James Lever writes:
Tonally more even, but also more subdued than The Corrections, Freedom is Franzen’s smoothest novel. It is patient, decorous, sure of itself and, in that its author sounds like himself throughout, definingly Franzenesque. Its first 24 pages are technically brilliant. Franzen zooms with gorgeous suppleness between an authorial voice, general gossip and the perspective of a particularly malicious couple called the Paulsens to give us an Updikean neighbourhood view of our protagonists, Walter and Patty Berglund and their children, Joey and Jessica.