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Home » The Intriguing Plot of The Twenty-Seventh City (1988) – A Summary by Jonathan Franzen

The Intriguing Plot of The Twenty-Seventh City (1988) – A Summary by Jonathan Franzen

Jonathan Franzen’s summary of The Twenty-Seventh City (1988) provides an insightful look into the novel’s plot. Written by American author Jonathan Franzen, the article delves into the intriguing storyline of the book, which explores the political and social issues of St. Louis, Missouri. Through his summary, Franzen offers a glimpse into the complex characters and themes that make The Twenty-Seventh City a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary American literature.

Background Information

The Twenty-Seventh City is a novel written by Jonathan Franzen and published in 1988. The book is set in St. Louis, Missouri, and follows the story of a mysterious woman named Jammu. She is the newly appointed police commissioner of the city and is tasked with solving a series of crimes that have been plaguing the area. The novel is a complex and intricate exploration of power, corruption, and the human condition. Franzen’s writing style is known for its depth and complexity, and The Twenty-Seventh City is no exception. The novel is a must-read for anyone interested in exploring the darker side of human nature and the complexities of power dynamics in society.

The City of St. Louis

The city of St. Louis serves as the backdrop for Jonathan Franzen’s novel, The Twenty-Seventh City. Set in the 1980s, the city is facing economic decline and political corruption. The novel follows the arrival of Jammu, a charismatic Indian woman who becomes the twenty-seventh city’s police chief. Jammu’s arrival sets off a chain of events that leads to a power struggle between her and the city’s elite. Franzen’s vivid descriptions of the city’s architecture and neighborhoods provide a rich and detailed setting for the novel’s complex plot. The city of St. Louis becomes a character in its own right, reflecting the struggles and tensions of the novel’s human characters.

The Arrival of Jammu and Kline

The arrival of Jammu and Kline in the city of St. Louis marks a turning point in the plot of The Twenty-Seventh City. Jammu, a charismatic Indian woman, and Kline, a mysterious American man, are hired by the city’s police department to serve as the new chief of police and his assistant. Their arrival is met with both excitement and suspicion, as they quickly begin to implement radical changes to the city’s law enforcement tactics. As Jammu and Kline’s true motives become increasingly unclear, the citizens of St. Louis are left to wonder what their ultimate goal may be.

Their Plan to Take Over the City

The Twenty-Seventh City by Jonathan Franzen is a novel that explores the intricate plot of a group of individuals who plan to take over the city of St. Louis. Led by Jammu, the new police commissioner, the group aims to gain control of the city’s political and economic power.

Their plan involves manipulating the media, creating a sense of fear and chaos among the citizens, and using their positions of authority to gain access to sensitive information. Jammu and his team also recruit a group of immigrants to help them carry out their plan, promising them a better life in exchange for their loyalty.

As the story unfolds, the reader is taken on a journey through the complex web of relationships and motivations that drive the characters. Franzen’s writing style is both engaging and thought-provoking, making the reader question the morality of the characters’ actions and the consequences of their plan.

Overall, The Twenty-Seventh City is a fascinating read that delves into the themes of power, corruption, and the human desire for control. It is a must-read for anyone interested in political thrillers and complex character studies.

Their Motives and Ambitions

The characters in The Twenty-Seventh City are driven by various motives and ambitions. Jammu, the Indian-born police chief, is determined to make a name for himself in the United States and prove his worth to his superiors. Meanwhile, Martin Probst, the wealthy businessman, is obsessed with maintaining his power and influence in the city. The ambitious mayor, Alvin Dewey, is focused on winning re-election and securing his political legacy. And the mysterious and enigmatic S. Jammu, who arrives in the city with a group of Indian immigrants, has his own hidden agenda. As the plot unfolds, the characters’ motives and ambitions become increasingly intertwined, leading to a dramatic and unexpected conclusion.

Their Relationship with the Mayor

The relationship between the characters in The Twenty-Seventh City and the mayor of St. Louis is a complex one. On the surface, the mayor appears to be a powerful figure who is in control of the city. However, as the novel progresses, it becomes clear that the mayor is not as powerful as he seems. The characters in the novel are able to manipulate him and use him for their own purposes. This is particularly true of Jammu, who is able to use her relationship with the mayor to gain access to information and resources that she needs to carry out her plans. Despite this, the mayor remains an important figure in the novel, and his actions have a significant impact on the plot.

Their Relationship with the Police

The relationship between the police and the citizens of St. Louis is a complex one in The Twenty-Seventh City. On one hand, the police are seen as a necessary force to maintain order and protect the community. However, there is also a sense of distrust and resentment towards the police, particularly among the city’s African American population. This tension is heightened by the presence of the secretive and powerful Twenty-Seventh City police force, which operates outside of the normal channels of law enforcement. As the novel progresses, the relationship between the police and the citizens becomes increasingly fraught, leading to a dramatic and violent confrontation.

Their Relationship with the Media

The relationship between the characters in The Twenty-Seventh City and the media is a complex one. On one hand, the media plays a significant role in shaping public opinion and influencing the actions of the characters. The city’s newspapers, radio stations, and television networks are all vying for the latest scoop on the city’s political and social developments, and the characters are often caught up in the frenzy of media attention.

On the other hand, the characters themselves are not passive recipients of media coverage. They are savvy operators who understand the power of the media and use it to their advantage. Jammu, the city’s new police chief, is particularly adept at manipulating the media to further his own agenda. He uses his charm and charisma to win over reporters and editors, and he is not above leaking information to the press if it will help him achieve his goals.

Overall, the relationship between the characters and the media in The Twenty-Seventh City is a fascinating one. It highlights the complex interplay between power, influence, and the media in modern society, and it raises important questions about the role of the media in shaping public opinion and influencing political outcomes.

Their Relationship with the Citizens

The relationship between the city’s leaders and its citizens is a central theme in The Twenty-Seventh City. Franzen portrays the city’s elite as out of touch with the needs and desires of the working-class citizens. The city’s leaders are more concerned with maintaining their power and wealth than with improving the lives of their constituents. This disconnect leads to tension and unrest, as the citizens begin to feel ignored and marginalized. The novel explores the consequences of this divide, as the citizens begin to organize and push back against the city’s leaders. Ultimately, the novel suggests that a healthy relationship between leaders and citizens is essential for a thriving community.

Their Downfall

Their downfall came swiftly and unexpectedly. Despite their best efforts to maintain control, the corrupt politicians and businessmen of St. Louis were ultimately brought down by their own greed and hubris. The city’s residents, fed up with years of neglect and exploitation, rose up in protest and demanded change. And change they got, as a new generation of leaders emerged to take the reins and steer the city in a new direction. But the scars of the past would not be easily forgotten, and the legacy of those who had once held power would continue to haunt the city for years to come.

The Themes of the Novel

One of the most prominent themes in Jonathan Franzen’s The Twenty-Seventh City is the idea of power and corruption. The novel explores the ways in which those in positions of authority can abuse their power and manipulate those around them for their own gain. This is exemplified through the character of Jammu, the Indian-born mayor of St. Louis who uses his position to control the city and its inhabitants.

Another theme that runs throughout the novel is the concept of identity and belonging. The characters in the novel struggle with their sense of self and their place in the world, whether it be Jammu’s desire to assimilate into American culture or the protagonist’s search for a sense of purpose and meaning in his life.

The novel also touches on the theme of family and relationships. The protagonist’s strained relationship with his wife and his complicated feelings towards his father highlight the complexities of familial bonds and the impact they can have on one’s life.

Overall, The Twenty-Seventh City is a thought-provoking novel that delves into a variety of themes and issues that are still relevant today. Franzen’s exploration of power, identity, and relationships make for a compelling read that will leave readers thinking long after they’ve finished the book.

The Characters

The characters in The Twenty-Seventh City are complex and multi-dimensional, each with their own motivations and desires. At the center of the story is Jammu, the newly appointed police chief of St. Louis, who is tasked with investigating a mysterious group known as the Twenty-Seventh City. Jammu is a fascinating character, torn between his loyalty to the city and his own personal ambitions. Meanwhile, the members of the Twenty-Seventh City are equally intriguing, with their own hidden agendas and secrets. From the enigmatic leader S. Jammu to the seductive and manipulative Eleanor, each character adds depth and complexity to the story. Franzen’s skillful characterization makes The Twenty-Seventh City a compelling read, as readers are drawn into the lives and struggles of these fascinating individuals.

The Writing Style

The writing style of Jonathan Franzen in The Twenty-Seventh City is both intricate and engaging. Franzen’s use of language is precise and descriptive, allowing readers to vividly imagine the scenes and characters he portrays. He also employs a unique narrative structure, switching between different perspectives and timelines to create a complex and multi-layered story. This style keeps readers on their toes, as they are constantly challenged to piece together the various threads of the plot. Overall, Franzen’s writing style in The Twenty-Seventh City is a testament to his skill as a storyteller, and is sure to captivate readers from beginning to end.

The Reception of the Novel

The reception of The Twenty-Seventh City was mixed upon its release in 1988. Some critics praised Franzen’s ambitious storytelling and intricate plot, while others found the novel to be overly convoluted and difficult to follow. Despite the mixed reviews, the novel gained a cult following and has since been recognized as a significant work of postmodern literature. Its themes of power, corruption, and the American Dream continue to resonate with readers today.

The Legacy of The Twenty-Seventh City

The Twenty-Seventh City, a novel by Jonathan Franzen, was published in 1988 and has since become a classic in American literature. The book tells the story of St. Louis, Missouri, which has been taken over by a mysterious woman named Jammu. Jammu, who claims to be a representative of the Indian government, quickly gains control of the city and begins to implement her own policies. The novel is a complex exploration of power, corruption, and the struggle for control in a rapidly changing world.

One of the most intriguing aspects of The Twenty-Seventh City is its legacy. The book has been praised for its vivid portrayal of St. Louis and its exploration of the city’s history and culture. It has also been criticized for its portrayal of race and gender, with some readers arguing that the book perpetuates harmful stereotypes.

Despite these criticisms, The Twenty-Seventh City remains an important work of literature. It has influenced countless writers and has helped to shape the way we think about cities and their role in society. The book’s themes of power, corruption, and the struggle for control are as relevant today as they were when the book was first published.

In many ways, The Twenty-Seventh City is a cautionary tale. It warns us of the dangers of unchecked power and the importance of remaining vigilant in the face of corruption. It also reminds us of the importance of community and the need to work together to create a better future.

Overall, The Twenty-Seventh City is a fascinating and thought-provoking novel that continues to captivate readers today. Its legacy is a testament to its enduring relevance and its place in the canon of American literature.