Superfluous Matter
Books - Purity, by Jonathan Franzen

Some people find Franzen's writing intolerable and hacky, others call him one of the best contemporary American writers. I'm not sure I can pass judgment either way, but I enjoy his stories.

I can't quite say what Purity, his latest novel, is about but it definitely entertained me. The characters are interesting and provide convenient excuses to explore a variety of times and places: cold-war-era East Berlin and Pennsylvania; the rain forests of Bolivia; present-day Oakland, Denver, and the Santa Cruz Mountains. One of the major themes is the ability of the Internet to increase the transparency of governments and corporations via Wikileaks-like organizations, and how that compares to "legitimate journalism." But more important is the book's slow reveal of the connections between a disparate collection of people and how it affects them.

If you're interested in Franzen check out his best, "The Corrections," first and if you like it then come back to this one.

Previous post | Next post