Date: September 2015

Duration: 25 hours 0 minutes



"So funny, so sage and above all so incandescently intelligent" (The Chicago Tribune), the New York Times bestseller Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder, a daring and penetrating book from "the most intelligent novelist of [his] generation" (The New Republic), Jonathan Franzen

Young Pip Tyler doesn't know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she's saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she's squatting with anarchists in Oakland, and that her relationship with her mother--her only family--is hazardous. But she doesn't have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name, or how she'll ever have a normal life.

Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world--including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn't understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong.

Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has imagined a world of vividly original characters--Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers--and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Purity is the most daring and penetrating book yet by one of the major writers of our time.


  • Nora J.

    Could have been a good story but the characters fall flat. Every one of them is ripped from a painful - and uninteresting - stereotype. Attempt to sympathize with sexual predators. No thanks.

  • John C.

    After having read two other Franzen Novels, I looked forward to reading Purity. Unfortunately I found it to be too long, the plot and subplots often dull, and the characters hardly believable.

  • Will Hunt

    A good book - but not an altogether completed piece. Jenna Lamia does an excellent job narrating the role of Kip, but I can't help but feel that Dylan Baker doesn't come off well when he reads the part for Andreas- but that may also be because I find the character itself immensely irritating. There is some dialogue that is, as one critic said, 'clearly only the way writers think that ordinary people talk,' but I thought the book read well as a whole - right up until the ending, which felt rushed and unworthy of everything else which came before it. I don't know if an author has ever failed a character quiet the way Franzen fails Annabelle. In the end, it feels like the author just wanted to be done with the project.

  • Lynn Detwiler

    Oh the webs we weave. Long at times. Often unlikely. But thoroughly enjoyed.

  • Carol Morris

    It's a great Book and story about secrets, lies, mother-love or lack of and what makes people commit crime etc. The story is at times too long but it is filled with masterpieces of writing and interesting facts/fantasy. It haven't read his previous books but I will.

Purity: A Novel

by Jonathan Franzen

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Purity: A Novel, Jonathan Franzen
Purity: A Novel, Jonathan Franzen
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This title is due for release on September 1, 2015
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