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Reached the end, though don't know how or why. Author uses ten words when one would do, jumping confusingly from one time frame to another. This is supposedly the first in a trilogy...... well, count me out from the rest
After reading The Corrections and, particularly, Freedom, I was convinced that Franzen was a force to be reckoned. All the press reviews I thought were spot on. But Crossroads seems like the work of some body else. It is plainly boring and lacking all the luster and intelligence of those previous two books.
Take a pass. It’s a drab, mournful tale about a totally dysfunctional pastor’s family which has no redemptive qualities at all. Franzen drones on and on about them, as if it might get better for them, but it doesn’t. Do yourself a favour: find some other reading during a pandemic.
Jonathan Frantzen is a one hit wonder. I loved Corrections. He seduced us all with this incredible book. But then every book that followed has been worse and worse. Somehow I decided to give Crossroads a chance. What a mistake. Another disfunctional family story, come on Jon! Soon a computer will be able to replace you. You generate same story, only it gets more and more tired under your typing fingers.....There is good news though, for the reader, it became obvious that I had to give it up only after reading just 10 pages. I just got completely swamped in the "crowd of characters" (how many new characters per page can be introduced? Is this some kind a new challenge), I truly tried several times to make sense out of it - I twice fell asleep on page 9, once managed to get half-way to page 11. I must report that it has been a pure torture. I almost think that you deliberately issued a new book to measure the "distance" from the first page to the page n - the exit page with a rather small n.
I had read and loved this author's early book 'Corrections'.....have it on my 'favorites' list, so was expecting a more engaging narrative. I found the characters and story line in this tome dull and meandering and would not recommend this read to anyone.
If you enjoy dull writing, characters with no redeeming qualities on paths to nowhere that take forever to arrive no destination, no insight or ultimate truth, this is the book for you. Yes, I read the entire thing, More out of disbelief rather than hope for a decent ending since it was fairly apparent from the beginning it was going nowhere and taking the long way to its destination. People, skip this book. There are too many good ones out there to waste your time on this! Sorry.
I loved Franzen’s previous novels and immediately plunged into this one the morning the pre-ordered copy appeared in my Kindle library.
Now I’ve read 20% of it, and I’m shocked at how trivial and boring this work is. I don’t see any hope that the rest of the book can save the part I’ve read so far. It is just worthless. Is the author someone impersonating the author of Freedom and Corrections? What explains this?
Unless you're a simple-minded Christian, this book has no meaning. It does not speak to the ethical questions that the average American, male or female, has. Furthermore, Franzen continues to demonstrate that he has little or no insight into the mind of a woman: I would venture a judgment that he is a misogynist. And if Russ is supposed to be emblematic of the American male today then god help us all, male or female.
That's it. Corrections. Didn't like it at all. Crossroads. Hated it.