Freedom

Well – what can I say… Freedom: A Novel (Oprah’s Book Club) (published by HarperColllins) by Jonathan Franzen is the talk of the town in the book world. This summer certainly has seen it’s share of hype in the publishing field. Freedom is an Oprah pick (as you can see), and Franzen’s had his photo on the cover of Time magazine, which I guess is a big deal for a writer these days. He previously wrote The Corrections (which I LOVED!) but that was 10 years ago so his new release has been much anticipated. It’s quite the book. The reason I’m saying this is that I can’t, even now, decide if I liked it or not. It’s that kind of book. I guess if it provokes discussion and comments, it’s a hit. It’s the story of the Berglund family, Patty, Walter, and their 2 kids Joey and Jessica. It spans at least 50 years I think. It’s your all-American, middle class disfunctional family, with a capital “D”. I went from loving the first few pages… how can you not think positive thoughts about what’s to come when someone writes “For all queries, Patty Berglund was a resource, a sunny carrier of sociocultural pollen, an affable bee.” . Then there were approx. 200 pages that had me thinking “hey, can we please get to the main part of the book” (200 pages! – that could be an entire book!), then some of it I just thought was downright yucky (you’ll know when you read it!) and then I couldn’t put it down because I had read so much (it’s a whopping 560 pages total) that I really wanted to know how things ended. So there. The last 100 or so pages I think are the best in the book.  It’s definitely a good book to be discussed in book clubs or even over coffee with friends. But is it worthy of all the hype and publicity … hmmm…

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