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Reading "Freedom"
Published on November 12, 2012 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about the Jonathan Franzen novel "Freedom," which I plowed through on my vacation. 

Here's an excerpt:

"I recently finished Jonathan Franzen’s acclaimed novel 'Freedom,' about a year after everybody else read it.

For the first 150 pages, I felt like throwing the book at the wall, even though I couldn’t put it down. That’s the thing about 'Freedom': It’s highly entertaining, compulsively readable ... and often insufferable.

But it gets better, steadily improving as the narrative progresses, and after I got through the first third, I found 'Freedom' much easier to take. On many levels, the book is a joy to read — a witty, nuanced, hyper-realistic satire. But on another level, I often felt like Franzen — and, specifically, his take on family, society and politics in the 21st century — was full of crap. His characters are sharply drawn, and I really felt as if I knew them. But this was also part of the problem. At almost every turn, the characters fulfilled my expectations for them. It was only at the end of the book, when Franzen brings his story to a poignant close, that I felt as though I could begin putting some of my reservations aside."

Click here to read the whole thing.

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