3.75 (146,026 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 Patty and Walter Berglund as they struggle to learn how to live an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced a deeply moving portrait of our time.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 706 pages
  • 107 x 173 x 28mm | 318g
  • New York, Poland
  • English
  • 1250000017
  • 9781250000019
  • 6,217

Review Text

"A masterpiece of American fiction." -The New York Times Book Review

"Mr. Franzen has written his most deeply felt novel yet--a novel that turns out to be both a compelling biography of a dysfunctional family and an indelible portrait of our times." -The New York Times

"A work of total genius." -New York Magazine

"The Great American Novel." -Esquire

"One of the best living American novelists." -Time

"Epic." -Vanity Fair

"Hugely ambitious . . . Freedom is very, very good." -USA Today

"Brilliant . . . Epic . . . An extraordinary stylist." -The Washington Post

"A surprisingly moving and even hopeful epic." -NPR

"Sweeping and powerful." -San Francisco Chronicle

"Consuming and extraordinarily moving." -Los Angeles Times

"Immense and unforgettable." -Chicago Tribune

"Devastatingly insightful." -The Miami Herald

"A page turner that engages the mind." -Newsday

"It's refreshing to see a novelist who wants to engage the questions of our time in the tradition of 20th-century greats like John Steinbeck and Sinclair Lewis . . . [This] is a book you'll still be thinking about long after you've finished reading it." -Associated Press

"Deeply moving and superbly crafted . . . It's such a full novel, rich in description, broad in its reach and full of wry observations." -Pittsburg Post-Gazette

"His writing is so gorgeous . . . Franzen is one of those exceptional writers whose works define an era and a generation, and his books demand to be read." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"A tour de force . . . one of the finest novelists of his generation." -The Philadelphia Inquirer

"A highly readable triumph of conventional realism . . . Addictive." -The National

"The first Great American Novel of the post-Obama era." -Telegraph (UK)

"A literary genius . . . This is simply on a different plane from other contemporary fiction . . . Freedom is the novel of the year, and the century." -The Guardian (UK)

"A triumph . . . A pleasure to read." -The New York Observer

"Exhilarating . . . Gripping . . . Moving . . . On a level with The Great Gatsby [and] Gone With the Wind." -Bloomberg
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About Jonathan Franzen

Franzen, Jonathan
Jonathan Franzen is the author of Purity, The Corrections, Freedom, among other novels, and works of nonfiction including Farther Away and The Kraus Project, all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the German Akademie der Künste, and the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
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Rating details

146,026 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 28% (40,816)
4 37% (53,614)
3 22% (32,463)
2 9% (12,649)
1 4% (6,484)

Our customer reviews

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 more
by H.
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.comshow more
by Louise Marsh
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