I Don't Appreciate Your Ruse, Franzen

I found Jonathan Franzen's 2010 novel Freedom bloated and disagreeable (but I still enjoyed his hyper-realistic style) and I am feeling the same way about his new novel (Purity) but this time around Franzen tried to insulate himself from such criticism with a clever meta-ruse . . . in Purity, he includes a writer named Charles as a character, and Charles--like Franzen-- writes a "big book" . . . but his big book slaughtered by the reviewers; Michiko Kakutani reports (fictitiously) that Charles's fictitious novel is "bloated and immensely disagreeable" and this could certainly apply to the length of Franzen's new novel and the characters inside it, respectively-- despite this, I'm still plugging away at it, mainly for the realism and the scope, and because I always enjoy a clever meta-ruse, even when I recognize it as a "cunning attempt to trick me."

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