Freedom: A Novel

Front Cover
Macmillan, Aug 31, 2010 - Fiction - 576 pages
212 Reviews

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 neighbor, 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 neighbor," 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 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.

 

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5 stars
70
4 stars
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3 stars
41
2 stars
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1 star
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Well written and great character development. - LibraryThing
I found the writing tedious and uneven. - LibraryThing
Excellent audiobook selection - superior narration! - LibraryThing
The ending was a little disappointing. - LibraryThing
Jonathan Franzen is a good writer. - LibraryThing
SPOILER: i was blown away by the ending. - LibraryThing

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - cattylj - LibraryThing

This book dragged a little for me, but it's Franzen so I knew it would going into it. (Sometimes it's like his whole goal is just to make you suffer.) It's preachy, snooty, and melodramatic. It paints ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - carebear10712 - LibraryThing

I paid a dollar for this book at a book sale-I had seen the cover around quite a bit, but I had absolutely no expectations. I loved parts of this book; couldn't put it down at times. Towards the end ... Read full review

All 17 reviews »

Selected pages

Contents

Agreeable
29
Best Friends
49
Free Markets Foster Competition
118
2004
189
Six Years
507
Canterbridge Estates Lake
539
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Jonathan Franzen is the author of The Corrections, winner of the National Book Award and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pen/Faulkner. He is also the author of the novels The Twenty-Seventh City and Strong Motion, and two works of nonfiction, How to Be Alone and The Discomfort Zone, all published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. In 1996, he was named one of Granta's Best of Young American Novelists. He lives in New York City and Santa Cruz, California.

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