Friday, May 06, 2011

FREEDOM's Just Another Word for Me Missing My Train Stop

This blogger thinks Jonathan Franzen's FREEDOM lives up to the hype, and earned its sprawling proportions. (Love a spread-out book about, among other things, the harmful nature of spreading out.) Family conflict runs deep, and it takes a lot of pages. Just ask those Russian novelists the character Patty keeps reading. Meticulous plotting, with many, many ends he manages to tie up. Characters you love but might not want to live with--the best kind!

If you enjoyed it as much as me, you might get a kick out of this podcast from Slate's DoubleX Gabfest, in which they hash out all the major characters and themes (including spoilers, so read it first for sure). Is it a masterpiece? Do we care? What will we do until the next Franzen opus?

Also, if you're a fan, prepare to be a little freaked by this 1996 Charlie Rose roundtable in which Franzen has a mild debate with (RIP) David Foster Wallace. They are discussing the death of the novel. Turns out we humans are far more mortal than the stories we tell.

And on a lighter note, Franzen is among the advice-giving writers in this old Guardian article, "The Ten Rules for Writing Fiction." His #10, which reminds me of his characters: "You have to love before you can be relentless."

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Fully agree with your thoughts! I love freedom and my freedom maybe the most important part of me. "Me missing my train" - it not about me. I'm a kind of person who does what he want and never regrets it. Even, I used rated writing reviews when I was in college. And know, it really helped me to pass all my exams and I hadn't any problems with my essays.
Thanks a lot for the post. It is very inspiring!