by Jonathan Franzen
Seth and Merrie Paulsen
We don't know much about these neighbors of the Berglunds, except that Seth has a big crush on Patty. Oh, and they're loyal Democrats, who view the Berglunds (well, OK, Patty in particular) as deficient in their political activism. More importantly, in the opening chapter they serve as our eyes and ears for neighborhood gossip about the Berglunds (well, OK, Patty in particular).