Monday, October 11, 2010

This really sounds awful ...

... What’s wrong with Jonathan Franzen?

Walter Berglund, the closest Freedom has to a main character, is initially willing to limit his freedom to sleep with his eager young assistant, Lalitha, in the hope of propping up his marriage to Patty. Walter weeps with frustration when Lalitha kisses him “with aggression . . . hungry abandon”, and weeps again “into Lalitha’s hair” when finally his wife departs and the couple satisfy their hunger – leaving Walter unexpectedly desolate. Patty weeps on realizing that Walter has fallen for Lalitha, then weeps “for a long while” when he discovers that she herself has had a long-term affair with his best friend. “I swear to God, Walter. I swear to God. I’ve spent my whole life trying not to hurt you. You’re so good to me, you don’t deserve this.” Not all the dialogue in Freedom sounds as though it has been extracted from one of the flimsier episodes of Desperate Housewives, but quite a lot of it does.

... kisses him “with aggression . . . hungry abandon” -- Yuck!


  1. Sex can't bear the burden of such vacuous lives.

    Literature can't either.

  2. Right on both counts!