Tue 20 Jan, 2004 10:05 am
Anyone reading this? Anyone read it? Would love some opinions.
Thought it was overrated, dull in the middle, disconnected in a couple of places and flat at the finish. I think he had a really good first 100 pages, the rest was downhill.
I think the whole thing is over-rated. It's not funny. Satire, to my way of thinking, should be instructive, but this guy seems to hate all of his characters. With no one to sympathise with, there is no lessen to learn, no way to follow.
The thing is structured like a disaster movie. You know how you reach points in disaster movies when you think the lead characters are safe, despite only 72 minutes of running time having elapsed? Well, just when you think you are safe for the progression of what little plot there is, he introduces another repulsive character and takes you back to the beginning of their lurid history. There are nearly 600 pages of this sludge.
I wonder whether a proper satire ought to include some idea of alternatives. Franzen doesn't seem to like his characters.