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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun February 18, 2018 3:55 am 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
Started Freedom. So far, I'm really digging it but I'm only about 70 pages in. It's my first Franzen.

I know people have strong feelings about him and his work. Would love to open a conversation about him.


The Corrections is high-point Franzen for me; I really want to re-read it. His first two novels are also good. I just feel like his last two have gotten overblown and the sort of things he just cannot write about (mostly women and sex) get magnified in a way where he kind of looks foolish. This doesn't mean there aren't good scenes and storylines. I just sort of end up shrugging my shoulders at the end.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun February 18, 2018 5:28 am 
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Simple Torture wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Started Freedom. So far, I'm really digging it but I'm only about 70 pages in. It's my first Franzen.

I know people have strong feelings about him and his work. Would love to open a conversation about him.


The Corrections is high-point Franzen for me; I really want to re-read it. His first two novels are also good. I just feel like his last two have gotten overblown and the sort of things he just cannot write about (mostly women and sex) get magnified in a way where he kind of looks foolish. This doesn't mean there aren't good scenes and storylines. I just sort of end up shrugging my shoulders at the end.

Do you have any specific examples from Freedom? I'm specifically thinking of his troubles writing women.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun February 18, 2018 11:22 am 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
Simple Torture wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Started Freedom. So far, I'm really digging it but I'm only about 70 pages in. It's my first Franzen.

I know people have strong feelings about him and his work. Would love to open a conversation about him.


The Corrections is high-point Franzen for me; I really want to re-read it. His first two novels are also good. I just feel like his last two have gotten overblown and the sort of things he just cannot write about (mostly women and sex) get magnified in a way where he kind of looks foolish. This doesn't mean there aren't good scenes and storylines. I just sort of end up shrugging my shoulders at the end.

Do you have any specific examples from Freedom? I'm specifically thinking of his troubles writing women.


It's been a while since I've read it, but one of the clearest examples I can remember is a bit spoiler-y, so I won't go into details. The overall sense, though, is that nearly every woman in his books (especially the later ones) just needs a man to be complete, and many of them will give up their agency and their bodies to be with the one dude who's the man of their dreams. It happens just a few too many times for it to be just this thing he tries here and there. It's like Franzen has never sat down and asked a woman, "Hey, what really drives you? What's it like navigating a world that expects you to act according to a standard of femininity for men's pleasure? What does it feel like to be aroused?" Instead, he's either just guessing or--worse--deciding based on old and tired tropes.

Again: there's some engaging stuff all throughout his work, these things don't make it worthless, but the end of Freedom especially left a bad taste in my mouth (my wife read it at the same time, too, so we talked about it a lot) that was hard to shake.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun February 18, 2018 3:13 pm 
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Gotcha. I'm already feeling a bit of what you're describing with Patty and Walter toward the beginning (I'm about 160 pages in) and starting to worry about it. But the writing otherwise is clean and strong. And I'm been moved by Walter a couple of times. These are well drawn characters for the most part. I'm not thinking of stopping, just trying to get a feel for what you expect going forward.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun February 18, 2018 4:12 pm 
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I asked my wife what she thought, too, and she basically said the same things I did (she thought the women eventually devolve into damsels). She did want to add, though, that she thought the the beginning was very strong. Especially (I think you're past this bit? Maybe not, it has to do with Patty's youth...proceed with caution)

Spoiler: show
Patty's sexual assault and the aftermath. Mrs. Torture said that the disbelief and uncaring that other characters in her life toss on her and how she internalizes it is so believable that it scared her. She thought that same level of empathy for female characters evaporated by the end.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun February 25, 2018 3:02 am 
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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Thu March 08, 2018 9:20 pm 
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Franzen sure is into male fantasies about sex, huh.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Thu March 08, 2018 10:53 pm 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
Franzen sure is into male fantasies about sex, huh.


YA THINK

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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Thu March 08, 2018 10:57 pm 
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Simple Torture wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Franzen sure is into male fantasies about sex, huh.


YA THINK

:lol:


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sat March 10, 2018 7:58 pm 
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I'm not into true crime very much at all, but I've heard so many good things about Michele McNamara's "I'll Be Here In The Dark" that I decided to give it a shot. I'm about 1/4 of the way through and it is gripping, terrifying, disgusting, etc. It's great.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sat March 10, 2018 8:52 pm 
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I'm reading the second Bond novel Live and Let Die. It's horribly racist but there is an incredibly fun pulp spy novel under all that ignorance. I feel really guilty for enjoying it.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun March 11, 2018 6:54 pm 
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Simple Torture wrote:
I'm not into true crime very much at all, but I've heard so many good things about Michele McNamara's "I'll Be Here In The Dark" that I decided to give it a shot. I'm about 1/4 of the way through and it is gripping, terrifying, disgusting, etc. It's great.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun March 11, 2018 7:07 pm 
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durdencommatyler wrote:
Simple Torture wrote:
I'm not into true crime very much at all, but I've heard so many good things about Michele McNamara's "I'll Be Here In The Dark" that I decided to give it a shot. I'm about 1/4 of the way through and it is gripping, terrifying, disgusting, etc. It's great.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:


I guess it's called "I'll Be Gone In The Dark" but whatever.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun March 11, 2018 7:16 pm 
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Simple Torture wrote:
durdencommatyler wrote:
Simple Torture wrote:
I'm not into true crime very much at all, but I've heard so many good things about Michele McNamara's "I'll Be Here In The Dark" that I decided to give it a shot. I'm about 1/4 of the way through and it is gripping, terrifying, disgusting, etc. It's great.

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:


I guess it's called "I'll Be Gone In The Dark" but whatever.

Yeah, but I knew what you meant.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun March 11, 2018 7:18 pm 
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Yeah. I could've easily read it in one day if there weren't diapers to change and a dissertation to write. I feel asleep with my Kindle on my face last night.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun March 11, 2018 7:19 pm 
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Simple Torture wrote:
Yeah. I could've easily read it in one day if there weren't diapers to change and a dissertation to write. I feel asleep with my Kindle on my face last night.

Sexy


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Sun March 11, 2018 8:12 pm 
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Finished "Freedom." Overall, enjoyable, though it certainly has its issues. Overlong, especially the final third of the book.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Thu March 15, 2018 2:56 am 
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The AV Club has this nice article up on the 100th anniversary of the first appearance of Ulysses (in serialized form--the book didn't come out until 1922), and it's basically an overview for people who have either tried to read it or wanted to and always been turned off, explaining why they should give it a go. It includes this fantastic summary: "The plot mostly consists of a dude walking around, thinking about things, and occasionally cranking his hog."

https://www.avclub.com/ulysses-turns-10 ... 1823524706

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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Thu March 15, 2018 11:40 am 
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The manuscript of Ulysses is one of the most amazing and odd items in Literature.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you currently reading?
PostPosted: Thu March 15, 2018 2:08 pm 
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Currently reading:

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