Purity by Jonathan Franzen (2015)

Depending on whom you ask, Franzen is either the premier living American writer or the last literary dinosaur: a pompous white male Luddite who gazes disdainfully down at us tweeting, Facebooking fools from his comfortable perch of astronomical sales and critical adulation. …

Guardian review – Purity by Jonathan Franzen review – dazzling, hilarious and problematic

Purity is one big and ambitious book. I was prepared not to like it. Prepared not to finish it.

I assumed every character would be educated and talented. Yet find ways to make themselves miserable.

And I was right.

But the plot got me hooked. It’s complex, interesting and entertaining. If you are up for a challenge, I do recommend Purity.

Purity by Jonathan Franzen

The multigenerational epic jumps back and forth across decades. Moves from Germany, to Bolivia, to several different locations in the USA.

I did care about some of the lead characters.

Purity (Pip) Tyler was quite convincing, I thought.

German Andreas Wolf runs a WikiLeaks-like site called the Sunlight Project. Daniel Craig will play him in the planned Showtime adaptation. Purity would make good TV, I think.

Journalist Leila Helou did not do much for me much as a character. But her story was fascinating.

Charles Blenheim,  Leila’s husband, a literary has-been, is not a lead character. But I did find him very entertaining.

Tom Aberant is the most important character, I’d say. An idealist who somehow got himself roped into an insane marriage. He’s the character I identify with most.

It’s only got a 3.6 / 5.0 rating on GoodReads. Critics like it better than do regular folks.

Of his 4 other books, the only other I’ve read is The Corrections. Purity is better IMHO.


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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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