“Free Markets Foster Competition”

That's a chapter title from Jonathan Franzen's new book Freedom.  If you think you are going to like this book, you almost certainly will; it delivers on its promise.  The problem is, I never thought I was going to like this book.

This passage is one of many that made me cringe:

"And while you're here hon, can you help me with my taxes?  They're due tomorrow and my nails are wet." 

Is there any surer way to long for Victor Hugo and "men as they ought to be"?

I almost stopped reading it at about p.100.  I was not afraid it would get worse, rather I was afraid it would get better and I would start liking it and finish it.

Which is precisely what is happening.


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