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DVDTalk Book Club #2 - August 31st to September 30th - Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

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DVDTalk Book Club #2 - August 31st to September 30th - Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

Old 08-31-10, 05:49 PM
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DVDTalk Book Club #2 - August 31st to September 30th - Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

As this much talked about book was released today, I thought that it might be interesting to start a book club thread about it, as I think that a few readers here might be interested in picking it up.



Here's the first 7 pages of the book from Amazon.com

Synopsis:

Spoiler:


Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul—the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter—environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man—she was doing her small part to build a better world.

But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz—outré rocker and Walter's college best friend and rival—still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty? Why has the bright star of Barrier Street become "a very different kind of neighbor," an implacable Fury coming unhinged before the street's attentive eyes?

In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. Freedom comically and tragically captures the temptations and burdens of liberty: the thrills of teenage lust, the shaken compromises of middle age, the wages of suburban sprawl, the heavy weight of empire. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom's characters as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.


As always, please spoil anything that gives away anything in the book, but feel free to leave your thoughts as you make your way through this novel.
Old 09-07-10, 07:22 AM
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Re: DVDTalk Book Club #2 - August 31st to September 30th - Freedom by Jonathan Franze

I'm not too far into the book yet (about 20% or so, I'd say), but I am really enjoying it. I like the different perspectives on the characters, and what amounts to an extended flashback scene to show how certain characters end up the way they end up.

I read The Corrections a number of years ago, and the only thing that I really remember about it was that I was disappointed. I think that I'll definitely give it another try though, if it as good as Freedom has been so far.
Old 09-15-10, 12:29 AM
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Re: DVDTalk Book Club #2 - August 31st to September 30th - Freedom by Jonathan Franze

Are we the only two on here reading this? I am at the half way part and I can not stand any of the characters. Really considering putting it down.
Old 09-15-10, 04:43 PM
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Re: DVDTalk Book Club #2 - August 31st to September 30th - Freedom by Jonathan Franze

They don't get any better. One of the reviews that I read said that Franzen obviously does not like people, based on his writing. I've finished recently but haven't had a chance to post my thoughts yet (just became a father for the second time), but when I get a chance, I will. If you do continue on, please post your thoughts here. FWIW, I did enjoy the book, but disliked most of the characters (I did like Walter and Connie somewhat)...
Old 09-26-10, 05:56 AM
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Re: DVDTalk Book Club #2 - August 31st to September 30th - Freedom by Jonathan Franze

I liked The Corrections and this book as well. But damn he floats around a lot, and it's hard sometimes to figure out what year it is in Freedom.

That being said. I'm enjoying this book a whole lot. It can be hard to follow at times, but Franzen is one hell of a writer.
Old 09-26-10, 01:22 PM
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Re: DVDTalk Book Club #2 - August 31st to September 30th - Freedom by Jonathan Franze

Slightly OT: Any chance the next book club pick will be a paperback? Or a hardcover on sale at Amazon (as in $15 or less)
Old 09-27-10, 07:05 AM
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Re: DVDTalk Book Club #2 - August 31st to September 30th - Freedom by Jonathan Franze

Originally Posted by Throwing Copper
I liked The Corrections and this book as well. But damn he floats around a lot, and it's hard sometimes to figure out what year it is in Freedom.

That being said. I'm enjoying this book a whole lot. It can be hard to follow at times, but Franzen is one hell of a writer.
Agreed. I had some issues with the time frames as well, since some of the events happen concurrently, and you don't realize it until later, as you can't understand why one character hasn't done something in response to another character's actions (while in fact those actions haven't happened yet).

Originally Posted by The Bus
Slightly OT: Any chance the next book club pick will be a paperback? Or a hardcover on sale at Amazon (as in $15 or less)
You should pick a book meets this criteria and post it for the next book club. Feel free to start it ASAP since this thread can be used for comments on Freedom going forward...

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