Franzen, Jonathan

Book - 2010
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The idyllic lives of civic-minded environmentalists Patty and Walter Berglund come into question when their son moves in with aggressive Republican neighbors, green lawyer Walter takes a job in the coal industry, and go-getter Patty becomes increasingly unstable and enraged.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0374158460
Branch Call Number: FIC FRANZEN 2010
Characteristics: 562 p. ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jan 04, 2015

Fascinating. Characters come alive and are exposed completely, making them very real, very real... My favorite character had the same environmental principles as I do, but acted on them. Fascinating.

Dec 22, 2014
  • Chapel_Hill_KenMc rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Complex story of marriage, infidelity, and maturity. Freedom as a concept is explored in various ironic guises, never escaping from the imperative of responsible behavior. Any freedom that most of these characters experience is always haunted by the weight of hypocrisy and self-delusion.

Sep 05, 2014
  • natasha_pima rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great book!

Jul 09, 2014

This book is long, but amazing! I couldn't get enough

Jul 05, 2014
  • becker rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is a very interesting and enjoyable read. This book is very character driven with heavy dialogue which carries you through page after page of the story. A lot happens in this book and it moves smoothly and steadily along in a linear plot line that manages to keep you engaged from begining to end

Jun 04, 2013
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This novel from 2010 is a micro-sociology of millennial life. The elaborate narrative opens with a young gentrifying couple as they start a family and virtuously move upward through American social strata. The main characters multiply and become complicated humans complete with the flaws which snare them into one of three love triangles. This book strings together the seemingly divergent themes of desire, nature, marriage, greed, truth, status, love and freedom into an exploration of life in our new century.

Mar 06, 2013
  • natasha37 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Great book!

Jan 23, 2013
  • Lucchesa rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Franzen is one of our greatest writers of train wrecks. I kept reading, compulsively, in horrified fascination, waiting for the train to go off the tracks. (Subject heading: Dysfunctional Families - Fiction.) His characters may not be likable, but they're rarely all bad. They're complicated and human, they're believable, and they grow. It may take decades, but they find out what they value and what they're good at and how to live a little better. Not as bitingly funny as The Corrections, but kinder and just as well written.

Dec 17, 2012
  • Michael Colford rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Franzen is certainly an outstanding writer. Got a galley for this book, and since he was scheduled to speak at the library, I thought I'd better read it. Not really enthusiastic about reading a 700 page novel after all the hype, but was immediately drawn in on the first page. It's a testimony to Franzen that he can write such a compelling novel about such unlikeable characters.

Dec 17, 2012
  • drpippa rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A fast read, very enjoyable even though some of the characters are truly not likable. Read very much like The Corrections, although I enjoyed this book more.

View All Comments


Add a Notice

Feb 03, 2011
  • Crheneghan rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Feb 03, 2011
  • Crheneghan rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Violence: This title contains Violence.

Feb 03, 2011
  • Crheneghan rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.


Add Age Suitability

Jun 20, 2011
  • marishkajuko rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

marishkajuko thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Feb 03, 2011
  • Crheneghan rated this: 5 stars out of 5.


Add a Summary

Nov 20, 2010
  • FrozenMango rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Patty and Walter's children grow up in a family that is troubled by the love triangle of Patty, Walter and Richard.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Find it at SPL


Explore Further

Browse the Shelf
Get NoveList Reading Recommendations

Subject Headings