5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A major disappointment.........,
This review is from: Freedom (Hardcover)
Reading this novel was a major disappointment, especially after all the fantastic praise from reviewers. The prose is vibrant & readable, with some great one-liners, and the novel takes on some big themes, like freedom, but, sorry, doesn't really do much with them - in comparison with DeLillo's 'White Noise' or Updike's Rabbit novels this novel's politics - the inter-relationship between the public and the private worlds - struck me as unconvincing, facile and cartoon-ish. The biggest problem for me was that I never really felt close to the characters, a lot of them are little more than ciphers (Lalitha, Vin Haven, Richard Katz, et al.)and the rest, even Patty & Walter, seem to change as and when the plot requires: I just did not believe that a man like Walter would sign up to Van Haven's project! One other problem I had with it is that Franzen never lets the characters have any 'freedom', you feel that he is the puppet master, always in control; even Patty's first-person autobiographical narrative ('Mistakes were made') reads like it was written by Franzen and not by her. Franzen references nineteenth-century realist writers but, unlike them, doesn't seem able to embody ideas in believable, three-dimensional characters. And the ending is a class 'A' cop out.
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Initial post: 14 Dec 2010 08:22:31 GMT
You make some telling comments.
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