One Sentence Per Day. The Recommended Amount at the Prescribed Rate.
A One Sentence Review of a 562 Page Book
John Franzen swings for the fences with his new novel Freedom, and in a sense his Tom Wolfe-esque survey of America-- through the eyes of a disaffected athlete/housewife, an angry environmentalist, and a holier-than-thou indie rock star-- is spot on; he lampoons, ridicules, and skewers pretty much everything about modern language, relationships, liberalism, conservatism, sex, and-- of course-- freedom . . . it's a very, very long version of the REM song "It's the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)" but the book needs an editor, it eventually folds back unto itself and becomes repetitive and Franzen pushes a narrative trick too far, but even though I skimmed the last hundred pages, there is a wonderful set piece at the end about song-birds and feral cats and I will give the novel eight cerulean warblers our of a possible ten, for its realism, its scope, and its archetypal characters that invite you to compare your own modern philosophy to theirs . . . but I should warn you, although there's a bit of a pay-off at the end, most of the book is mired in an existential irony that will make you question the significance of your life, and perhaps the significance of any human life on this wonderful green planet we inhabit.