The predicted winner of today’s match: Freedom
Contest Entrants’ Choices: 85% Freedom vs. 15% Kapitoil
While I have more affection for the very readable Kapitoil, it is not as mature a work as Freedom. Ultimately, Kapitoil relies for impact on the quirks of a computer programmer with Asperger’s Syndrome and the knowingness of post-9/11 readers engaging a post-9/11 “pre-9/11” novel. While the Berglunds come off as slightly caricatured, particularly in discussing politics, there is damn fine writing in Franzen’s book. I am not sure I will remember any passages from Kapitoil, the narrator is a computer programmer after all, but there are images and phrases from Freedom that will stay with me. The unreality of the Freedom plot is matched by Kapitoil‘s own stretches and so, regrettably (I say “regrettably” primarily because I would prefer a more obscure author to advance rather than an overpraised author), Freedom should move on.