Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

How to follow ‘The Corrections’? That question must have been a tough one, since ‘The Corrections’ sticks in my mind as a book that really lived up to all the hype and was utterly brilliant as a novel. ‘Freedom’ is not totally different, in fact. It is all about families, relationships and what it is like to be human in a certain sort of America. But it is also pretty brilliant.

There are endless reviews around so I won’t add to them, except to mention two things I especially enjoyed. The first is the writer’s insight into how different generations relate to one another. He is very good at looking at things from varying perspectives and living and breathing the preconceptions that come with age, as well as with social background.

The second is the way in which one individual’s integrity acts as a pole around which the actions of others circulate. The fact that this integrity is maintained, without ever becoming too improbable, is really masterful.

It is also nice the way the freedom motif increases in prominence as the book progresses.

My only complaint is that it is a bit long – could have done with a bit more editing.

But a deep and enjoyable read.


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