Freedom, Jonathan Franzen

Images Amazon delivered Freedom to my door the first day it was released, in hard copy.  I consumed all 576 pages over the course of a few weeks.  There has been plenty written on this book but I can't help but chime in.  Bottom line, it's brilliant.  Not a word goes wasted.  Each section intertwines with the next as the book follows the life of a Minnesota family.  A family living in our present world.

What is incredible is that Franzen doesn't miss a beat on anything.  From the alternative music concerts to the lives of birds to politics to describing rural areas turned into large high end housing developments. 

He writes about each character in such depth.  Following each one of them through their lives as they walk down the path of life making good and bad choices based on who they are and the life they believe they deserve to lead.  Each seeking freedom differently.   

As you read page after page until the very end you understand how every piece of the book connects and why he made those choices as an author.  This is one of those books that should be read years from now in English Literature courses at college where the students can decipher each character and discuss human nature in the year 2009. 

It is dense but a worthwhile read.  My brother finished the book a day before I did and texted me that I must call him when I finished.  I did and we had a quick 15 minutes discussion about the characters and the brilliance of the book as it related to the expectations of people today. 

Here is what my brother wrote which is spot on:  If there is such a thing as a great American novel this may be it. It
encompasses the last decade of the American socio-cultural
experience through the tale of a dysfunctional mid-western family. It
seamlessly touches upon everything from indie rock and environmentalism
to war profiteering and urban gentrification. It's masterful…….

Personal freedom can't just be a solo journey, you are still connected to the world around you.