Freedom and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading Freedom on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Freedom [Hardcover]

Jonathan Franzen
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 34.99
Price: CDN$ 22.04 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 12.95 (37%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Wednesday, October 22? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover CDN $22.04  
Paperback, Large Print CDN $13.71  
Audio, CD CDN $67.65  
Unknown Binding --  
"The news about Walter Berglund wasn't picked up locally..."
Read the opening pages from Freedom [PDF].
Join Amazon Student in Canada

Book Description

Aug. 31 2010

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, total 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 -- outré rocker and Walter's college best friend and rival -- still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to 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 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.

Frequently Bought Together

Freedom + The Corrections + The Road (Oprah's Book Club)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 48.71

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

Product Description

From Amazon

Amazon Best of the Month, September 2010: "The awful thing about life is this:" says Octave to the Marquis in Renoir's Rules of the Game. "Everyone has his reasons." That could be a motto for novelists as well, few more so than Jonathan Franzen, who seems less concerned with creating merely likeable characters than ones who are fully alive, in all their self-justifying complexity. Freedom is his fourth novel, and, yes, his first in nine years since The Corrections. Happy to say, it's very much a match for that great book, a wrenching, funny, and forgiving portrait of a Midwestern family (from St. Paul this time, rather than the fictional St. Jude). Patty and Walter Berglund find each other early: a pretty jock, focused on the court and a little lost off it, and a stolid budding lawyer, besotted with her and almost burdened by his integrity. They make a family and a life together, and, over time, slowly lose track of each other. Their stories align at times with Big Issues--among them mountaintop removal, war profiteering, and rock'n'roll--and in some ways can't be separated from them, but what you remember most are the characters, whom you grow to love the way families often love each other: not for their charm or goodness, but because they have their reasons, and you know them. --Tom Nissley


?Franzen has an uncanny knack for capturing the torturously self-justifying rhetoric and trendy slang of educated Gen Xers rebelling against their suburban childhoods by seeking ?authenticity? in the grungy core of the American city. The details of time and place and attitude are so sharp as to induce frequent wincing.? - Toronto Star ()

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compte-rendu Dec 19 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent roman d'un auteur américain que je ne connaissais pas. La description des dynamiques qui unissent les individus en interaction ne laisse personne indifférent: bien au contraire, il y a un côté réaliste qu'on peut tout à fait supporter grâce au style d'écriture de l'auteur et de son humour caustique.
Was this review helpful to you?
53 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Grows Sept. 17 2010
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
"Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved." -- Matthew 24:11-13 (NKJV)

Freedom is the best new work of fiction I've read so far in 2010.

Freedom looks at the pain, responsibility, and potential involved in doing what appeals to you . . . regardless of the cost to anyone else. It's a worthwhile trip that manages to touch on a wide variety of ways that freedom pulls us in some directions and away from others. There's plenty of food for thought here, parceled out in bite-sized nuggets that you can chew on for weeks to come.

I was particularly impressed by the story's narrative structure. As the book opens, you see the Berglund family from the outside-in, the neighbors' view. Very quickly, one set of patterns are disrupted into a totally unexpected direction, drawing you irresistibly into wanting to know what happened.

In part the answer is that no one who isn't in a family really knows what goes on in a family. In another part, it's that people keep secrets from one another . . . particularly what they see as their own dark sides that they don't want others to know about.

From there, the story richly expands into four narratives, by narrators whose connections to others are rich and hard to grasp . . . even for themselves. It's only by overlaying the narratives that the whole picture begins to emerge. At times, you'll want to shake one character or another into doing something different, but of course you cannot do that with a fictional character any more easily than you can with most real persons.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stuck with it for little pay off Jan. 16 2011
What an unsympathetic, unlikeable cast of characters. Given the buzz about this book, I stuck with it even though I was tempted to bail midway, particularly when the book gets heavy into an environmental theme. Just didn't like the characters and found the plot plodded. Typically, I burn through books; this one took me weeks to finish. Now that I've finished it, I feel I've got my freedom back to read something I'll actually enjoy.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved every word of this beautiful novel Jan. 27 2012
One of the most extraordinary novels I have ever read. So much complexity so deftly handled. Reads a little like a nineteenth century novel. It is not for impatient readers who need so many jolts per page to compel them to keep reading. It is destined to become an American classic. Such a vivid sophisticated portrait with an amazing depth of field of so much of contemporary American society. And what a story! And what stories within that story. I am reminded of the lines written by the Irish poet, John O'Donohue: "I would love to live like a river flows, carried buy the surprise of its own unfolding." As such this book unfolds to its very last sentence.
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By julov
I cannot beleive all those people who thought this book was boring and uninteresting! I thought it was brilliant, gripping and couldn't put it down. I had previously enjoyed The Corrections very much too. Jonanathan Franzen is a brilliant writer and what I admired most here was his emphasis on contemprary themes, all the while interspersing them with a great story and interesting characters. Of course the characters have flaws but what good would a novel be with only perfect people in it?
Probably, when future generations of literature students are studying this book in university, they'll endlessly discuss the socio-historic context as much as students in past times have studied the world of Dickens, George Eliot or Emile Zola. I am aware that many readers will jump out of their skins at my comparing Franzen to those authors but anyway, read it and see!
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 50 REVIEWER
This is a story about family - about the presence and absence of relationships (both functional and dysfunctional) - set in modern America, and told from a number of different perspectives. The novel opens with an historic view of the Berglund family seen from the perspective of their neighbours in St Paul, Minnesota. The Berglunds (husband Walter, wife Patty, and children Jessica and Joey), are a liberal middle-class family who were part of the gentrification of urban St Paul. Patty was a homemaker, and an ideal neighbour, Walter was an environmentally conscious lawyer. On the face of it, an ideal family but a closer look at the Berglund's lives reveals that all is not as it seems. Patty's much loved son Joey becomes involved with a neighbour's daughter, Connie, and moves in with Connie and her mother. Why has this happened? Who are the Berglunds, really, and where do they come from and what do they stand for? What are they seeking? Why do the family relocate to Washington DC, and leave the home that they have worked on for years?

`Then again, there had always been something not quite right about the Berglunds.'

The next part of the story is an unpublished autobiography composed by Patty Berglund at the suggestion of her therapist. In this, we learn of Patty's youth as a star basketball player and of events in her past. Of how she meets an attractive musician named Richard Katz, and his room-mate Walter Berglund, and of the events that follow in her life.
The novel then moves to New York in 2004 and is seen through the rotating third-person perspectives of Richard, Joey and Walter. Their overlapping narratives take us through much of the novel, until an addendum to Patty's autobiography brings us to 2010 and almost to the end of the story.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Modern Literature mimics soap opers and reality shows
I saw an interview with the author on bbc, and was intrigued by this book. His book like so many new books left me feeling flat. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Maggie Mandell
1.0 out of 5 stars Meh
I couldn't get into it. I loved The Corrections so much that I had high expectations for this novel. But I cannot say it met them.
Published 23 months ago by Who the hell is Natalie Varios
2.0 out of 5 stars Nyah
It's kind of boring. I mean there are some interesting points, but they are skipped over completely. Read more
Published on July 5 2012 by Drew Samson
2.0 out of 5 stars Franzen is a Flurry of Words
Heard so many great things about this writer, but this seems so high brow, for the common reader. I just feel as though Im being force fed literature, but in way too heavy doses,... Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2012 by C. J. Plourde
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a slog
I read the 'official' reviews and was really looking forward to this book. Yes, it covers some interesting family dynamics but the cast is uninspiring and its a real slog. Read more
Published on June 7 2011 by Gavin1234
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book!
All I have to say is this book is brilliantly written and I was very sad when it was over.
Published on June 1 2011 by Tracy Robbins
3.0 out of 5 stars Not really that freeing
Maybe Frazen was going for oxymoron, but it's hard to find over 500 pages of microscopic middle and upper middle class detail freeing. The book drones on and weighs on you. Read more
Published on May 29 2011 by Cee Ess
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, written, unklikable characters
Freedom is very well written. Jonathan Franzen is obviously a talented writer. Having said that, none of the characters in the book were remotely likable for me. Read more
Published on April 16 2011 by Suzanne
1.0 out of 5 stars Too bad !
I had great expectations for that book. What a let down ! I read about a hundred pages, and I was bored already. Read more
Published on Feb. 4 2011 by Anne Bolduc
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Look for similar items by category