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Crossroads cover art

Crossroads

By: Jonathan Franzen
Narrated by: David Pittu
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Summary

It’s 23 December 1971, and the Hildebrandts are at a crossroads. Fifteen-year-old Perry has resolved to be a better person and quit dealing drugs to seventh graders. His sister Becky, the once straight-laced high school social queen, has veered into counterculture, while at college, Clem is wrestling with a decision that might tear his family apart. As their parents–Russ, a suburban pastor, and Marion, his restless wife–tug against the bonds of a joyless marriage, Crossroads finds a family, and a nation, struggling to do the right thing.

THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A GUARDIAN BEST FICTION BOOK OF 2021 • AN INDEPENDENT BOOK OF THE YEAR • A WHITE REVIEW BOOK OF THE YEAR • A LIT HUB BOOK OF THE YEAR

©2021 Jonathan Franzen (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"A literary genius for our time." (Guardian)

"Arguably America’s greatest living novelist." (Daily Telegraph)

"Franzen is that rare bird: a literary novelist of the highest distinction who has also become one of the bestsellers of the age." (Evening Standard)

"His best novel yet.... A Middlemarch-like triumph." (Telegraph)

What listeners say about Crossroads

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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good narrator. story too long for my liking.

Good narrator. story goid but too long for my liking. struggle to finish it. religion not my fave theme

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4 people found this helpful

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Very disappointing

Unless you are a firm church going Christian this book is not for you. This book is about the Christian god leading believers to a happy fruitful life…the plot is a vehicle to preach to the converted. If you are not a bible carrier this book will be a very irritating read.

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2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly recommended

The characters are extraordinarily dissected, flawed and sympathetic (mostly). only criticism is the length, some parts too extended, painful but perhaps that's the author's intent.

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A novel to feed the brain of an 87yr old widow

I loved the richness of the language and skilful weaving together of every strand. Masterful.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Franzen does it again.

A tale of family. excited to know it's #1 in a trilogy. don't listen if you like fast paced eventful stories. Franzen is not for you. I however always really enjoy his work.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Absorbing family story

I did become very invested in the choices made by each member of this family, and the difficulties that result. Each of the characters has their own particular relationship with ‘God’ and their behaviours are skewed by that. There was a poignant lingering flavour to the story that reminded me of Anne Tyler’s novels: the way things don’t work out as people expect or hope, the way in which they can’t see their motivations clearly, make mistakes, and do their best to come to terms with their real lives. The ending is not a simple feel-good one, but it is satisfying, and not without hope

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1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

It’s a no from me to continue with books 2&3!

I had enjoyed The Corrections by JF … so I thought this extremely long book would be one to try … however one has to love or even like some of the characters in a long book!
I could find nothing ultimately to like about or be interested in any of these people… perhaps I simply couldn’t relate to any of these midwesterners, circa the 70’s, the main protagonists of the book.
Of course in 24hrs of listening to a calibre writer there are points that say something of substance.

The theme is also very religious & perhaps that didn’t gel with me.
The other was sadly the narration. It’s hard to portray so many characters, so it’s not an easy ask of a narrator. I simply loathed Perry’s camp sounding voice! He made a detestable & sad person even worse, perhaps that was the intention. Of course Perry is linchpin character in the story and a deeply troubled & mentally disturbed boy … ruined further by drugs.

This book wasn’t for me!

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great novel

Believe the hype - it’s beautifully plotted and paced.

Bring on the rest of the trilogy.

Wonderful stuff.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow!

This is absolutely brilliant. I can’t wait for more. Just genius writing. A towering achievement.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

no start, no middle, no end but solid story

Very clever story telling, lad paints amazing pictures and you are in no doubt of the characters, you feel you know them, they are real... the story just ambles and would probably feel slow and pointless to a lot of people or a younger version of myself but I will definitely go back and read his others... it will end up on a lot of lists this book, 100 greatest whatevers...

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1 person found this helpful