Freedom: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club)

By Jonathan Franzen
Publisher:Farrar, Straus and Giroux, (8/31/2010)

Average Rating:
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1.00 out of 5 (1 Clubie's ratings)

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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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CagneyC's thoughts on "Freedom: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club)"
updated on:6/6/2011

I did not finish this book, and I would not recommend it.  I am still reading the "Autobiography" part of the book, and I find it unbelievable that an "autobiography", even one written only as therapy, would be written in third person - that is merely annoying, but is just one problem I have with the book.  The language is offensive at times and that language is overused.  I feel that the author was conscious that this book could be an Oprah selection, and was somewhat written with that in mind.  Other than that, I would not generally want to associate with any of the people in this book - they are ALL either annoying, uncouth, or pretentious, and sometimes all three.

Do not Unleash

"Freedom: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club)"
By Jonathan Franzen

Average Rating:
Do not Unleash
1.00 out of 5 (1 Clubie's ratings)

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