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Purity [Unabridged Edition] Audio CD – Unabridged, 19 October 2015
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The Sunday Times bestseller from the author of Freedom and The CorrectionsYoung Pip Tyler doesn't know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she's saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she's squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother – her only family – is hazardous. But she doesn't have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name, or how she'll ever have a normal life.
Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with the Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world – including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn't understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.
Jonathan Franzen's Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has imagined a world of vividly original characters – Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers – and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Purity is the most daring and penetrating book yet by one of the major writers of our time.
‘Furiously funny’ Telegraph
‘Superbly readable, it is the work of a novelist at the height of his powers … This new work by an American master of realism has novelistic pleasures in abundance’ Sunday Times
‘Purity makes the most compelling reading, and Franzen reveals himself here to be even more a master than ever’ Evening Standard
‘It has kept me up every night for a week, and now that I’m done, I’ll miss its wit, its messed-up characters and its emotional complexity’ Financial Times
‘Franzen’s most fleet-footed, least self-conscious and most intimate novel yet … Franzen has added a new octave to his voice’ New York Times
About the Author
- Publisher : 4th Estate - GB; Unabridged ed edition (19 October 2015)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 1499 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0008154554
- ISBN-13 : 978-0008154554
- Dimensions : 13.9 x 3.5 x 14.2 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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As expected, I found the first quarter to be exceptionally good - loved it. But then, I went into a complete about-turn - and hated the next third.
You do confuse me. But then the last third you brought me back from the brink.
Apart from finding that you did not write at all well in Pip's voice for this last third - I plodded on - completed the book and can recommend that others readers come on board and find their own 'choose your own adventure'.
This is a very contemporary novel and should be read, but is it up to Franzen's past glories? I think not.
Top reviews from other countries
It is pretty well written and often captivating and thought provoking at times, though it does seem to go a little deep to the point where it feels like a slog to get through those heavy sections... maybe that says more about me than the book though!
The book itself is a nice read most of the time but does have some somewhat implausible characters resulting in the plot becoming unusual and almost unbelievable at times. Yes, I am aware it is a work of fiction, I just like that fiction to have some semblance in reality which I think helps to keeps me on the hook.
The characters are at times over the top but still feel unfulfilling when it comes to depth and development, leaving a feeling that a lighter touch might sometimes be better when getting into the more intense psychological nature of the protagonists, while other characters could do with more than a very basic, cursory outline. The story is alluring until midway through when the key plot twist is revealed, in my opinion, a little too early... from there, the story drifts into monotonous, surface scratching insights which combined with a very predictable chain of events mean that the end of the book draws to a lackluster finish. I'm not sure whether the quality of the writing has suffered in comparison to his other books, or whether the attempt at something different has led to a decent book, but something which could have been a lot better.
All in all an enjoyable book and I would recommend it, but it's not on the same level as Freedom or The Corrections... which I would highly recommend reading if you enjoyed this book or if you haven't read it yet but are looking for something similar. Unrelatable and stereotyped characters combined with a story with not so much purpose as it has brashness, make it a far cry from his other works which resonated much more with me. Hopefully this will be a platform for Franzen to create more like this, but with a more fine tuned approach. Recommended!
Thanks for reading my review!
If you enjoyed "Freedom" you won't be disappointed with Purity. Its a brilliant read.
I would read it again one day: but there are so many books I haven’t yet read once!