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Purity: A Novel

Franzen, Jonathan

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, U.S.A., 2015
ISBN 10: 0374239215 / ISBN 13: 9780374239213
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Bibliographic Details


Title: Purity: A Novel

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2015

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: As New

Dust Jacket Condition: As New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

Description:

1st edition/1st printing in as new, unread condition. Signed by the author on the title page. The author has also written, "Pussycat!" No condition problems. Mylar covered. Bookseller Inventory # 000332

About this title:

Book ratings provided by GoodReads:
3.59 avg rating
(27,711 ratings)

Synopsis:

A magnum opus for our morally complex times from the author of Freedom

Young Pip Tyler doesn't know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she's saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she's squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother--her only family--is hazardous. But she doesn't have a clue who her father is, why her mother has always concealed her own real name, or how she can ever have a normal life.

Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world--including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn't understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.

Purity is a dark-hued comedy of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has created yet another cast of vividly original characters, Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers, and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Jonathan Franzen is a major author of our time, and Purity is his edgiest and most searching book yet.

Review:

An Amazon Best Book of September 2015: Purity takes many forms in Franzen?s new novel?to begin with, it is the name of the book?s title character. ?Pip,? as she is more commonly known, is not fond of her given name, and when we first meet her she is living in a crowded Oakland house under the burden of colossal college debt. Pip soon becomes involved in ?The Sunlight Project,? a WikiLeaks-style group that seeks to uncover secrets and expose them on the web. Run by Andreas Wolf, a charismatic man of renown, who grew up in socialist East Germany, the Sunlight Project becomes the jumping-off point of discovery for Pip, as well as a starting line for Franzen to jump back in time and explore the backgrounds of his primary and secondary characters. There is a point in the book where readers may wonder where this is all headed; but the thoughtfulness and polish of Franzen?s prose should reassure that the journey isn?t in vain. It eventually becomes clear that nearly every character is chasing purity in some form?whether pursuing Pip herself or some platonic ideal?and Franzen ties up the ends in a way that is clean and satisfying but will have you thinking about Purity long after you have finished the book. --Chris Schluep

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