Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Freedomland” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Richard Price
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.57  ·  Rating details ·  1,921 ratings  ·  145 reviews
In Freedomland, Richard Price returns to the gritty terrain he first explored in Clockers. This time, the fictional (but all too convincing) urban eyesore of Dempsy, New Jersey, is convulsed by a high-profile carjacking. A single mom named Brenda Martin insists that a man stopped her car, yanked her from behind the wheel, and drove off with the vehicle--and her young son. ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 1st 1998)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Freedomland, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Freedomland

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
Paul Bryant
I reviewed Clockers and Lush Life but not this mighty novel. What's that all about, hmm? Exhaustion, I think, because all these novels are quite similar and told in the same manically detailed no-stone-unturned way and they all do the same thing, which is to take a tale from the urban underbelly which could be easily summarised in two sentences and expand it into a 700 page brainmelt.

I love them all, but I read Freedomland first (5 stars), then Lush Life (4 stars), then Clockers (3 stars). So h
Dec 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: most
this is an amazing book. After reading it I put it down and then read four more by Price--there's quite an evolution in his plotting. But throughout his books, the dialogue is as good as any I've read. His novels are as novels should be: deceptively easy to read--simple at first glance, but filled with complex prose and just enough wisdom that the reader doesn't notice until the last page is turned.
That was a loooooong book. Over 700 pages. I’m surprised I finished it as I somewhat remembered the movie. I knew how it ended. But I didn’t recall the actual ending. I had forgotten certain key points. I knew there was a race thing going on but I didn’t remember the walk and the clash that happened near the end. I expected a clash and envisioned a much more violent one.
Jan 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book could have been a three or even four star book if it didn't have a major fatal flaw. The story is overly ambitious and not primarily feasible. The author made a good attempt to write an "epic small town" story, he remembered that it's important to have likable characters, true to form dialogue and a writing style that moves with ease inspite of the 700+ page total. But this book is full of side stories, some of which sound pretty interesting to be honest, but they don't have anything t ...more
Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 29, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of The Wire
Shelves: recommended
Price is an author in the vein of David Simon. He's a white man who, for whatever reason, can really write about the black experience. I don't know if that's a fair or accurate assessment - or one that he would even want to claim - but it's the feeling I get when reading his novels.

Price uses some of the same tricks as Simon, the most prominent being his unwillingness to dumb down or explain street slang, his jumping straight into a story without bothering to lay out an easily understood back s
Jul 28, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Freedomland, Richard Price quickly became my guilty pleasure. I have since listened to the audio version of "Lush Life" (great audio, fantastic text), and read "Clockers." There are one or two more sitting on my bookshelf. Yes it's a cops novel, but the questions is not whodunnit, it's something deeper and better. Here, there are real racial tension issues and questions of the role of a reporter, a cop, and a mother, in figuring out what happened to a kid. No one's motivations are ...more
Ned Andrew Solomon
Freedomland is an epic novel. The fact that the action takes place over the course of just 72 hours, and the geographic reach encompasses only a few square miles in New Jersey does not alter that description. This is a big story that asks big questions in great depth. It's about law and order, truth and lies, the role and boundaries of the media and law enforcement, race relations, friendship, family, trust and loyalty.

At it's core is the death of a small child, which may have occurred by accide
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Surprisingly, the slow, 'Dickensian' pace and richness that gave most of his other novels a sense of space, was actually this novel's biggest flaw. Pedestrian, even lumbering, and almost too tedious to finish.
Željko Obrenović
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books
Neću više uopšte da trošim reči na genijalnost RIčarda Prajsa. Uzmite, čitajte!
Ana Laura  De Romero

Debo admitir que me costó más tiempo del que esperé, tardé en meterme en la trama y una vez pasado ‘el climax’ de la historia me perdieron de nuevo.

Me gustan las historias de investigación y ésta es una buena historia pero siento que tiene muchos elementos extra que nada pasaría si se eliminaran de la trama.

La historia empieza lenta y conforme avanza logra atraer más la atención: Una madre que sufre el robo de su auto donde va su hijo de 4 años, la ciudad se pone de cabeza buscándolo, la inve
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Richard Price, where have you been all my life? Seriously, how could I have missed this guy for so long? His credentials include being the screenwriter for "The Color of Money", "Sea of Love" and "Ransom".
This novel is akin to a top-notch "Law and Order" miniseries, only more profound. His characters get under your skin in ways that make you think about them long after you put the book down. He's one of those writers that can make the setting a character, you know like Thomas Hardy does with th
Sep 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was obsessed with Clockers after I slogged through it and got sucked in halfway through, so I had high hopes for Price's follow-up, which is set in the same fictional NJ town of Dempsy. Unfortunately it is a little overwrought and tends to rely a bit too much on Price's favorite device of ruined and abandoned places. My favorite scene in Clockers was the 'baby hospital' chapter, which literally took my breath away, but in Freedomland we see at least 2 scenes set in ruins, and it gets to be a b ...more
May 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is alive in ways that so many others aren't. Price digs in and explores every aspect of the tragedy at the center of this book through the eyes of his two main characters using a verbal writing style (deos that make sense?) that keeps things cooking but never feels rushed. His descriptions, his dialogue, his insight -- I came away from this book a better writer than when I went in.
Sep 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what I expected from this -- certainly not the brilliant exposure & exploration of racism in America I got. Price's dialogue is dead-on, and his stories are just heartbreaking. Un-put-downable.
Mar 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I heard the movie was terrible but don't let that scare you away. I read this when it came out and thought it was the best book I had read in years. The characters are alive and you can talk to them (scream at them).
Jan 08, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: race
Overly long, drawn out, melodramatic, anticlimactic waste of time.
Pradeep Badatiya
Excellent theory of author which compels you to contemplate about your freedom.
Dave Cohen
Freedomland tells a story about a white woman who apparently has her child taken from her by a black man in a carjacking in a carjacking. In the bulk of the book, the police - or specifically one specific cop - search for the culprit, or at least the truth. There is a lot of suspense regarding how the crime will play out. Price does a good job of bringing the main characters to life: the woman whose child was taken, the reporter, the cop.

I only gave the book 3 stars mainly due to my tastes. The
Theodore Kinni
Jun 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Racially-charged social dynamics swirl around this story a mother who reports her 4-yr-old son taken in a carjacking in the New Jersey projects. Amazing how Price can strip away stereotypes and create fully human characters.
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always love the intensity of the books of Richard Price. Although this one is not as great as Clockers, it was still an enjoyable read.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Very realistic and gritty but was a bit too long for my liking.
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Way better than the movie.
Phil Parker
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
true and fantastically written
Carl R.
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Richard Price has been around for a while, but I’m just now discovering him, thanks to Toby. Most people know him as Tobias Wolff. All right, let’s quit pretending I’m buds with a modern literary icon. A friend asked him for book recommendations at a lecture, and he said anything by Richard Price, so I picked up Freedomland. I also put myself on the waiting list for his latest, Lush Life, at the library. So, yeah, he may become my literary discovery for this year. Not that he’s a discovery for ...more
Mithun Prasad
Like many, I got acquainted with Richard Price after watching the TV series 'The Wire'. Like many, I got hooked to the authenticity and its realistic approach and scoured around for every writer that supported 'David Simon' in writing it. I knew many names that popped up; one of them was my favorite as well. Except this guy.

'Freedomland' starts with a white woman, entering the emergency room, all bloody and claims she was carjacked by a black man, and almost emits a crucial piece of informatio
Brenda Martin stumbles into the local ER, dazed and confused. Saying she is the victim of a carjacking by an African American male, she also says that her son Cody was in the back seat of the car when it was stolen from her. Detective Lorenzo Council, a black detective who has connections to the local housing projects, is assigned the case, which almost immediately becomes sensationalized by the media. Aided by an up and coming reporter named Jesse, and trying to keep the lid on a racial firesto ...more
Allison Means
Sep 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Sutton
Richard Price creates an authentic, immersive atmosphere with spot on dialogue, but don't look for a fast-moving plot. From page 50 to 300 I became restless and frustrated at the slow progress of the story even while I appreciated the author's knack for realism.

There were also a dizzying array of characters to track. Was Bobby a cop or a hood? Who was George again? Or Eight-Ball? But eventually the story picks up steam as Brenda, the woman who claimed a black man stole her car with her son insi
Jonathan Anderson
Part of the inspiration for my recent Richard Price introduction was this book. I knew, from the trailers for the film, that it involved racial tensions and rioting and controversial actions by the police, and given recent events I figured that'd make this one a timely read on my part.

On that count, I was right. Those parts are good. You just have to slog through a lot of other stuff to get there.

I see a lot of reviews as I'm putting these books to "Currently Reading", and a lot of them seem to
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Freedomland 2 21 Dec 10, 2012 07:47PM  
  • Latitude Zero
  • Pressure Drop
  • Common Carnage
  • Family Values
  • In the Night Season
  • Men in Black
  • The Crater
  • The Illusionist
  • Furnace
  • Good Enough to Dream
  • Waiting
  • The Dick Gibson Show
  • The Devil's Own Work
  • Survivor
  • Joe Hill
  • Doting
  • Selected Poems
  • A Firing Offense
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Also writes under the pen name Harry Brandt

A self-described "middle class Jewish kid," Price grew up in a housing project in the northeast Bronx. Today, he lives in New York City with his family.

Price graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1967 and obtained a BA from Cornell University and an MFA f
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Lorenzo thinking that he truly liked Jesse, always had.” 0 likes
“He also knew he would never come back all the way with her.” 0 likes
More quotes…