- Hardcover: 576 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; First Edition edition (Aug. 23 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1554688833
- ISBN-13: 978-1554688838
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 4.4 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 771 g
- Average Customer Review: 40 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #158,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Freedom Hardcover – Aug 31 2010
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Read the opening pages from Freedom [PDF].
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 ()See all Product description
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I do not think this book is as good as his previous novel, the Corrections, as the plot in that book was better. Here the characters are more fully formed, but are all formed in Franzen's image and with a very heavy dose of misogyny. It's a Franzen novel so the women are always going to be subservient, there will always be someone younger than his wife to have a dalliance with, and every word will sound like it came from his own mouth.
This being said, what I think some detractors are missing is the layering of the book, the readable fiction mixed with literary musings and layers of depth in the writing that exceed what one person can get out of the book in a single read. The man may be an idiot but he knows how to write well.
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An international bestseller and the novel of the year, `Freedom' is an epic of contemporary love and marriage.Read more