Best of the Web
Are you ready for this? We hope you've set some time aside, because this is the mother lode. Oprah's Book Club website has like a dozen videos of Jonathan Franzen talking about Freedom. They're all great. Enjoy!
Franzen opens up about his writing process, what he intends for the book, and the critical response to the book.
A solid, comprehensive review of the novel.
The name of Walter's parents' motel is "Whispering Pines." Interestingly, this is also the name of a song by the band The Band (they spent a long time coming up with that one). Draw any connections you'd like.
A New Yorker podcast in which Franzen talks about the dwindling population of songbirds.
Articles and Interviews
You know a book review is positive when the first sentence calls the novel "a masterpiece of American fiction." This review's penned by Sam Tanenhaus.
Once again, some sentences Franzen probably likes to hear, including "a work of total genius," this time courtesy of New York magazine. Also some good perspective on the varying opinions on Franzen over the past decade.
Oh, yes – more opinions from the New York Times, this one by Michiko Kakutani. This review gives us even more of a peek into Franzen's writing history and reception.
And you thought all of these reviews would be sugary sweet? Thanks to this write-up in Forbes, you can learn more about why some women are upset with this "white male literary darling."
Lizzie Skurnick of The Daily Beast talks about why there's been some backlash on the book… and why that isn't Franzen's fault.
And another mention of the "Franzen Frenzy." Frenzy, indeed.
Thought you were done with New York Times reviews of Freedom? Think again. Here, David Brooks tells us why he considers this book so important.
The Economist weighs in on Freedom too.
This short-but-sweet review is by Benjamin Alsup for Esquire.
Finally, we hate to say it, but Franzen speaks more eloquently about his own work than we could ever hope to. Check out this wonderful interview with The Onion's A.V. Club.
Yes, that's Franzen on the cover of Time magazine.
The author's photo for the release of Freedom.
Franzen and Oprah, on the set of Oprah's show.
Want to now see the bird at its best angle?
Here's some info about the small blue bird that's so important to the book.
Franzen's page on the MacMillan website.