Let's start with the fact that the book is 653 pages. Now, I surely don't mind reading big books, I actually love them if the story is intriguing and not ending that fast, but in this case after 200 pages I was still trying to understand where the writer wanted to go. At page 300 I was still trying.
The story itself is clear at page 10 I think, it is just that after 300 pages has just not yet developed in an interesting way. So I felt cheated! The other thing is that he uses a weird trick to bring the attention back: while you are almost falling asleep in the story he bring some wild sex inside, at times I was actually so uninterested that I took a couple of lines to understand it was actually sex what he was describing.
Sorry Franzen, I know most people think this book is a masterpiece of psychology, that analyse the modern family, but did you really need all these pages to analyse the personality of characters that was almost clear after 100 pages??
So since the book cheated me, I decided to cheat it back and apply Pennac's rule number 2 (if you don't know the Pennac's rules of reading go here). So I skipped to the last chapter hoping it would be so interesting to make me read the 200 pages in between. It was not, so without regrets: Goodbye Franzen!! I would like to say it was a pleasure but it really wasn't. But don't worry it is not your fault, I am sure I was not in the correct mental stage to understand fully the story behind the book and in between the lines.
To better books and better stories...au revoir!!!