I just finished my third book in my 12 books & 12 months series, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. Just like many people, I read The Corrections years ago and loved it. It was that popularity and award nominations that prompted the frenzy around his most recent novel.
This is a long, winding tale about a typical suburban family. The Corrections was published a week before 9/11 and Freedom picks up right where it left off. The book is really about the comfortable life that many American families are living and where that security and freedom leads them.
I have read a number of reviews of this book and they are all favorable, most say Freedom is comparable to The Corrections. I disagree. I found the book, long, slow at times and tedious. Sadly, I spent the last 50 pages just waiting it out hoping something would happen. It did, but I found that outcome to be boring as well.
I still think that Franzen is a great writer, probably one of the best of his generation but this book didn’t do it for me. There were passages that accurately exposed many of the thoughts and feelings we all have. The discontent that comes with a comfortable life, the unhappiness of having everything you ever wanted, the boredom of American suburban life. I found these passages revealing but the story as a whole was a bit mundane and pedestrian.
Up next is Tinkers by Paul Harding.