Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Review: The Corrections

The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen
2.17.11 - 3.15.11

This book is taking longer than I anticipated. It's also growing abundantly clear that Freedom is better.

I feel like a month is much too long to spend on a book, but I have to factor in a couple of details. First, I didn't read it for the majority of the month, but rather I finished it in only three or four sittings. Secondly, I didn't read it consistently because I just didn't enjoy it. The whole book--the plot, the characters, and their interactions, were just so depressing.

It felt like the thing that was good in Freedom--that the characters were incredibly, convincingly real, was the downside in The Corrections. I don't want that to be real. There were no moments where he fixed messy ends, and while I understand that isn't how it works in real life, I'd like to argue that it's the entire book in books. I felt like The Corrections existed solely to remind you how unfailingly, unchangeably depressingly life is. Which was clearly not what I was in the book for!

This is the second time I've read the book, though, and I didn't like it the second time any more than I remember liking it the first time. i think he just didn't have his focus as clearly in his first novel, and it felt like a more unpolished version of his writing. His book Freedom was a better-donne version of The Corrections.

That being said, I'm pretty sure that I would gain a lot if I discussed this book with other people. It's the kind of book that I have really strong blinkers on regarding, and other perspectives would be nice.

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