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Crossroads: A Key to All Mythologies, Volume 1 Audio CD – Unabridged, 5 October 2021
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Jonathan Franzen's gift for wedding depth and vividness of character with breadth of social vision has never been more dazzlingly evident than in Crossroads.
It's December 23, 1971, and heavy weather is forecast for Chicago. Russ Hildebrandt, the associate pastor of a liberal suburban church, is on the brink of breaking free of a marriage he finds joyless--unless his wife, Marion, who has her own secret life, beats him to it. Their eldest child, Clem, is coming home from college on fire with moral absolutism, having taken an action that will shatter his father. Clem's sister, Becky, long the social queen of her high-school class, has sharply veered into the counterculture, while their brilliant younger brother Perry, who's been selling drugs to seventh graders, has resolved to be a better person. Each of the Hildebrandts seeks a freedom that each of the others threatens to complicate.
Jonathan Franzen's novels are celebrated for their unforgettably vivid characters and for their keen-eyed take on contemporary America. Now, in Crossroads, Franzen ventures back into the past and explores the history of two generations. With characteristic humor and complexity, and with even greater warmth, he conjures a world that resonates powerfully with our own.
A tour de force of interwoven perspectives and sustained suspense, its action largely unfolding on a single winter day, Crossroads is the story of a Midwestern family at a pivotal moment of moral crisis. Jonathan Franzen's gift for melding the small picture and the big picture has never been more dazzlingly evident.
About the Author
David Pittu is a two-time Tony Award nominee, as well as the award-winning narrator of countless audiobooks, ranging in genre from young adult (Scholastic's 39 Clues series) to spy fiction (Olen Steinhauer's The Last Tourist and Milo Weaver series) to the contemporary fiction of authors such as Jeffrey Eugenides (The Marriage Plot) and Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch) and many more. Pittu received the Audie Award for Best Male Solo Narration for The Goldfinch, which also received the Audie for Best Literary Fiction.
Not only a veteran theater actor, he works regularly in film and television. He lives in New York City.
- Publisher : MacMillan Audio; Unabridged edition (5 October 2021)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1250810566
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250810564
- Dimensions : 13.08 x 5.52 x 14.94 cm
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Top reviews from Australia
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Chapter by chapter, the story of family developments is carried forward by concentrating on one character at a time. Franzen builds a complex, layered view of each psyche and how much each person knows and understands the others which frankly, is gob-smacking in its brilliance. Our sympathies wax and wane for each of them as the annual Crossroads trip to help out in Navaho country approaches and Russ does all he can to seal his fate with Frances. Once there, there’s a disaster that has far reaching consequences and by the end of the novel you wonder what’s in store for this fractured family. Luckily, this is the first of a trilogy. This would be an excellent novel for a non-Christian to read to understand how Christianity has formed the culture of the US. It’s very worthy, except when it’s not. This is one of those books that make you dubious about picking up the next book on your pile (or tablet) because no doubt, the next book will not be as good.
Top reviews from other countries
Fiction is as much about what a writer leaves out as what he puts in. What is left out is filled in by the reader's imagination and empathy with the characters. That is the magic of fiction.
Franzen leaves out nothing about his characters. He describes every emotion, every thought about that emotion, every emotion about the thoughts about that emotion, every thought about the emotion about the thoughts about that emotion - ad infinitum.
In a novel with a thin plot driven by characters we end up curiously uninvolved with those characters. This is because by describing the characters in every detail, Franzen leaves the reader no room to project into them, to provide for them the elements that the author may only suggest or briefly describe. In his endless dissection of the minds of very ordinary characters Franzen destroys the magic of fiction.
Franzen writes people really well, all different kinds and he sinks you into the mind set of each of his characters, their frailties, their personality with great skill.