Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

The epic sprawl of this ambitious yet ultimately unsatisfying novel encompasses everything from indie rock to environmental radicalism to profiteering in the Middle East.The first novel from Franzen in almost a decade invites comparisons with its predecessor, The Corrections, which won the 2001 National Book Award and sparked controversy with Oprah. Both are novels that attempt to engage—even ... Read full review

Review: Freedom

Editorial Review - - Harvey Freedenberg

There is a certain amount of hubris involved in titling a novel with a word as capacious and controversial as “freedom.” Happily, Jonathan Franzen has the ability to produce a work fully worthy of that portentous term. He has done that with integrity, compassion and humor in a story that is as real as your nextdoor neighbors and as rich with contemporary relevance as tonight's cable news broadcast ... Read full review

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Q. How did you like the book?
A. Very interesting. Interesting characters, situations, well written. It's long, over 500 pages, but worth every minute of your time.
Q. Anything stand out, as being different from other novels?
A. Well, it's a saga, of a sort, but I've read many sagas. That means that we meet the protagonist, in this case both of the Berglunds are main characters, then we meet their children, then their parents and a little about their grandparents. We meet their friends, from when they were in college and thereafter. We see how they progress through most of their adult lives. Their kids grow up and start their own families. Their parents die or need extra care. Their siblings lead their own lives, some making names for themselves, others not. We experience the ups and downs of the marriage between Patty and Walter, the coming of age of Joey, the son. Rick Katz is an important figure in their lives. He's a musician who roomed with Walter in college and tends to be promiscuous. But he loves (so it is said) both of the Berglunds, for their own peculiar capabilities and needs. Walter gets interested in conservation and makes a career of it. He discovers the dark underside of the political game here, and suffers a real tragedy. It's all very absorbing.
Q. So you can recommend the book?
A. By all means. A very good way to spend your time. Watch how you yourself feel as you read. Who do you like and dislike. How does the author, Jonathan F., use his authorship to steer you here and there, to touch on your own emotions. Jonathan F. knows how to hook the reader, and that's what I wanted, a good hook in a good book.

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2012-12-12 读过 Written by one ambitious writer, maybe too ambitious, this book reveal ups and downs of ordinary and typical American family, however, in an uncomfortable way.

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Enthralling and touching. The author convinces me that he's portraying the inner lives of lots of very different people, and he brings them together into a very entertaining story.

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Good read

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Loved it! Heart-wrenching and inspiring all at once...really makes you reflect on your own life.

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SImply Great!

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Incredible modern literature. I never wanted this book to end. There were some parts that were slow and not interesting to me, but once I got through those parts it paid off. The way Franzen setup the storyline is genius. While reading this book a movie was created in my head, this could be non-fiction in a James Frey type of way. This is about human trials and tribulations. It is full of selfish, demanding characters that are all from the same roots. It shows that humans absolutely need to feel wanted. It shows that humans have to have something to want. I will never read another book of this length in the short amount of time that I did. Now that it is over, I am wondering if I will ever find another piece of contemperary work that compares to this greatness. Walter is saving the little birds! 

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Franzen may be the Dostoyevsky of our time.

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All reviews - 22
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