“Let’s just quit while I’m ahead,” he said. “Thanks.”
That’s right, Franzen. Don’t want to go against character too much.
Much like real life does, novels without endings reveal to us the ambiguity that is crucial to our own desire to simply find out things for ourselves.
Or we just don’t like finding out that we were wrong and things didn’t turn out the way that we thought they should.
His enthusiasm seemed genuine, but given his general condition, I couldn’t convince myself he wasn’t going to go around the corner and sell the books on the sidewalk.
It’s hard enough to give books away. I would have been suspicious, too.
The thing to worry about was that in learning to read like a critic she would lose the ability to read as a child.
That same fear is why I read genre fiction. I want to keep both the critic and the child content.