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Purity by Jonathan Franzen

Purity (2015)

by Jonathan Franzen

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1,519617,853 (3.53)30
"A magnum opus for our morally complex times from the author of Freedom Young 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 has always concealed her own real name, or how she can 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. Purity is a dark-hued comedy of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has created yet another cast 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. Jonathan Franzen is a major author of our time, and Purity is his edgiest and most searching book yet"--… (more)
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English (53)  Italian (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (61)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
Very strong character development in this novel. Franzen is shockingly good at creating the inner lives of four different diverse and complex individuals whose lives interlock in fascinating ways. In addition to this character crafting the book has a compelling plot that links up to recent history and current events in thoughtful ways. ( )
1 vote Orion_Wertz | Jul 16, 2019 |
A young girls search for her identity in a modern day environment with hippie background, German activist and environmental causes ( )
  Gunnarf | Jul 7, 2019 |
I read 450 pages and stopped. It got boring, for one. Two, the characters kept getting worse. It really seems like the author doesn't like women. I don't need to read anymore of his work. ( )
  jill1121 | Jun 1, 2019 |
I just don't think I'm a strong enough reader to say whether this was better or not than previous Franzen. I know that I thoroughly enjoyed it and that I'd rather read this quality of writing than almost anything else.

This felt a bit more straightforwardly plotty than his previous novels. And there was a more rounded conclusion also. There may have been some unevenness in the way the POV changed for each person's story but, really, who cares? If Jonathan Franzen keeps publishing a meaty, thoughtful and satisfying novel every 5 or ten years, I'll keep reading them until I am no longer able. ( )
  asxz | Mar 13, 2019 |
Not all of it was quite to my taste, but still a good read. Quite long with about three story lines you'll need to pay attention. The ending is emotional and it works. ( )
  charlie68 | Dec 30, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
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"Oh pussycat, I'm so glad to hear your voice," the girl's mother said on the telephone.
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
E forse la pazzia era proprio questo: una valvola di emergenza per alleviare la pressione di un'ansia intollerabile.
Non vedeva alcun rischio razionale nell'accendere la luce sopra il fornello, ma avere una mente complicata significava anche comprenderne i limiti, comprendere che non poteva pensare a tutto. La stupidità scambiava se stessa per intelligenza, mentre l'intelligenza riconosceva la propria stupidità. Un paradosso interessante. Ma non rispondeva alla domanda se accendere la luce o no.
Il mondo era sovrappopolato di parlatori e sottopopolato di ascoltatori, e molte delle su fonti le davano l'impressione di essere la prima persona che le avesse mai davvero ascoltate.
– Ecco due verità sulla fama … Una è che ti rende solo. L'altra è che tutti quelli che ti circondano proiettano i loro sentimenti su di te. Anche per questo ti rende solo. È come se tu, come persona, non esistessi nemmeno. Sei solo un oggetto sul quale gli altri proiettano l'idealismo, la rabbia e così via.
Lo scopo di internet e delle tecnologie connesse era «liberare» l'umanità dai compiti – fabbricare cose, imparare cose, ricordare cose – che prima davano significato alla vita e perciò ne costituivano l'essenza. Ora sembrava che l'unico compito significativo fosse l'ottimizzazione per i motori di ricerca.
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Average: (3.53)
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