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So many people want to read this book set right here in Minnesota and about a family named the Berglunds. It spans several decades but concentrates on the 1970s to the current time. If you came of age here in that time you’ll have plenty to relate to when reading it. If you politics lean left rather than right you’ll get more chuckles. It’s a family story—warts and all—about good intentions and how various characters view our country’s notions about the freedom we seek, expect, cherish and sometimes squander in our pursuit of the American dream. It’s easy to see yourself and some of your own mistakes in judgment when reading this. I found all the sexual exploits a bit much at times, but kept thinking they must symbolize something bigger than mere personal gratification. Maybe not. Other than those parts, loved it. I am a 35-year member of The Nature Conservancy! Love his way of telling a story and his pace is perfect.
posted Oct 13, 2010 at 3:29PM
Ted's Review said:
This book is long (562 pages), so it’s a good one to get now since there isn’t a waiting list and you can extend your time to read this book. I enjoyed this book because the characterizations were amazing. You really get to know the people in the book, as Fanzen moves from one character to another. You’ll enjoy the Minnesota connections as an added bonus. EmilyEm recaps the highlights of the book, so I won’t repeat her comments. This book is well-written, entertaining, and gets you thinking along the way. This was a book that I was sorry to see end, even after over 500 pages. It rates a solid A.
posted Nov 15, 2011 at 5:19PM
John K. said:
Dense , literary novels aren’t usually “page turners” – but I couldn’t put this down! Franzen displays a mastery of the English language and amazing insight into the human psyche.
posted Aug 22, 2012 at 8:28PM
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Was the ideal helpful neighbor in her community; can't figure out why her teenage son has moved in with the Republican family next door; in love with her husband and with Richard.
Patty's husband; environmental lawyer.
Moved in with the family next door; gets in over his head with his high school sweetheart.
Former rock star; builds decks; in love with Patty.