Crossroads: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
October 2021
24 hours 56 minutes
'Narrator David Pittu superbly transports the listener into the lives of the Hildebrandts, a family with many secrets.' - AudioFile Magazine

This program includes a bonus conversation between the author, Jonathan Franzen, and the narrator, David Pittu.

Jonathan Franzen’s gift for wedding depth and vividness of character with breadth of social vision has never been more dazzlingly evident than in Crossroads.

It’s December 23, 1971, and heavy weather is forecast for Chicago. Russ Hildebrandt, the associate pastor of a liberal suburban church, is on the brink of breaking free of a marriage he finds joyless—unless his wife, Marion, who has her own secret life, beats him to it. Their eldest child, Clem, is coming home from college on fire with moral absolutism, having taken an action that will shatter his father. Clem’s sister, Becky, long the social queen of her high-school class, has sharply veered into the counterculture, while their brilliant younger brother Perry, who’s been selling drugs to seventh graders, has resolved to be a better person. Each of the Hildebrandts seeks a freedom that each of the others threatens to complicate.

Jonathan Franzen’s novels are celebrated for their unforgettably vivid characters and for their keen-eyed take on contemporary America. Now, in Crossroads, Franzen ventures back into the past and explores the history of two generations. With characteristic humor and complexity, and with even greater warmth, he conjures a world that resonates powerfully with our own.

A tour de force of interwoven perspectives and sustained suspense, its action largely unfolding on a single winter day, Crossroads is the story of a Midwestern family at a pivotal moment of moral crisis. Jonathan Franzen’s gift for melding the small picture and the big picture has never been more dazzlingly evident.

A Macmillan Audio production from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
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Nora M.

Excellent. Love is a beautiful thing. Unfortunately in families it cannot speak to injustice. It cannot prevent injustice nor can it solve injustice among siblings. I love this novel so much as we learn through each character the limitations of love. Every culture pretends parenthood requires love alone. This is ridiculously insufficient in the face of injustices that confront the siblings. Thank you, Jonathan for telling the truth about families.

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Diana H.

While this was a beautifully written book filled with colorful and unexpected turns, it was not an enjoyable read. I don’t want to give anything away, but was frustrated and ready to give up several times. As a reader you are one step ahead of the characters, but cannot change their fate. Only on reflection can I see the unfolding of these less than perfect lives always on edge. Some truly memorable scenes — outrageous, absurd, but fathomable within context. With all the pain of listening, I loved it only in its completion….if that makes sense. You’ve been warned!

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