Reading Franzen Part III


Having read longer books than this in a shorter amount of time it’s almost mind boggling to me how long it’s taking me to get through a measly 568 page novel. What is it about this supposedly ‘darkly humorous’ novel that I’m just not getting? Why don’t I find any of this funny?

Oddly enough the title for this part is so appropriate it almost describes my feelings:

Part III the More He Thought About it the Angrier He Got

Thus far, part III is the adventures of the eldest son Gary who much like his father is a tyrant and who continues the list of unbelievably exhausting characters whom I hate. One of the biggest problems I continue to feel about this story is the fact that there is approximately one character who is even vaguely worth rooting for or caring about. How is it possible you could create a story and have so many characters that you could care less if they died in the next page? My frustration seems to stem from the fact that all of these characters aren’t just horrible they’re horribly boring. They’re so uninteresting that even stories that ought to be interesting are made mundane and tiresome and frankly, I feel like I’m wasting a lot of my time reading this godawful story when I should be editing my novel.

While a very small part of me is curious to see if they make it to dinner and if they can manage not to rip each other’s throats out in the process. Most of me is just waiting for the moment I can finally say I’m finished.

For those who are reading this wondering, why is she still reading it if it’s so awful, the truth is, I hate the idea of giving up on a personal challenge to myself. I don’t like to fail and I don’t want to let some stupid book get the better of me and so I’m determined to finish this book if it’s the last thing I do, and before January’s over if at all possible. But I still have editing to do, and for me that has to be my top priority.

I’m definitely giving myself some kind of prize for finishing this novel, that much I can say for sure.

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