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Franzen, Jonathan

(Book - 2010)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The idyllic lives of civic-minded environmentalists Patty and Walter Berglund come into question when their son moves in with aggressive Republican neighbors, green lawyer Walter takes a job in the coal industry, and go-getter Patty becomes increasingly unstable and enraged.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374158460
Branch Call Number: Fiction
Characteristics: 562 p. ; 23 cm


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Sep 05, 2014
  • natasha_pima rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great book!

This book is long, but amazing! I couldn't get enough

Jul 05, 2014
  • becker rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is a very interesting and enjoyable read. This book is very character driven with heavy dialogue which carries you through page after page of the story. A lot happens in this book and it moves smoothly and steadily along in a linear plot line that manages to keep you engaged from begining to end

Jun 04, 2013
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This novel from 2010 is a micro-sociology of millennial life. The elaborate narrative opens with a young gentrifying couple as they start a family and virtuously move upward through American social strata. The main characters multiply and become complicated humans complete with the flaws which snare them into one of three love triangles. This book strings together the seemingly divergent themes of desire, nature, marriage, greed, truth, status, love and freedom into an exploration of life in our new century.

Mar 06, 2013
  • natasha37 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Great book!

Jan 23, 2013
  • Lucchesa rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Franzen is one of our greatest writers of train wrecks. I kept reading, compulsively, in horrified fascination, waiting for the train to go off the tracks. (Subject heading: Dysfunctional Families - Fiction.) His characters may not be likable, but they're rarely all bad. They're complicated and human, they're believable, and they grow. It may take decades, but they find out what they value and what they're good at and how to live a little better. Not as bitingly funny as The Corrections, but kinder and just as well written.

Dec 17, 2012
  • Michael Colford rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Franzen is certainly an outstanding writer. Got a galley for this book, and since he was scheduled to speak at the library, I thought I'd better read it. Not really enthusiastic about reading a 700 page novel after all the hype, but was immediately drawn in on the first page. It's a testimony to Franzen that he can write such a compelling novel about such unlikeable characters.

Dec 17, 2012
  • drpippa rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A fast read, very enjoyable even though some of the characters are truly not likable. Read very much like The Corrections, although I enjoyed this book more.

Dec 06, 2012
  • wesleylau rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Do not read this book.

I honestly cannot understand the positive reviews. This book seems objectively horrible in my opinion. I can't even see how it would be subjectively enjoyable as a whole book.

It was hard to decide between one or two stars. I want to strongly discourage anyone from reading this book. I was hoping the book would be good, or at least decent, because it was a bestseller. I even looked up some reviews, surprised that so many of them were negative. In spite of the strangely large proportion of negative reviews, I decided to read it anyway because the positive reviews praised it so heavily.

The book was awful. It was painful to get through.

Having no idea what the book was about, the first 30 pages were alright. I thought they developed the scene/context thoroughly. It was suffering to get through the next 510 pages.

The story never went anywhere; it meandered. It would ramble for pages about nothing interesting. If you visualize a plot as an inclined plane that works its way up to a climax, this book's plot was a straight horizontal line throughout: boring and unchanging. And if it weren't for my line metaphor, I would also describe the story as directionless.

There was never anything to look forward to. Everything was just "whatever" in that it didn't matter if you had read it or not because it didn't contribute anything to the story. To make matters worse, there aren't really chapters in this book. There are sections, but they are hundreds of pages long without any breaks in between.

The last 20 pages of the book were actually enjoyable. It was a good summary of the previous 500 pages while adding something new and being interesting in and of itself. In this respect, the only reason I would give this book two stars is if I let the good impression of the last 20 good pages, my last impression of the book, cloud my memory of the terrible 500 pages that came before them. If the book consisted of only the first 30 and last 20 pages of the book, it would be alright. Again, the middle was absolutely horrible and I only finished the book so that I could have a complete picture when writing this review. That, and I wanted to see if it would get better and live up to its hype.

Oct 30, 2012
  • dptill73 rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

Tried to finish but could not. Too long and boring.

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Feb 03, 2011
  • Crheneghan rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Feb 03, 2011
  • Crheneghan rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Violence: This title contains Violence.

Feb 03, 2011
  • Crheneghan rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.


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Jun 20, 2011
  • marishkajuko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

marishkajuko thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Feb 03, 2011
  • Crheneghan rated this: 5 stars out of 5.


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Nov 20, 2010
  • FrozenMango rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Patty and Walter's children grow up in a family that is troubled by the love triangle of Patty, Walter and Richard.


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app16 Version Hasselnot Last updated 2014/12/18 17:24