Picks and Pans Review: The Twenty-Seventh City

updated 12/26/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 12/26/1988 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Jonathan Franzen
St. Louis seems to be the city involved in this ominous, bleakly funny first novel. But it's things American that are on trial—from malls and schools, which are testimonials to superficiality, to centers of power, which are testimonials to corruption.

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