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Freedom Hardcover – 23 Sep 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 268 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 23 Sep 2010
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 570 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; First Printing edition (23 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007269757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007269754
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 268 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 101,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"A lavishly entertaining account of a family at war with itself, and a brilliant dissection of the dissatisfactions and disappointments of contemporary American life... Compelling...Freedom, though frequently funny, is ultimately tender: its emotional currency is both the pain and the pleasure that that word implies . . . A rare pleasure, an irresistible invitation to binge-read . . . That it also grapples with a fundamental dilemma of modern middle-class America—namely: Is it really still OK to spend your life asserting your unalienable right to the pursuit of happiness, when the rest of the world is in such a state?—is what makes it something wonderful. If Freedom doesn’t qualify as a Great American Novel for our time, then I don’t know what would . . . The reason to celebrate him is not that he is doing something new but that he is doing something old, presumed dead—and doing it brilliantly. Freedom bids for a place alongside the great achievements of his predecessors, not his contemporaries; it belongs on the same shelf as John Updike’s Rabbit, Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities, Philip Roth’s American Pastoral. It is the first Great American Novel of the post-Obama era." —Benjamin Secher, Daily Telegraph

"The ultimate way-we-live now novel" –Lev Grossman, Time

"Jonathan Franzen’s new novel, Freedom, like his previous one, The Corrections, is a masterpiece of American fiction . . . Freedom is a still richer and deeper work—less glittering on its surface but more confident in its method. Like all great novels, Freedom does not just tell an engrossing story. It illuminates, through the steady radiance of its author’s profound moral intelligence, the world we thought we knew."—Sam Tanenhaus, The New York Times Book Review
 
"A literary genius for our time . . . An extraordinary work . . . This is simply on a different plane from other contemporary fiction . . . Demands comparison rather with Saul Bellow’s Herzog. A modern classic, Freedom is the novel of the year, and the century." —Jonathan Jones, Guardian

"Forget about 3-D films, this is a 3-D novel. The characters are alive, past, present and future. Lives are truly lived . . . The great achievement of Freedom is to be an almost perfectly written novel, yet one which contrives not to be intimidating. It is both a page-turner and a work of art . . . It is bliss." --Sarah Sands, Evening Standard

"While modern publishing sometimes seems to prize whimsy over scope – nobody much expects a Great American Novel to materialize – Jonathan Franzen has gone and written two . . . Franzen’s characters are heartbreaking, his sentences breathtaking, and Freedom has the narrative grip of a cheap thriller." --Tim Walker, Independent

"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

"[Freedom is] a work of total genius: a reminder both of why everyone got so excited about Franzen in the first place and of the undeniable magic—even today, in our digital end-times—of the old-timey literary novel . . . Few modern novelists rival Franzen in that primal skill of creating life, of tricking us into believing that a text-generated set of neural patterns, a purely abstract mind-event, is in fact a tangible human being that we can love, pity, hate, admire, and possibly even run into someday at the grocery store. His characters are so densely rendered—their mental lives sketched right down to the smallest cognitive micrograins—that they manage to bust through the art-reality threshold: They hit us in the same place that our friends and neighbors and classmates and lovers do. This is what makes Franzen’s books such special event." —Sam Anderson, New York Magazine

"One of those rare books that starts well and then takes off . . . a joy to read . . . With its all-encompassing world, its flawed heroes and its redemptive ending, Freedom has the sweep of a modern Paradise Lost." Economist

"The Great American Novel." —Esquire

"Epic." —Vanity Fair

"Exhilarating . . . Gripping . . . Moving . . . On a level with The Great Gatsby [and] Gone With the Wind." —Craig Seligman, Bloomberg

"Consuming and extraordinarily moving." —David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times

"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

"Freedom, his new book, and The Corrections, its predecessor, are at the same time engrossing sagas and scathing satires, and both books are funny, sad, cranky, revelatory, hugely ambitious, deeply human and, at times, truly disturbing. Together, they provide a striking and quite possibly enduring portrait of America in the years on either side of the turn of the 21st century . . . His writing is so gorgeous . . . Franzen is one of those exceptional writers whose works define an era and a generation, and his books demand to be read." —Harper Barnes, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"How we need the quiet, old-fashioned wisdom of Jonathan Franzen right now... The busy everyday life of the media distrusts what the best of fiction offers – complexity, thought, an exploration of the way great trends play out in small lives, with no sound-bite messages or easy conclusions. But for those who value that important still place, rare novels of the quality of Freedom, providing news that stays news, are something to be treasured." --Terence Blacker, Independent

About the Author

Jonathan Franzen won the National Book Award in 2001 for The Corrections. He is the author of two other critically acclaimed novels, The Twenty-Seventh City and Strong Motion, and two works of non-fiction: How to Be Alone and The Discomfort Zone. He lives in New York City and Santa Cruz, California.


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