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 neighbour 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 neighbour," 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.
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Amazon Best of the Month, August 2010: "The awful thing about life is this:" says Octave to the Marquis in Renoir's Rules of the Game. "Everyone has his reasons." That could be a motto for novelists as well, few more so than Jonathan Franzen, who seems less concerned with creating merely likeable characters than ones who are fully alive, in all their self-justifying complexity. Freedom is his fourth novel, and, yes, his first in nine years since The Corrections. Happy to say, it's very much a match for that great book, a wrenching, funny, and forgiving portrait of a Midwestern family (from St. Paul this time, rather than the fictional St. Jude). Patty and Walter Berglund find each other early: a pretty jock, focused on the court and a little lost off it, and a stolid budding lawyer, besotted with her and almost burdened by his integrity. They make a family and a life together, and, over time, slowly lose track of each other. Their stories align at times with Big Issues--among them mountaintop removal, war profiteering, and rock'n'roll--and in some ways can't be separated from them, but what you remember most are the characters, whom you grow to love the way families often love each other: not for their charm or goodness, but because they have their reasons, and you know them. --Tom Nissley
JONATHAN FRANZEN is the author of four novels, The Twenty-Seventh City, Strong Motion, The Corrections, winner of the 2001 National Book Award for Fiction, and Freedom; a collection of non-fiction, How to Be Alone; and The Discomfort Zone, a memoir. He has been named one of the Granta 20 Best Novelists Under 40 and is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and Harper’s. He lives in New York City and Santa Cruz, California.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Limited, U.S.A., 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. jonathan D. Lippincott (illustrator). 1st Edition. TEdges are sharp and fine. No tears or creases. No stain, writing or reminder marks. The binding is straight and tight. The book itself is very nice. Tight and clean, Author of "The corrections". This is a great book, remarkable and possibly unprecedented. Bookseller Inventory # 000981
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1554688833