FREEDOM a novel ~Jonathan Franzen
I was definitely not going to read this book. I was definitely not going to do a book review. I just felt that Opera had given this author and this book enough publicity. What would I say that would make any difference to someone who might want to read the book?
Then again I kept hearing a little voice in the back of my head which kept reminding me about how much I enjoyed reading THE CORRECTIONS also by Franzen. I had just happened upon this book when I was out of town, had never heard of it, and thought it looked interesting. I had time why not? A month later Oprah announced that THE CORRECTIONS was the new book for her book group. I thought it was a very good choice on her part, a book written by a very good writer and I was disappointed when he would not appear for the discussion section. I have read this book 3 times just because I enjoyed it so much.
FREEDOM was released; Oprah announced that Franzen would be on her show and that she was choosing this book as her summer read. Then President Obama purchased the book for his summer vacation and that made the news. I read four or five very good book reviews online, about this book. Several of my reading friends made pointed comments referring me to this book.
When my family goes cross country skiing, I love to have a big read available. I just adore curling up and deeply engaging with characters and stories that transport my imagination. I went to the blog site BOOK SNOB and looked up her top five reads for 2010. I selected her top book A VISIT BY THE GOON SQUAD by Jennifer Egan as my vacation read. I absolutely detested this book, though I read it cover to cover. My heart and imagination needed a great story; I downloaded FREEDOM onto my Kindle.
Franzen has the remarkable ability to create characters which are prototypes of five or six different individuals. His characters are of my generation and they encompass so many of the important concepts of this generation they portray. He is a remarkable storyteller. The author’s words put you right in that neighborhood, into that work experience, and truly into that characters mind set. We were all truly going “somewhere” and were going to save the world.
I would highly recommend this book and I do think having a book group to discuss it with would make it even more powerful. I would caution that if you have folks who do not finish a book for your book group don’t discuss this book, which is the route I am taking with my own book group. It is a long book, it is a fascinating read, and one needs to read from start to finish, to comprehend the disillusionment and the recovery of a generation.
Redemption – now there is a good word.
This book is also about money, politics, and ideals all mixed up together until they produce corrupted outcomes. I think if I were not such an avid reader and I had not read extensively about the environment, history, politics, and human actions I would not have been able to approach the depths of understanding available in this fine story.
This is a story about the East Coast of the United States and although it applies in certain circumstances to the West Coast, forcing most environmentalists to go underground with their work — good works are less corrupted by the lords and ladies of the empire in the Pacific regions. It is a foghorn.
I did not pick out any quotes, I did not reveal the steps of the story, and I don’t intend to reveal the plot and its many psychological variations. I believe this to be a great read, a worthy read and there are many “spoiler” reviews online. I will just say if you want to read a remarkable story written by an excellent writer that captures a generation’s rise and fall, this is a story for you.
I rate this book 5
Did you read some exceptional stories on your vacation? Have you read this book? Have you ever felt like you did not want to read a book because it was so popular? Do you like to discuss stories that you’ve read? Would you recommend a great read that you enjoyed to us?
Looking forward to your great comments; I read and appreciate each and every one.
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Tags: Book Review