Perhaps Jonathan Franzen has heard the same thing that I have about The Corrections, the National Book Award-winning novel he published 9 years ago. As with The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, another truly great modern novel, several people I've talked to said they "just couldn't get into it." In both cases, the first 100+ pages were admittedly a bit of a slog, one that was well worth it.
In contrast, the first 100 pages of Freedom are enthralling. I'm having a really hard time putting this book down to go to bed. So far it is completely living up to the hype.