To paraphrase (very loosely) somebody: a story without enlightenment is a "beach read"; enlightenment without a story is a textbook. This book has both.
The plot similarities to Franzen's last book (student love triangle extended beyond college) are certainly present, but the similarities end there.The characters in "Freedom" are viewed with such ironic detachment that, although amusing and interesting for awhile (the first part of the novel made a brilliant short story in the New Yorker) their lives become tedious and, ultimately,because it goes on for too long, I was anxious for the book to end.
On the contrary, Eugenides' characters are much more real and sympathetic (appealing, even) and I don't want their story to end. I'm sure Mr. Eugenides is tired of having his work compared to Mr. Franzen's but I just had to jump in on this.
The performance in this audible production is outstanding. The narrator's rendition of the character of Leonard is so good I'm almost falling in love with him myself. I looked for other Audible offerings by this narrator and find that his talents are being under-utilized. He should be employed for books more like this one.
My first Laura Lippman. Although the solution to the mystery was easy enough to predict, the writing was good enough to keep me listening. And the narrator was excellent. You audible listeners know how a poor narrator can almost spoil a good book, This one was very good.
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