Version: Unabridged
Author: Jonathan Franzen
Narrator: David LeDoux
Genres: Literature
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published In: August 2010
# of Units: 19 CDs
Length: 23 hours
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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-outre 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.

Reviews (9)


Written by theresak on December 17th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 2/5

Life is too short. The narrator was pretty good though.

GREAT book

Written by Judy S from Sacramento, CA on July 14th, 2013

  • Book Rating: 5/5

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.

Too long

Written by gregredi from Sugar Land, TX on May 22nd, 2013

  • Book Rating: 3/5

Not a bad story line, but just too long. I was ready for it to finally end.

Love it!!!!

Written by UqLady on October 25th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Just one simple word loved this book it is long but well worth it.

It's Complicated

Written by Smurf7 on May 27th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 4/5

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

Well worth the time

Written by tom on March 28th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 5/5

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.


Written by Anonymous from Fallbrook, CA on March 12th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 4/5

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.

Great Book, poor audio narrator

Written by Anonymous on January 16th, 2011

  • Book Rating: 1/5

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.


Written by Anonymous on December 31st, 2010

  • Book Rating: 3/5

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.

Author Details

Author Details

Franzen, Jonathan

"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‚Äět 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."