August 23, 2017

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

There was lots of hype last year (2010) about Franzen’s new novel “Freedom“. Having just finished trying to read it, I don’t agree.

FreedomI got as far as p. 420 of 562. And I think that was only because I was on a long train journey with nothing better to read (and I was flicking through).

The reason I don’t rate is it that most the characters aren’t compelling enough, the story DRAGGGGGS too much, and (to be honest) a lot of the storylines don’t quite add up.

The book is essentially the life story of Patty. We follow her (going forwards and backwards) and the key people in her life (her husband Walter, fantasy Richard, and children Joey and Jessica) over the decades as they all try to make sense of life, and live up to / make the most of what society expects of them.

I did rather like the Patty – Richard storyline as it twists and turns, and to me it’s what seemed to hold the story together. But I found Jessica broadly pointless, Walter quite boring, and Joey just annoying.

Can’t say I recommend this one to anyone.

Top 10 Books I most want for Christmas 2010

As Christmas bears down on us, and now Super Thursday is out of the way I thought I’d put together a little list of the 10 books I’d most like to find under the tree this Xmas.

This list is comprised of the books I haven’t yet read by my favourite authors, and also a few curve balls!

Generation A by Douglas Coupland
JPod by Douglas Coupland
I’ve read most of his works, and as yet I’ve not come across one I didn’t enjoy on multiple levels – easy to read, and un-put-downable, yet also pretty deep and intelligent.

The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis
I love Martin Amis’ books. In fact London Fields is my no 1 favourite book (must give it a re-read in 2011), so his latest offering is definitely on the current wish list.

Tell-All by Chuck Palahniuk
Pygmy by Chuck Palahniuk
He writes such wonderful stories, and always an awesome take on modern society. These are his latest two, and I feel rather embarrassed I haven’t read either of them yet.

Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis
I’ve read pathetically little of B.E.E. Just American Psycho (which is even better than the film), and Less Than Zero. Glamorama seems like the obvious next step.

Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
I forget who recommended this one to me – but I keep forgetting to buy it!

Morvern Callar by Alan Warner
Another author I’ve read scarily little of. This one has been on the list for YEARS! Definitely time to get it done.

The Beautiful and Damned by F Scott Fitzgerald
I’ve read most of his books – yet this one evades me!

Psychogeography by Will Self
I’ve read several of his novels but not enough of his other writing.

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
SO much written about this one I feel I should find out what all the fuss is about.