Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen: Book Review
I won't spoil anything of course, but I will say that at turns I found it a sad commentary on modern life. I also found in it, people by whom I had been raised; sad, self-mutilating individuals whose unhappiness is only surmounted by their own self-interests & injurious childhoods.
The entire book is a search for the sense of freedom that is seldom ever found. Except in understanding - of self, one another & the world in general. However, it is also beautifully written in unexpected turns of phrase; sweeping descriptions that bring fully formed individuals to the forefront of a disenchanted, disenfranchised world; & a sense that everything is just alright with me - to borrow a lyric. A world, fraught with the struggle for self-actualization & success that is supplanted with a sense of self-doubt & surrender to the choices of the heart & hearth.
I enjoyed the book for its beautiful writing & attention to detail. I am haunted by the fact that these individuals actually live somewhere in their own versions of Dante's Inferno. And, I am heartened by the fact that somewhere out there, love lives in the beating breast of everyone.
This is not a book for the faint of heart at almost 600 pages, but is well worth the read.