GOOD's First Ever Book Club: Jonathan Franzen's Freedom (Plus a Contest) GOOD's First Ever Book Club: Jonathan Franzen's Freedom (Plus a Contest)
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GOOD's First Ever Book Club: Jonathan Franzen's Freedom (Plus a Contest)

by Patrick James

September 16, 2010

Love him or loathe him, Franzen, in all his Oprah-snubbing, avant-garde-distancing, Time-cover-gracing, feminist-but-maybe-also-kinda-misogynist glory, has crafted what looks to be another towering, devastating laceration of contemporary American culture. A few weeks after publishing the follow-up to his National Book Award-winning 2001 novel, The Corrections, Franzen finds himself atop a veritable throne. Deservedly? Maybe not! Over-hyped? Perhaps! Do you have an opinion on him? We hope so!

Over the next month, we'll be reading Freedom, and as an experiment in large-scale shared experience, we invite you to grab a copy from your local book store, library, or e-reader proprietor, and read along with us. Two weeks from today, GOOD Features Editor Siobhan O'Connor and I will post an online discussion covering everything up to page 290 (the novel's midpoint and the end of a chapter), and we invite you to sound off with comments, questions, or angry take-downs of our analysis.

One month from today, we'll post a finale, in which we discuss the entire book. At that point, we're holding a contest to see who among you can write the best 200-word review of the novel. We're looking for insight, thoughtfulness, and entertaining prose—not a specific response one way or the other. The best three reviews (as determined by the editors of GOOD) will be published on the website, and the over-all winner will receive a free subscription and a GOOD T-shirt. If it's a success, the book club will become a standard monthly feature in the world of GOOD.

Until then, happy reading.

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GOOD's First Ever Book Club: Jonathan Franzen's Freedom (Plus a Contest)