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--outre 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.
- New York Times Notable Books of the Year
Showing 21-24 of the 24 most recent reviews
21 . Very Disappointing
Posted October 09, 2010 by Michelle DeAngelis , South FloridaI kept trying to get through it, thinking I was missing something important, but nothing ever happens. I am almost to the end and decided to give it up. This book is very, very confusing, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I wonder what Oprah liked about it???
22 . snapshot of life and times
Posted October 01, 2010 by Suzanne , fw inThis is an accurate snapshot of a families life, and our true real times. References to current events abound. I can see how certain groups of people may feel offended because of sexual content and political references. All of these things with regards to social times are weaved seamlessly into the story. I didn't always love every character, but I was always drawn back to the story, and never bored. I lot of the things referenced are very important issues that we as humans beings need to at least consider.
23 . Great press but just an OK read
Posted September 24, 2010 by Loves2read , Dallas, TXEveryone on the radio and TV is talking about this book, but really, it's not that good.
Oprah must not have read this book herself before putting it on her list.
There was only one character that I liked, and that was son Joey.
It was hard to understand and read through all those pages about the blue warbler,
and at times I had to skip read through 4-5 pages of diatribe at the time. All I can say is that Mr. Franzen has a great PR agency.
24 . Yuck!!!!
Posted September 20, 2010 by lallen , san saba, txOk so Oprah's pick thought it would be good reading but so boring. I would not recommend anyone wasting their money for this book. Real slow and no point to it. I want to be entertained when I read not read about someone's boring life.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
August 01, 2010
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