Let's jump right in, shall we?
I was not a fan of the first "chapter" or section thing, wherein Franzy tries to tries to earn the capital "L" in "Literature." There's a lot of talking for the sake of talking, using more words than necessary because those words are, admittedly, beautiful. So I do kind of like it, or I appreciate it, but if it weren't for this readalong, I would have walked away from the book. Which would have been tragic, because I would have missed Chip.
Oh, Chip. Chip is both Jonathan Franzen and, worse, Brian from Family Guy, with his script and his Mona turning into his protagonist's ex-wife's "diabolical lesbian lover."
By page 35 in my edition, Franzen had succeeded in making me hate Chip's self-pitying guts. I mean, he serves "retro joke desserts." He serves chocolate ironically.
After reading about Franzy's dislike of consumerism and our over investment in technology, Chip really does seem to echo some of Franzen's actual opinions, and, after Chip hears Melissa's rebuttal on that last day of the semester, maybe even expresses some of Franzen's real doubts. But, if I'm following that course, Melissa must be a part of Franzen, too. I don't know, doesn't matter. And it doesn't matter because on the very next page Chip is eating chips with MAYONNAISE. Is that a thing? How have we allowed that to be a thing?
Then this happens: "He ate arugula ("rocket," the old farmers called it) so strong it made his eyes water, like a paragraph of Thoreau."
And then, suddenly, I'd read to the end of the section. It turns out I'm genuinely liking
Also, obviously Chip loves this Gitanas guy who looks exactly like him. Obviously he does.
Finally, The most important thing I learned during this week's section of the readalong is that someone left Chip a chocolate statuette of Michael Jackson.
I'm so happy we live in a world where that could be a thing.
And that's it! Here's your unrelated GIF of the week:
Thanks for hosting, Alley-kins.