Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Book Review: Purity by Jonathan Franzen

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

I had read two of other Jonathan Franzen's books this year, The Corrections and Freedom. I personally think Franzen is one of the best authors I've ever read and his novel Purity, though not on the level of his other two, is a great novel.

Pip Tyler is a great female character and it's odd that this novel caused such a twitter storm of feminist outrage. I thought her initial scenes felt real and hilarious and the subtle methods that brought the plot to fruition were the work of a great plotter.

Andreas Wolf took over the second part of the novel. The history of the man who mimics the real life Julian Assange, takes on a long historic murder that felt similar to Crime and Punishment. Andreas has his own opinions from a strange relationship with his mother and the controlling government of East Berlin. His motivations are hidden through a lot of the book and the revelation of his motives were clever and the part that really struck me about this plot.

Tom and Anabel's relationship takes over the novel and gets the mentions from reviewers for such a small part that seemed inconsequential to the overall plot though their relationship is the source of all the struggle. I thought their inability to pull through was tragic yet real. I've not read Franzen write in first person until now and Tom's story stuck out as a unique and entertaining part of the novel.

All the characters seem real and sympathetic. The plot doesn't get bogged down though this novel is long. I have enjoyed all of his books and look forward to reading more by this acclaimed author. 

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