Purity by Jonathan Franzen (2015)


L: 9/10

M: 10/10

Analysis from a thirty-year-old who has more comics than dollars in his savings account.

Purity reads so smoothly. When the last page was finished, I set the book down and stared through the closest wall. It’s not that this novel needed much unpacking upon completion, it’s just that I wasn’t quite ready for it to be over.

The connected strings that tie the characters together weave a tight sweater of a story. Each chapter begins with a jarring jolt of perspective change, illuminating someone who instantly becomes instrumental, and your new favorite character. This cycle could have repeated itself over and over until everyone in the background was highlighted with their own importance and plot pushing the narrative. This type of storytelling gives the reader an edge of knowledge, an elevated feeling of knowing the whole story. At the same time, everyone else in the book eventually come to their own realizations. The story itself stretches across the globe, just to contract to the conclusion of a simple question, an origin. My head will run around in this story for some time, but for now I’m going to kill some time on WikiLeaks.

Analysis from a lady with a mouth who only drops the big one via text.

I am deeply in love with the book. Perhaps more the writing style, but the complete package has left me giddy and satisfied. Jonathan Franzen so deeply drew me in that I took breaks from reading just to research the author as a person. He has made my “list.”

The story is compelling, and while it seems to jump around a bit, there is such a method to it that you find no flaw in the transitions. The characters were deeply developed, and as much as you fiercely hated one, you adored the other. I gave it a 10, which I struggled with, but because truly I could find no flaw. It ended so well that I went back and re-read the end to make sure I hadn’t missed something. I tire of neatly packaged endings, and this one felt real and authentic without the clever bow and crisp finality. I would ramble on and give specifics, but with this literary jewel, I don’t want to. I want you to be curious as to how this jaded reader could gush so much about one book enough to BUY it and read it yourself. Also, I’m with the comic book fiend… WikiLeaks is my new crack!

Jonathan Franzen
Jonathan Franzen

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