Freedom: A NovelPaperback
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- Publisher: Macmillan USA
- Format: Paperback | 706 pages
- Dimensions: 104mm x 170mm x 30mm | 340g
- Publication date: 1 September 2011
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 1250000017
- ISBN 13: 9781250000019
- Sales rank: 2,844
In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. FREEDOM comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of FREEDOM's intensely realized characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.
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By H. 11 Jan 2012
One reviewer opined that Franzen's second novel is 'the book of the century'. That's generous considering we are only eleven years in. Franzen's novel is not necessarily the best book you will ever read, but it will be one of the most memorable. This book will leave an impact on you, simply because it is so intimate and relevant. You may not like Patty or Walter or Richard or Joey, but you will find something in their stories that resonates with you. This is a modern exploration of family and love: and Franzen does a skillful job of overturning some of the rugs and stones we prefer were left untouched. He explores the ugly side of human relationships and does so across the four different protagonists (or antagonists, depending). The novel does tend to drag at points, leaving you feeling stuck and bored and wishing the story would progress. However, there are moments that will stick with you and even if you hate the novel, you can at least appreciate Franzen's skill. Freedom is personal, dirty and intimate. If that sounds appealing to you, I suggest you read it. If the subject matter of broken marriages, affairs and regrets seems too dark for your tastes, then possibly this isn't the one for you.
By Louise Marsh 31 Oct 2011
The Slap meets Desperate Housewives in Jonathan Franzen's Freedom.
It's one of those books that can polarise opinions so, like Christos Tsiolkas's The Slap, there's a good chance you'll either love it or hate it. It would certainly make for some great book club discussions.
Set in modern-day American suburbia, Freedom is the story of the Berglund family.
On the surface, they're your typical all-American family. Walter is Mr Nice Guy while Patty spends her days baking cookies and doting on her children.
Scratch beneath the surface, however, and all is not as happy families as it seems.
Freedom contains flawed characters who I didn't really like, yet I felt compelled to read their story.
While I didn't fall in love with this book, it did leave an impression on me and I appreciated its deeper themes about freedom and what it really means to be free.
Love it or hate it, Freedom is worth a read.
You can read more of my book recommendations at www.thereadingexperiment.com