John's Reviews > Freedom

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
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Jan 21, 11

Read in January, 2011

I loved it and then hated it and then sort of liked the last 100 pages. Franzen pushes the theme that us (Americans), with freedom to build our life (mostly) the way we like, don't have the slightest clue how to go about doing it. Walter Berglund needs a close mate who will love him and adore him for all of his noble qualities. Patty Berglund needs her son to love her like she loves him, but she smothers him (whoops) to the point of alienation. Her son, like his father, needs pure adoration, but not from his mom. Since this all sounds boring, let me point out that I steamrolled through sections of this novel, caught up in the energy and excitement of the writing. Somewhere more than halfway through, though, it all becomes a bit tiring and rather unbelievable (out of the blue Patty's son ends up becoming intimately involved in supplying materials for contractors in Iraq at the age of 19, among other things), but for all its clunkiness, I will give Franzen credit for making these characters--annoying as they can be--so interesting to read about.
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message 3: by Mark (new)

Mark I think I will steer clear of Franzen for the time being.


Paul Donahue thanks for the review john, I have a franzen book on my short list, the corrections. hope its better than this one.


Alec Very interesting (and curious) that this book led to Franzen being the first author on the cover of Time in years.


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