My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Just as he did in The Corrections, Franzen tells the story of a complex family (but what family isn't complex, at some level?) from the viewpoint of almost every family member (I do have to wonder why the daughter never got a chance to tell her story). Just when you get comfortable with one narrator, you're whisked away to another one, who you learn to love just as much, and you see the first narrator in a totally new light. This book really makes you think about strange political issues (birds? you really want me to care about birds now?) and makes you question what you're doing to help the world, at least that's what it did for me. The characters can disgust you at times, then surprise you when you realize that you love them, then surprise you again, when you realize how much they are like yourself, in their disgusting loveliness.
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