Freedom

Freedom

3.72 (127,669 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$27.50

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

The new novel from the author of The Corrections. Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbour who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter - environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, family man - she was doing her small part to build a better world. But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz - outre rocker and Walter's old college friend and rival - still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to poor Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become "a very different kind of neighbour," an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street's attentive eyes? 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 too much 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.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 570 pages
  • 157.48 x 238.76 x 40.64mm | 879.96g
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • FOURTH ESTATE LTD
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • repr.
  • 0007269757
  • 9780007269754
  • 13,435

About Jonathan Franzen

Jonathan Franzen is the author of three novels, The Twenty-Seventh City (1988), Strong Motion (1992), and The Corrections (2001); a collection of nonfiction, How to Be Alone (2002); and The Discomfort Zone (2006), a memoir.show more

Review quote

Praise for The Corrections: 'Jonathan Franzen has built a powerful novel out of the swarming consciousness of a marriage, a family, a whole culture -- our culture. And he has done it with a sympathy and expansiveness that bends the edgy modern temper to a generous breadth of vision.' Don DeLillo 'Funny and deeply sad, large-hearted and merciless, The Corrections is a testament to the range and depth of pleasures great fiction affords.' David Foster Wallace 'In its complexity, its scrutinizing and utterly unsentimental humanity, and its grasp of the subtle relationships between domestic drama and global events, The Corrections stands in the company of Mann's Buddenbrooks and DeLillo's White Noise. It is a major accomplishment.' Michael Cunningham 'A book which is funny, moving, generous, brutal and intelligent, and which poses the ultimate question, what life is for - and that is as much as anyone could ask.' Blake Morrison, GUARDIAN 'A pleasure from beginning to end. Franzen, in one leap, has put himself into the league of Updike & Roth. That's why there is so much excitement about it.' David Sexton, EVENING STANDARD 'A novel of outstanding sympathy, wit, moral intelligence and pathos, a family saga told with stylistic brio and psychological and political insight. No British novelist is currently writing at this pitch.' Jeremy Treglowen, FINANCIAL TIMES 'Impossible to dislike, an unpretentious page-turner.' Zadie Smith, GUARDIAN Books of the Year 'The Corrections is a wonderful book. Every page simmers with wit, close observation and intelligence. Franzen has delivered as wounding and thoughtful an indictment of contemporary existence as it is possible to make.' John Burnside, SCOTSMAN 'It was the book you had to read. And by 'you' I mean not just you, I mean also your father-in-law, your little sister. If you were an American, certainly, or for that matter any citizen of a first-world, late-capitalist nation, The Corrections had your number. How often does the spectrum of praise run from Pat Conroy to David Foster Wallace? It was a phenomenon that seemed to come out of nowhere. Franzen had written two previous novels, but in 10 years only a few provocative essays, and nothing to indicate that here would be the writer to tell us - if every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way - how the American family was unhappy. 'Which is not to suggest the book was bleak. It was merciless, it was skewering, the family at its heart full of bicker, betrayal, and many other varieties of familial sport; but the artist assembling and synthesising it all for the pleasure of the reader was possessed, thank God, of a voracious emotional intelligence, capable of mollifying all that was ugly and unlikable in his individual characters with empathy and humour. We might have forgotten, by the time the book landed, that a literary doorstopper of the first order of seriousness could also be unabashed entertainment. More likely Franzen simply knew that all comedy is deadly serious, and that the fraudulent online sale of post-Soviet Lithuania, for example, or a stolen salmon fillet sliding down the hero's underpants, was the low-brow fallout of a writer dividing the sadness of a declining family by the sadness of a declining culture. The book was a howl: against greed, against selfishness, against the axiom of American happiness, finally against the tyranny of family holidays. 'Told in the expansive tradition of Dickens and Tolstoy, fluent, uncompromising, accessible, expressive of an awesome amount of contemporary experience that remains all too familiar today, The Corrections continues to be the exemplary novel of postwar American family life.' Joshua Ferrisshow more

Rating details

127,669 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 27% (34,491)
4 37% (46,701)
3 23% (28,867)
2 9% (11,533)
1 5% (6,077)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X