We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Freedom: A Novel | [Jonathan Franzen]

Freedom: A Novel

Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, 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 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.
Regular Price:$47.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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

3.6 (3620 )
5 star
 (1107)
4 star
 (1019)
3 star
 (764)
2 star
 (392)
1 star
 (338)
Overall
3.7 (1331 )
5 star
 (448)
4 star
 (351)
3 star
 (299)
2 star
 (120)
1 star
 (113)
Story
4.0 (1327 )
5 star
 (518)
4 star
 (445)
3 star
 (216)
2 star
 (81)
1 star
 (67)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Carol 10-26-10
    Carol 10-26-10 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    128
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "2D Unlikeable Characters"

    I'm completely stumped as to how this book received any good reviews. The story is filled with 2 dimensional, stereotype laden, wholly unlikable characters. I kept listening, hoping at least one of the subjects would redeem themselves in some way by the end of the book, and act to some degree like a real person would, but it was not to be. The entire first hour plus is one huge, rambling, nonsensical run on sentence read at a breakneck pace that the narrator must have suffered exhaustion from after reading. This book was a waste of a great many hours, and I will not be reading any more of Mr. Franzen's works based on this experience.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Misty Mclaughlin Iowa 10-21-10
    Misty Mclaughlin Iowa 10-21-10 Member Since 2012

    Misty

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "it was ok, kinda boring till the very end"

    Not really what I was expecting from an Oprah book. I was expecting more. It did tie together at the end, but way to long to get to that.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith 10-18-10
    Keith 10-18-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "NOT FOR ME"

    I FOUND THIS TO BE A VERY TEDIOUS LISTEN. UNHAPPY PEOPLE TREATING EACH OTHER BADLY.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    brooke Richmond Heights, Missouri, United States 10-08-10
    brooke Richmond Heights, Missouri, United States 10-08-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Don't Waste Your Time"

    This book was the most depressing tale about nothing. It was completely pointless. I am really disappointed that I wasted my monthly credit on this book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Livonia, MI, United States 10-07-10
    Bill Livonia, MI, United States 10-07-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen"

    I don't like it. Can't even finish the first segment. Not my type of book. I couldn't possibly care any less about any of the characters. But I may not be someone you should pay any attention to, when considering a purchase. I listened to a couple of the "Rabbit" books by John Updike with the same results. I don't get what the attraction is. Boring, somewhat shallow people from backgrounds I can't relate to, living their lives. BFD! Who cares?!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michele Falls Church, VA, United States 10-06-10
    Michele Falls Church, VA, United States 10-06-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "A Excellent Read"

    I approached this book with a little trepidation, given all the hype. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the story, and the narration was outstanding.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Trupiano 10-06-10

    book reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    63
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Awful"

    How can anyone listen to this dribble about the worst aspects of life in America! Nothing is funny or redeeming about this book. I have no idea what is the hot interest in this downer.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John S Atlanta, GA 10-02-10
    John S Atlanta, GA 10-02-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    167
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    "Incredibly over rated"

    This book has been widely praised as the great new american novel. I read it as I wanted to see what all the fuss is about and was disappointed with the book from beginning to end. So many of the parts that deal with the issues of "freedom" are simplistic and cliche. While the reader does a good job with the material, I cannot say that I enjoyed any of it. Proceed with caution...

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry Mahwah, NJ, United States 11-11-10
    Harry Mahwah, NJ, United States 11-11-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Freedom by Jonathan Franzen"

    I agree with Marlen from Santa Barbara. I have to force myself to continue. It is torture. The dialogue is repetitive and the narrative is awful. Don't waste your money. When I bought this the rating was well over 4 but it has been sliding ever since.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 10-24-10
    Paul 10-24-10 Member Since 2002

    Radio Broadcaster for 50 years in the National Radio Hall of Fame and Texas Radio Hall of Fame twice . Live in San Diego from Holyoke Mass.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "so sucks"

    This was such a waste of $ but at one point I had to decide what my time was worth. Couldn't get thru it soooo sucks. Would not post unless I give it at least one star really no stars.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 281-290 of 292 results PREVIOUS1282930NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.