this has been the longest six hours of my life, this is book is very drawn out, the characters are untouchable their issues, well okay. But all the junk makes this a long book going everywhere but nowhere, for me. Man Oprah must have had a long boring summer when she read this one.
The author was adept at things like character development, keeping the story neatly tied together even with going back and forth in time. But, essentially not very inspired writing. I am looking for a book to demonstrate the beauty of the English language. But when you use words like "stuff" and "realness", it's not happening. He wasted opportunities at pivotal points in the plot. Could hae been a great literary moment, but just kind of plowed through them.
I'm going back to classics.....
I have done my best to slog through this book. Life is too short--I give up. The story moves very slowly, most of the characters are unlikeable and uninteresting. And the narrators attempt to speak in women's voices is profoundly annoying. Just a bad choice for this listener.
The author is certainly a master of writing literature, the reader with his many voices is awesome, however I wish I had purchased the Abridged version. Too many pages devoted to unbelievable characters and situations. It seemed every single human drama was covered in this book; from sexual abuse to infidelity to world population, politics, pollution, religion and everything else in between. Even Saddam was mentioned.
I found particularly annoying the author insistence to end phrases with a preposition.
I say that I wanted to like this book with the very real human dramas but if the author wanted to annoy the reader he certainly succeeded.
DO not reccomend.
I only started this book because Oprah recommended it. The characters and narration bored me from the beginning and then it got worse. I decided I didn't want to waste any more "life" hours listening to this book. I gave it at least 12 hours since I had paid good money for it but once I made the decision to move on, I felt so happy! I downloaded "The Help" and felt enriched by that listening experience. I will definitely read more reviews before choosing my selections in the future.
I listened to 2/3 of this book, and wonder why I even bothered to keep listening. It was so boring, and the language got worse and worse, and I got so sick of these characters. I never did get a plot to the book. The characters were boring and whining and I decided I couldn't finish--which I have never done with an audiobook.
I have listened to many books on audio and have never felt the need to write a review before, but this book was just awful. I made it through the first two parts (just) and cannot press play to start the third. So many words, the women in the story sad, pathetic and outright mean, the men selfish and thoughtless. Where did you go wrong Jonathan Franzen? Take a look at Tinkers before you start your next book, less is almost always more and shows the skill of an author.
Bloated and boring.
While I fully give Franzen his props for generally being a fantastic writer, the characters in this book made me want to end all contact with humanity. I don't mean to "pick", but Walter's continuous diatribe against American consumerism resulted in me wanting to punch him in the face......if he were real. I was about 2/3 of the way through the book before I had that icky feeling that the book itself was a big "middle finger" to the general American populous. Ever since Franzen's beef with Oprah over "The Corrections", I've had a sneaking suspicion that he generally loathes the readers who buy his books. "Freedom" effectively confirmed that, and by the end of the novel, I couldn't care less what happened to Walter, Patty and Joey. I really just wanted to buy an SUV and a pack of Chiclets.