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Saturday, December 4, 2010

Freedom

No, it’s not War & Peace, although not happily married Patty identifies with Natasha. The enemy is not at the city gates of Moscow, yet there is an "enemy" that lurks within. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen is a rare best seller in the old tradition of classic nineteenth century novels. It has both style and substance. I believe Freedom does compare favorably with all those classic novels of the past. The book is a family socio-cultural tale that begins slowly and then draws you deeply into the hearts and minds of four people who struggle with their own versions of freedom. This serves to not only illuminate the society we now live in but also provides numerous opportunities for self examination. What could be worth more than a book that can help a reader look more closely into their own values and ideals? Some years ago, I’d given up hope on most contemporary American novelists. This was because I felt many history and biography authors had replaced them in terms of both quality of writing and substance. In the last fifty years, with few exceptions, American novels have diverged into those which have won critical acclaim and those which made the best seller lists. Franzen, the best American novelist of the 21st century (so far), has given me some hope for the future. Of course, their still is the disgracefully degrading and overwhelming mass impact of television on our culture....but that’s a subject for another day.For another bloggers wonderfully thoughtful outlook on freedom (both the concept and the book)you might find the following link interesting.....

7 comments:

Nature ID (Katie) said...

Hey, Mr. T, I really like the beedrunken blog. Thanks for the link. Plus, my uncle loves your blog.

NCmountainwoman said...

I absolutely loved "Freedom." And any author who can keep me interested in such dysfunctional characters is almost another John Updike in my opinion.

Montanagirl said...

Have not read the book, so guess I can't contribute much to your post. However, your posts are always humorous and informative.

Veronica Wald said...

I've almost completely given up on fiction too, though I came across a Jhumpa Lahiri novel, The Namesake, in a condo we rented a couple of years ago. I certainly can recommend her, happy to say.
Thanks for the tip about Franzen, I'll keep my eyes open for an opportunity to take a look!

Farmchick said...

I have not read the book either, but am interested in it.

Kathy H said...

Thanks for the review of this book. I haven't read yet. I read some diss-ing things about the author and book a couple months ago which really sounded more like sour grapes than constructive criticism. Now, I will read it and will pass along this blog to some friends who I know will enjoy reading what you have to say.

Clementine Moonflower said...

I think I might like this one. I've really been thinking a lot about this type of stuff lately, more than I want to. Maybe this book will help me to sort it out.