Jonathan Franzenв_Ts Freedom is a member of Oprahв_Ts Book Club and is available on the Kindle and Kindle DX.В Check out the Oprah show today, December 6, to hear Oprahв_Ts discussion of Freedom with Jonathan Franzen.В Oprah calls this book a в__masterpiece.в__В The reviews of Freedom are all over the board with a healthy mix of praise and criticism.
BrianB does a good job in summarizing the novel:
в__This is a big, rambling tale of modern Americans in their modern lives, people who reminded me of real people, a plot which kept me turning the pages of this compulsively readable, mostly entertaining novel. The tone is slightly condescending, as the quote above my review would suggest, mostly cynical, and ultimately hopeful by the end of the story, when his battered, bruised and bruising characters emerge from the wreckage of their lives, and bravely carry on.в__
Does Freedom measure up to Franzenв_Ts 2001 hit Corrections?В Some say yes, others say no way.В The plot contains all of the popular elements such as politics, sex and a portrayal of modern society.В It goes to show that even the most stable, American Family can have major issues.В Walter and Patty Berglund live in St. Paul, Minnesota with their teenage son Joey.
Walter gets caught up into extreme environmentalist activities, while his liberal wife Patty fights a political war with her right wing neighbors.В Joey is in love with the neighborsв_T daughter, and then there is a love triangle going on between Walter, Patty and Walterв_Ts best friend Richard.В Nothing like a love triangle to stir up even the most stable of marriages.
Freedom does a thorough job of exploring Pattyв_Ts past, including her failed basketball career and a sexual assault.В These experience come back to haunt her and she battles depression and writes her autobiography.В Meanwhile, Walter gets involved with a fight to save a West Virginia mountaintop from destruction by a coal company.В Interesting that he would get so involved with something in West Virginia, when he lives in Minnesota.
As reviewer, James MacDonald в__Jim Macв__ puts it, “Hey you 77 million baby boomers – stop feeling sorry for yourselves and get off your buts. Sure mistakes were made and you made a few! Turn off your flat screens and reach out positively and stop the vindictiveness we see Americans embracing. We all make mistakes. Get real. Reach out. There is a “there there” but only if you reach out!!”
Some critics call Freedom boring and unrealistic.В You gotta remember though, that it is a work of fiction.В The events of the plot are a little outrageous, but is still able to relate to the readers.
So, tune into the Oprah show for the interview with Franzen and tell us what you think.