We did it! We made it to the end! Major thanks to Alley for bringing us all together to read this awful, awful book. I literally couldn’t have done it if I wasn’t reading it along with you guys. And since we actually read the whole damn thing, you know what we get? Bragging rights. And the right to talk as much shit about Franzen and this book as we want. It’s like the people who read Fifty Shades of Grey just so that they can know what they’re talking about when mocking it.
So, going into this section I just wanted to be done and was all
about the characters because they’re all pieces of crap. And honestly, I’m a bit raged out. So let’s go over the notes I took…
- page 465 when Al is thinking of his tumble into the ocean and he’s thinking he should have just drowned – YUP.
- Apparently Enid’s travelled a lot, which makes me wonder how she can possibly be so narrow-minded about things and so whiny about money stuff. Travel is usually good for the soul, isn’t it? But maybe those things were just too much a part of her.
- Caroline is motherfucking EVIL and lures Jonah into staying with her and his bratty brothers for Christmas, and Jonah is ruined forever. Because Franzen couldn’t just let us keep one decent character.
- page 499 Gary decides to pee into some container in the closet. What the fuck is wrong with him and Al that they’d rather be into objects instead of just using the bathroom??? I assume this is another weird glimpse into Franzen’s personality. Does he pee into containers too? Good god, his poor girlfriend (if he has one)…
- page 504 Denise sleeps with a 17 year-old. Greeeaaaat. If she was a dude, her ass would be freaking arrested. Granted, I do think that a person 17 years old
can beis responsible for his/her own decisions (one of the reasons I have issues with her sleeping with that Don guy), but I think there’s something a bit creepy about a 32 year-old going after a 17 year-old, whatever their genders.
- And THEN Denise gets back together with Robin, just to treat her like shit. Sorry guys, I can’t see that she really loves Robin. Infatuated with her maybe, but you don’t treat someone you love like that. She’s no better than an abusive man.
- But wait, there’s more – her sleeping with Don is the reason her father quit just before he was able to retire with his pension! I admire Al here for never breathing a word to anyone about it. And she doesn’t even try to apologize or explain – not that Al is mentally present enough anyways to remember or understand, but still. Christ.
- Gary’s a douchebag.
- page 547 “She flinched or sighed or shook her head at every spilled bite, every non sequitur.” - Way to be a bitch, Enid.
- And of COURSE Chip ends up being the great son, the one who’s perfect and helps out his parents and takes care of Al. Because Chip = Franzy and obviously he thinks that highly of himself.
Omg, fuck this book so many times.
A whole cast of absolutely obnoxious characters all doing terrible things, and talking poop. That about sums this book up. I’m going to a non-spoiler review of this book later, and I’m going to have a hard time expanding on that without spoiling everything.
I AM glad I read this, because it’s a popular book and an Oprah pick (what was she thinking) and because Franzen is such a highly praised author, and now I have something to base my own opinions on. Now at least I can join a conversation about Franzy and know a little something, you know? Not that I get into many literary conversations like that in real life, but the point is now I’m prepared.
Thanks to all my fellow readalongers, for making this book suck less by talking about it and using a ton of the best gifs. You guys are hysterical and smart and the best. And again a huge thanks to Alley, for being brave enough to host it and doing a pretty kick-ass job about it.
So, final thoughts? How’d you like the book overall? Are you going to try another Franzy?