" on him. But when the former friends met for the last time and Tom asked Andreas why he had played havoc with his life Andreas replied that it was Tom who "started the whole thing" by "never show[ing] up while they had a dinner date." "I thought we were friends," he said.
Startling surprises are numerous. At some point Andreas asked Tom: "Were you thinking of me when you butt-raped your Anabel?"
The reader is spared neither crude language nor voyeuristic scenes.
Is Jonathan Franzen a great writer?
Well, maybe.


message 4: by Richard (new) - added it

Richard That's very interesting, but you've posted it in the wrong place. This is a discussion thread, you should have posted it under reviews.


message 5: by Nguyen (new) - added it

Nguyen Xuan Thanks. I erred, sorry.


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