Sridatta's Reviews > Freedom

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
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's review
Jan 10, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, awesome-2011, favourites
Read from November 27 to December 31, 2011

This is no ordinary novel. It is exactly the sort of book that doesn't let you put it down once you begin all the while the author (Jonathan Franzen) eases himself to mastery in story telling. Franzen doesn't simply contend himself with writing a simple book about an American family despite doing exactly the same. He expertly uses his characters as doorways towards a bigger picture of modern America. And that is not to say this is propoganda, he takes enough care to not polarize the reader towards any person, group or philosophy. The sheer number of areas he addressed convinced me that the nine years spent were no excess.

I was particularly impressed by the ease with which he juggled the narrators and still made the book feel consistent. The core story gets told in 27 pages which at first feels simple and depressing but after reading the character back stories and future reveals a better picture gets developed by the end of penultimate chapter.

I was actually preparing myself for a boring novel when I read reviews that the book is full of unlikeable characters but I found that not to be the case. Franzen might have dramatized in some instances for the purpose of fiction but he never allows himself to write his characters bad. He only tries to explore the choices his characters make when they are granted freedom. Thus the punchline 'use thy freedom well'. And the book even has a happy ending.

Go read it. You wont regret doing so. I have really enjoyed it. At the end of it, you will at least be thankful for your family and friends.

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Reading Progress

11/27/2011 page 221
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