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Finished Franzen’s Purity a few days ago, and was surprised at the sudden drop off in the quality of the novel, especially when the character, Tom Aberant, narrates in the first person. It was, frankly, agonizing to get through, and I couldn’t wait for the author to get back to the story of Pip (Purity) Tyler, but that didn’t happen until nearly the end of the book. . . . Read more. “New Poetry and the End of Purity”
WAITING FOR MY HONEY IN FRONT OF THE SENATOR THEATER
On the theater’s door a few written words, “This Theater Will Be Closed Until A Run On Sentences Adequately Compensates.” The leather chairs varnish their legs. A thick green compensates carpets and cashier. No coming attractions, instead a slat beneath a portrait with one eye missing occasionally. No mints either, just the smell of insatiable consequence. As if the balcony stairs could be arrogant or led away.
I’m about 300 pages into Franzen’s new novel, Purity, and it’s truly hit its stride. It started out a little slowly for me, and I think he did too much telling, rather than showing, but readerly patience has paid off. At this point, and especially after his brilliant, almost ecstatic description of Pip’s sojourn in Bolivia, it’s more than clear that Franzen can build a compelling case for his world, its multiplicity of emotions, motives, betrayals and jealousies, and especially the internal twists and turns of his characters’ minds.
Even after 300 pages, it’s difficult to summarize the plot. But it’s basically the story of a young woman’s search for the father she never knew, and the search for metaphorical daughters by four slightly less central characters, two men and two women. . . . Read more. “Purity”