Jonathan Franzen is the author of three novels, The Twenty-Seventh City (1988), Strong Motion (1992), and The Corrections (2001); a collection of nonfiction, How to Be Alone (2002); and The Discomfort Zone (2006), a memoir.
When Patty and Walter Berglund's teenage son moves in with their conservative neighbors and their perfect life in St. Paul begins to unravel, out spill family secrets-clandestine loves, lies, compromises, failures. David Ledoux's masterly narration is powerful and well paced, comic and poignant. He expertly captures Walter and Patty-with her anxious whinny of a laugh-and their family life with its satisfactions and histrionics. Ledoux also deftly renders the gossiping of the Berglund's disingenuous neighbors; the frenetic rants of the drug-addled Eliza; and the weary, disaffected drawl of sleazy musician Richard. A Farrar, Straus, and Giroux hardcover (Reviews, July 5). (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
'Head and shoulders above any other book this year: moving, funny and unexpectedly beautiful. I missed it when it was over' Sam Mendes, Observer, Books of the Year 'A cat's cradle of family life, and if the measure of a good book is it's afterburn, Freedom is a great book' Kirsty Wark Observer, Books of the Year 'I loved Freedom. His acute observations of emotional faultlines, his dialogue and above all his wry humour are delightful' Antony Beevor Sunday Telegraph, Books of the Year 'Franzen pulls off the extraordinary feat of making the lives of his characters more real to you than your own' David Hare, Guardian, Books of the Year 'No question about it: Freedom swept everything before it in intricately observed, humane, unprejudiced armfuls. There was no novel to touch it in 2010.' Philip Hensher, Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year 'Undoubtedly a great novel about America. Rarely has the land of the free been scrutinised with such a sharp but loving eye' Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year 'It had me absolutely hooked' Mark Watson, Observer, Books of the Year 'By the end of Freedom you may feel you understand its protagonists better than you know anyone in the world around you' Nicholas Hytner Evening Standard, Books of the Year 'The novel of the year. Its portrait of a marriage, luminously and wittily drawn against a backdrop of modern America, is as good as literature gets' Sarah Sands, New Statesman, Books of the Year