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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 (4371 )
5 star
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4 star
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Overall
3.8 (2019 )
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Story
4.1 (2014 )
5 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    kafkirk 10-04-10
    kafkirk 10-04-10 Member Since 2016

    kafkirk

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "GREAT book, AWFUL narrator"

    As stated below, LeDoux treats many of the characters, especially women, with contempt. In fact, his voice was soaked with sarcasm and contempt throughout, and I found that at times I had to try to overcome the tone in order to find the humanity. For humanity is what Franzen does so well; his characters ARE broken, flawed, befuddled and he depicts them with tremendous compassion. They change in ways that are nearly undetectable, subterranean, despite that they are and remain very much themselves -- Franzen is a genius. This is actually how growth happens. The fact that all that comes through despite LeDoux's poor treatment is a testament to its power.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler YPSILANTI, MI, United States 10-04-10
    Tyler YPSILANTI, MI, United States 10-04-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "great writing, horrible audio-quality"

    These books are pretty expensive to have such bad sound quality... I was very excited to obtain this book, but very unhappy to actually listen to it, because the sound was so bad. Audible really needs to improve their product if they want to maintain loyal customers.

    But as for the book, I found it engaging and the characters incredibly realistic. Franzen has a wonderful way of describing stuff that everyone knows but never talk about. The content though, was unsettling. I don't actually LIKE any of the characters and found a lot of the book uncomfortable. But, I guess that's what Franzen was going for, so I can't complain too much.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pasheree 10-04-10
    pasheree 10-04-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Freedom: A Novel"

    Try as I might, I was unable to enjoy the story because of the arrogant and condescending tone of the narrator. This is the first audiobook in over a year of listening that I turned off after a few hours, and felt relieved.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cookiej Temecula, CA, United States 10-04-10
    Cookiej Temecula, CA, United States 10-04-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Freedom -- to stop reading!"

    I should've known better - Oprah selected it as her Book of the Month....I usually avoid her choices - respect her...not her book choices. I gave it 24 chapters (it's a 24 hour listen)... I didn't find one likable character... and plot? There really isn't one. I kept thinking that the author was laying the foundation & developing the characters because something was going to happen. Well, it didn't. I had read many reviews before selecting this title & anticipated a wonderful novel. Much to my dismay, I feel that I wasted not only a credit ... but more importantly - my time.
    The narrator, hmmm. I can appreciate that he has talent, only I believe that a feminine voice would be much more appropriate since it's a story driven by a female. Frequently, the narrator made it sound fairly hokey. I really wanted to like this....

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Rochester, MN, United States 10-01-10
    J Rochester, MN, United States 10-01-10 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "A waste of time."

    What a horrible story filled with whiny, narcissistic characters. It makes me embarrassed to be from Minnesota. The overwrought political commentary quickly gets tiresome. It is difficult to be interested in characters who display such obvious contempt for someone like myself.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Dublin, CA, United States 09-27-10
    Jay Dublin, CA, United States 09-27-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    4
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    Overall
    "Horrible"

    Has to be the worst I've ever tried to get through. I endured the first part of the book and not far into the second part I decided enough was too much. Every character is more disfunctional than the last and reading about a guy spending his college time jerking off isn't my idea of a good read. Call me a square but if that's what you want to read about buy the book. Had I known ahead of time I wouldn't have wasted my credits on such garbage. I can't even give this one star but I had to just to give this book a review; that's how bad it is.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meena Newark, NJ, United States 09-16-10
    Meena Newark, NJ, United States 09-16-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good book"

    A very good book. Well narrated. Thanks to Audible for having this in their store.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert SOUTH PASADENA, CA, United States 09-15-10
    Robert SOUTH PASADENA, CA, United States 09-15-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
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    Overall
    "A complexly written modern masterpiece."

    I laughed, I cried ... And just about everything else, but I was never bored.

    The book examines the life of a group of people who personify modern American Homo sapiens.

    The story vomits up the underlying restrained desperation of a lost generation in the last century of a dieing Empire.

    5 STARS +, One of the best books Audible has to offer in my opinion.

    5 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Santa Fe, NM, United States 10-19-10
    Anna Santa Fe, NM, United States 10-19-10 Member Since 2014

    twin oaks

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "baker"

    I couldn't stop listening to it. Great purchase for a long drive or for working out. I am curious to know, though, why the New York Times book review called Franzen a genius. It's true that it gives life to recent events and to characters we are familiar with-- and yet, I left the book feeling empty.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    keith spikes 10-18-10 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "NOT FOR ME"

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

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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