It took me half a CD to settle into the style of this book but once I did, I loved all the remaining 18 CDs and was sorry to see it end. The multi-layered story of a family begins in their young adulthood and then goes backward and forward to see their lives before and on into the future. The writing style, which takes you inside the heads of the characters, was fabulous. I also loved this narrator, whose voice brought another wonderful layer to the story. One of the best books I have "read" in a long time. I will not forget Patty and Walter.
Not a bad story line, but just too long. I was ready for it to finally end.
Just one simple word loved this book it is long but well worth it.
I have found this book very entertaining, it is an interwoven story about a yuppied family and their friends. As with life in the real world nothing is simple and the writing is wonderful, although graphic in parts. The narrator iv VERY good, I am looking forward to the second half
It took a while to figure out just where this book was going, While there are some "lulls" the charcter development is first rate and much of it is in the same class as Tom Wolfe's novels which to me are the "gold standard" of contemporary social commentary. The writer's talent is magical and the narrator is first class.
The author uses excrutiatingly detailed dialogue at times. I was initially annoyed with it and found it plodding, but as I relaxed into the pace of the book I found that it provides for great character development, good depth and understanding of character motivations. The insight provided by the very detailed thought process of "the autobiographer" is variously touching, thought-provoking and sometimes painful when it hits close to home. Well worth the time. Regarding the narrator, I wonder if the author suggested the somewhat cynical tone he often uses. I found it appropriate and it did not detract at all.
Freedom is a great book. This narrator, however, has chosen to read in a snide, satirical tone. It clouded Franzen's story and cast the characters in an inappropriately negative light. I love the audiobook listening experience, but in this case I dropped this audiobook after a couple of CDs and checked out the book from the library. I recommend you do the same. Freedom is worth it! Don't let this version distort your experience.
This book is a bit of a puzzler. There are parts that are brilliant, insightful and challenging. And there are other parts that are very mundane and tedious. I guess it depends on what you can relate to. Overall, I'm glad I stuck with it. The good parts are really good, and the stories of the lives of the characters are interesting and believable. Ignore the hype and enjoy the book on its own merits.
"Jonathan Franzen was born in Western Springs, Illinois, in 1959, and grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 1981 he studied at the Freie Universit„t in Berlin as a Fulbright scholar and later worked in a seismology lab at Harvard University's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. In addition to winning a Whiting Writer's Award in 1998 and the American Academy's Berlin Prize in 2000, he has been named one of ""Twenty Writers for the 21st Century"" by The New Yorker and one of the ""Best Young American Novelists"" by Granta.
Mr. Franzen is the author of The Twenty-Seventh City and Strong Motion and is a frequent contributor to Harper's and The New Yorker (where portions of The Corrections have appeared). He lives in New York City."