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Freedom Audiobook

Freedom: A Novel

Regular Price:$47.93
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Publisher's Summary

From the National Book Award-winning author of The Corrections, a darkly comedic novel about family.

Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter - environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man - she was doing her small part to build a better world. But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz - outré rocker and Walter's college best friend and rival - still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become “a very different kind of neighbor,” an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street's attentive eyes?

In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom's intensely realized characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.

©2010 Jonathan Franzen (P)2010 Macmillan Audio

What the Critics Say

"The Great American Novel." (Esquire)

"It’s refreshing to see a novelist who wants to engage the questions of our time in the tradition of 20th-century greats like John Steinbeck and Sinclair Lewis . . . [This] is a book you’ll still be thinking about long after you’ve finished reading it." (Patrick Condon, Associated Press)

“Writing in prose that is at once visceral and lapidary, Mr. Franzen shows us how his characters strive to navigate a world of technological gadgetry and ever-shifting mores, how they struggle to balance the equation between their expectations of life and dull reality, their political ideals and mercenary personal urges. He proves himself as adept at adolescent comedy as he is at grown-up tragedy; as skilled at holding a mirror to the world his people inhabit day by dreary day as he is at limning their messy inner lives . . . Mr. Franzen has written his most deeply felt novel yet—a novel that turns out to be both a compelling biography of a dysfunctional family and an indelible portrait of our times." (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (4233 )
5 star
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3.8 (1897 )
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Story
4.0 (1892 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Gail jackson, NJ, United States 01-22-14
    Gail jackson, NJ, United States 01-22-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    65
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    54
    44
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    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Depiction of an Millennial American Family"

    I was not that crazy about this story line, characters or length of this novel, yet I could not stop listening. Franzen writes beautifully. Every word artfully selected in a succinct non-flowery manner that I loved. These characters could describe any dysfunctional Millennial American family, and I do believe this will become a classic cultural period reference in years to come. Franzen captures the era's budding technology, 9/11, entitled youth and dysfunctional familial traits that capture the essence of many current day relationships we all know . For me, the political and nature conservancy issues were a bit overdone. I found myself hoping for more drama in the story line, but suppose the lack thereof was the point. Love this writer!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ALN 01-30-13
    ALN 01-30-13

    life-long learner

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The title doesn't fit"
    What disappointed you about Freedom?

    The characters and their choices, the narrator's voice


    Has Freedom turned you off from other books in this genre?

    I later heard this author speak and that confirmed that I would not be interested in any more of his work.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Roswell, NM, United States 03-04-11
    Kathleen Roswell, NM, United States 03-04-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    Overall
    "WOW"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Union Grove, WI, United States 02-23-11
    Stephanie Union Grove, WI, United States 02-23-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    "Annoying characters"

    The characters were all annoying and not believable. I was grateful when the book was finally over.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joan b hickey 02-21-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Not what it was cracked up to be"

    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.....

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele Princeton, NJ, United States 02-18-11
    Michele Princeton, NJ, United States 02-18-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    4
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    1
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    Overall
    "A Slow Moving Tale"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    yuri LOUISVILLE, CO, United States 02-16-11
    yuri LOUISVILLE, CO, United States 02-16-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Masterpiece of literature"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorie Glendale, CA, United States 02-04-11
    Dorie Glendale, CA, United States 02-04-11 Member Since 2016

    "Cake Artist"

    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "HAD TO STOP LISTENING"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marlene 01-31-11
    Marlene 01-31-11 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    Overall
    "Waste of Money"

    Did not care for this rambling, over indulgent, never coming to an end book. Sorry I bought it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Pinehurst, NC, United States 01-31-11
    Margaret Pinehurst, NC, United States 01-31-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "I couldn't finish this book"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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