Freedom

  • by Jonathan Franzen
  • Narrated by David Ledoux
  • 24 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The new novel from the author of The Corrections.
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 neighbour 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, 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 old college friend and rival - still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to poor Patty?
Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become "a very different kind of neighbour", 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 too much 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 intensely realized 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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Much ado about twaddle

This book has been rated as the height of contemporary American literature. It is in fact a retelling of a fairly mundane sequence of events from the perspectives of several of the characters in the book. It is effectively a stream of consciousness approach but in truth it provides insight into minds so shallow, characters so one dimensional with diction so flat and lives so ordinary that I cannot truly understand what the author is trying to show - it is consciousness not worth streaming(!) It is to literature what porridge is to cuisine: bulky, filling but certainly not tasteful and definitely not art. What inspired Oprah to recommend this drivel to her countrymen is beyond me. I did manage to finish listening to the "saga" but kept asking myself "why?". The narrator is excellent.
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- Steven

Try The Corrections Instead

So I am a huge fan of Jonathan Franzen, I like the audio book format and the narrator (as other reviewers have noted) is excellent. However, this was an ordeal to finish. The book and the characters are angry, bitter and I didn't want to spend any more time with them. Give this a miss and try the corrections instead.
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- Phillip

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-22-2010
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited