When I read The Corrections more than a few years back, I was encapsulated by Franzen’s outstanding family saga, the pop cultural references, the skillful writing and the familiarity of the world despite the often exaggerated American prototypes he uses as characters. With Freedom, he once more tried his hand at an elaborate family saga, but with all the mixing of first person and third person storytelling, the tedious back and forth between socio-political critique and stories about birds, somewhere in there, Jonathan Franzen lost me, and it took me about five years to finish this novel once and for all. In fact it even turned me away from the author probably forever. Freedom is a great book, about the „Dubya“ era of the American project, a country divided, an economy oscillating between bubble and burst, ideologies and a resistance to growing up. It’s a tale of failed characters, broken families, missed opportunities, love lost and birds saved, mountains destroyed, tax payers‘ money burnt and great visions scarred by the imperfections of today’s world.
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