Can I just tell you guys how awesome it is to have a Friday readalong post again? Pretty awesome. Thanks, Alley!!!
So we’re in this now! And my main thought is CHIP IS SUCH A DOUCHE. And I believe it was Kayleigh on Twitter who said that Chip seemed like Franzen, and I agree. Which means that my hatred for Chip is kind of spreading to Franzen just a little bit.
Alright, let me back up a minute. I’m seriously trying to keep an open mind here, because obviously all the douche-y things I’ve heard about Franzen are lurking about in my brain (and I read the links that Alley posted last week to his dramas and EYE-ROLL). But it’s pretty damn hard to not see him as a pretentious ass when I have to look up a word in the very first freaking paragraph and it basically means grass. (Zoysia was the word.) I mean I’m all for learning new words and expanding my vocab, but this happened a couple more times and I felt like he was just trying to impress me with his genius big words. Just say fucking grass. Zoysia might be a TYPE of grass, but as far as I can tell not that many people know the damn difference, so just chill.
I was telling the honeyman about this book and about the Franzen controversies and how Chip seems like the fictional embodiment of Franzen and how really superior and annoying he is, and he said that he sounds like Brian Griffin. And he’s SO RIGHT.
Except that I don’t hate Brian, and I kind of loathe Chip. So basically (because I haven’t really summed anything up, but you guys all read it, right?) papa Lambert is old and sick, and his wife is kind of sick of taking care of him, and she just wants all her kids to come home for one last nice Christmas. I don’t really see how that solves anything, but whatever. And then the story goes to Chip, her middle child and one of the most irritating, whiny, smarmy characters I’ve read in a LONG time. We learn about how he’s generally fucked up his life and what an asshole he is, and then it kind of comes back around to his parents again. Enid… well, she’s kind of annoying, but she’s annoying in a realistic, old-woman way. She reminds me of just a lot of random older women I’ve met. So I don’t hate her, and might even warm up to her by the end.
All this sounds pretty angry, but it’s really just my total amazement at how much Chip sucks as a human being (well, a fictional one). And the writing DOES come off too pretentious and “Look at me, I’m so literary and smart”, but it’s not SO bad that I can’t finish it. I have been able to sink into the story and get wrapped up in Chip’s crappy life story here and there, so the writing it’s all that bad. BUT I reserve my judgement for now.
So what are ya’ll thinking? Liking it, hating it, want to punch Chip in the face and push him down some stairs?