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Is Jonathan Franzen's Freedom the novel of the century?

24th August 2010

Freedom, the new work by American author Jonathan Franzen, has been hailed as the saviour of the modern novel by one critic.

Writing in the Guardian, Jonathan Jones highlighted recent comments from literary critic Lee Siegel, who said in an article for the New York Observer that the American novel is effectively dead as an artform.

However, Jones argued: 'There is no excuse for pessimism about the future of serious fiction when a writer such as Franzen is coming into his prime.'

The critic said Freedom, which is due to be published in the UK on September 23rd, displays the 'same seductive narrative impulse' that made Franzen's The Corrections a popular book with readers.

Jones added that the 'formidable and harrowing' novel can be considered 'self-evidently a modern classic' and claimed that it is comparable to Saul Bellow's masterpiece Herzog.

Other reviews of Freedom have been just as glowing. The New York Times labelled the novel a 'masterpiece of American fiction' for its engrossing plot and moral intelligence, while Publishers Weekly claimed it is a more than adequate follow-up to the much-lauded The Corrections.
 

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