May 25, 2011

Freedom. Final discussion, by Jorge

I have to say that I voted for this book, the description provided and the commercial success seemed to me that I could be an interesting book to read. I was mistaken.

Continuing with the masterpiece debate I like in every book, I think Freedom is not a masterpiece at all. The one who wrote “a masterpiece of American fiction… Like all great novels, FREEDOM does not just tell an engrossing story. It illuminates, through the steady radiance of its author’s profound moral intelligence, the world we thought we knew” was either drunk or was earning a lot of money just telling that (maybe both). I find this book a very good one for Oprah’s followers: middle class bored people with marital problems that only want to project their lives into others’ problems. I don’t see neither a deep description of today’s American society nor an intense, well written story. Some of the characters are really unnecessary and overall I find this book an accumulation of disgraces, without sense, only chronological in Patty’s life.

Patty is annoying, Walter boring, Katz funny but all are a stereotype. If I have to choose a character I’d rather choose the cerulean warbler: is the best character, is the only one that is really suffering on the main characters’ decisions and the only one that does not have the freedom to decide its own fate.

The book is increasingly tragic (sometimes too tragic, why has Lalitha died? Was it necessary?) but the end of it is really disappointing: it is a happy ending, in which the couple reconciles and everything is allright again (come on! What was the writer thinking about?? I think only commercial success). I think this is the kind of ending that mass, main street, readers want, but betrays the way the book is written, the dramatic evolution of facts that builds the story line of the book.

I have found this book long, boring, "too many pages" as some of you said for Vargas Llosa’s. It tries to be a complex description of a couple difficult life in current society, but in my opinion only gets that done in part, it ends being an addition of characters, clichés and stereotypes that could be summarized in half of the pages (and could be done with a more profound description of the couple and less waffle around it). I think that this book is good for soap opera (culebron) followers, not for anyone with a little bit of interest in literature.

That said I would like to ask for a shorter book next time; good or bad, shorter will be better for all!

Lo bueno, si breve, dos veces bueno. :)

May 22, 2011

Freedom, part three

We are getting to the end of the book (at least some of us! ;-) and each page turned seems to bring more unhappiness, more conflict. No character is good or bad, but they all bring their problems with them, their fears, their frustrations, and that is something I really like about the book: characters, though extreme, feel so human.
But however, I want to bring the discussion to the politicals that the narration tells us. What do you think of the way the Cerulean Wabbler Park assures its existance? Does the end, keeping nature only for nature, justify the means (the implications with the mean corporations)?
And second, what do you think of the phrase "Kenny Bartles was clearly one of those daredevil clowns, a bush-league sociopath who would end up in jail or in Congress soon enough"? Isn't it just too real?

May 1, 2011

Freedom, second part.

So we get to know the characters better, Katz with his anti pop culture, Walter within two worlds, Patty married with one but in love with another, Joey and his independence and Connie the dependent. What do you think? Is any of them free?
From my point of view none of them are, and that takes me to the thought that probably, nobody is, there are always circumstances, family, money, careers... so why challenge with the title "Freedom"? What do you think the author is trying to say with it?
What do you think of what is happening in the book? Do you like it? Do you find it realistic? Because I think that Franzen ultimately wants to be realistic, but to me, maybe they are all too extreme and together tied by a fine rope, it just sounds like too much at times.