The Corrections

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The Corrections

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Jul 26, 2011, 4:39pm

I tried. Then I tried again. And again. Finally, I gave the book away. I felt a failure, but Jonathan Franzen just couldn't get me to care about anyone in that family. They were the most unattractive group of people.

I really don't know why I am posting here, to tell the truth, except to let others know what a dud I thought that book was. Not a smile anywhere, nor a tear.

Editado: Jul 27, 2011, 7:14am

I hated it, too, so don't think you're alone. Part of the "mystique" I think is that a man wrote it. Women had been (and still are) writing intense and detailed novels about family and strife, but more often they are passed by as "chick lit", "romance" or "light fiction" or worse "women's fiction". When a man does the same thing, it's literature.

edited to add a missing word.

Jul 27, 2011, 2:37am

Oh, I hadn't thought of it that way. Thanks! I can't abide "chick lit," either. The closest I've ever come to enjoying that genre was years ago with some of Maeve Binchy, whose books were good to read while commuting on trains.

Wait? Isn't Jane Austen early chick lit?

Jul 27, 2011, 5:38am

Ditto what you both said! Just didn't get it at all. The difference between this and so many women's tackling of similar subjects is that the women very often manage to engage the reader emotionally with their characters whereas in The Corrections I truly could not have cared less if they'd all jumped off a cliff at the end of the third chapter (in fact . . .) My one regret is that this book has so completely put me off tackling anything else by this author and I wonder if I'm missing something. Maybe someone could tell us how his other books compare?

Jul 27, 2011, 7:18am

I think it depends on what you call chick lit. Yeah, Austen probably falls into the same way Zane Gray wrote guy lit, both are easy to box in if you aren't reading it, but I think both (probably in the case of Gray, since I haven't read him) are deeper than the label implies. I don't read much "women's fiction" (oh I really have to find a better term), but I do read Sue Miller. She writes with the same depth and craft as Franzen, but why isn't she on Oprah? After The Corrections, I have no interest to read anything else he wrote either.

Jul 27, 2011, 9:24am

I also felt this was a truly boring dud of a book. I read it for a face to face book club. One of the other folks who read it really enjoyed it, finding humor in the details of the strife and the characters antics. This person felt that it was a portrait of America in the 90s. I could see some of that, but mainly felt 'So what?'.

I think I hated this book and its characters less than I did for Anna Karenina, but felt that Anna Karenina at least had the room to really explore the richness of the characters, their psychology, politics, economic philisophy, family life, vices, etc. Somewhere along the way, I felt I knew which character was speaking based on what was said, without requiring the 'said Character X'. I never really got that way with The Corrections

Feb 20, 2012, 11:07pm

'Best Cristmas story - ever. The Lamberts are America's most endearing (dysfunctional) family.