The only antidote to this writing-group circle-jerk is criticism: maybe we can revitalize a moribund art form by slamming Franzen’s work for the shit it is. So I will say it again: Purity is a horrible abortion. Its characters are flat, the dialogue is trite, and plot is as predictable and hackneyed as the jokes. It is less a “great American novel” than a Guy’s American Kitchen Sink of novels.
I need to read Purity. I've read Franzen's The Corrections and really loved it. I don't think he deserves such slamming.