Christopher Willard

Apr 18, 2021

11 min read

Not a Review of Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

On some website Jonathan Franzen says two of his favorite books are Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Desperate Characters by Paula Fox (1970). Franzen’s novel Freedom has a couple references to Gatsby and Franzen’s last chapter begins with the rumored death of a cat, recall that Fox’s book starts with a stray cat and a scratch and turns into a story about the unravelling of a marriage. So, in picking up Freedom, the nods are obvious and we have that going for us. And we get to say, comparing the length, “At least it’s not John Irving” with no small measure of relief.