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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Home Run

Even infrequent readers of my blog likely know of my penchant for lists so let me get right to that - Jonathan Franzen's 2015 novel "Purity" has joined my list of top one hundred novels of all time. Lest you recommend medication, I'll resist naming the novel Franzen's tour-de-force displaced on that ever-evolving list.

A plot summary, a description of the characters, or worse - trying to capture the richness of this author's ideas - are all beyond my pay grade. There are seven parts to this transformative book. Below is a different taste from each - humor, wisdom, heartbreak; there's much more. Consider these an appetizer but be sure to read the complete novel for a meal you won't soon forget.

From part 1: "Wasn't asking for a recipe supposed to be good coin of the feminine realm?"

Part 2: " Everyone thinks they have strict limits", she said, "until they cross them".

Pt. 3: "... her little apartment on Capitol Hill became the sour-smelling cage of a big cat too depressed to groom itself."

4: "Isn't that why famous people marry each other? To have someone to talk to about the terrible pain of being famous?"      

5: "I laid my cheek on her chest and held her for a long time, not thinking anything, just being an animal that had lost its mother."

6: "The aim of the Internet and its associated technologies was to 'liberate' humanity from the tasks - making things, learning things, remembering things - that had previously given meaning to life and thus constituted life."

7: "Secrets were power. Money was power. Being needed was power. Power, power, power: how could the world be organized around the struggle for a thing so lonely and oppressive in the having of it?"

Thank you, Jonathan.


  1. I love 6 and 7. I am reading Liz Gilbert's Big Magic and "making things" as well as many other "things," plays a role...So important!

  2. Ines; Glad those two tastes appealed to you; Franzen's book is filled with yummy morsels like that.