Walter's situation is indicative of that which all of Franzen’s characters face: How to negotiate our better selves against the tug of monetary gain, sexual desire, and the competitive streak that so often both defines and undoes us all.
Like many of Woody Allen’s more notable films, Please Give concerns itself with a certain brand of New Yorkers who go antiquing, judge one another by their reading material, and covet their neighbor’s apartment.
I'm beginning to wonder if Ken Burns has ever sat across from someone who clears less than six figures a year. I, for one, wouldn’t mind hearing from the guy at the corner bar.
In "life" we have a subject that may be worthy of the scope of Jennifer Egan's work, but "life" isn't too far removed from "time", which may be a useful refinement as it directly leads to the book's sledgehammer of a title, A Visit from the Goon Squad.