The Corrections Readalong: Part 1

woot woot

READALONG POST!

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.

id like to kick your ass

Both of em.

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.

bitchy gif

Am I being TOO bitchy? I think not…

 

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.

HE WAS 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.

*high fives* for not hating it yet!

*high fives* for not hating it yet!

So what are ya’ll thinking? Liking it, hating it, want to punch Chip in the face and push him down some stairs?

~Sarah

12 comments

  1. HAHAHAHA Franzen/Chip is like Brian Griffin. Yes, this. I like this a lot. Even though I do like Brian and Chip suuuuucks.

    Overall I haven’t found the writing too pretentious. I mean, it is pretentious (see your example of his fancy-pants word for grass) but not making me eye-roll at the pretentiousness. But then again, I was focusing a lot of my eye-rolls at Chip.

    1. I think I have been doing lots of eye-rolls at Chip AND the writing, buuuut… it’s not so pretentious that I can’t understand it, or that I want to throw the book down in frustration. So that’s good.

  2. Having read just a little bit of Franzen (Freedom, a while ago), I found myself yelling ____________ is SUCH A DOUCHE a lot.

    1. HA. Yeah I have to admit that I don’t think I’ll end up really LIKING this book, so I might donate the copy of Freedom I have on my shelf to the library or something. OR maybe I’ll save it in case someone decides to host a Freedom readalong… hmmmm….

  3. Franzen/Chip as Brian is PERFECT. I’m going to spend the rest of the book imagining Chip as Brian in leather pants prancing about sniffing couches and being a douche about dessert.

    And that cat gif is the most adorable. I wish I could Sweet Dee to high five with me like that.

    1. HAHAHAHA I can absolutely see Brian in leather pants sniffing couches. Easier than I could picture Chip doing it anyways. Gross.

      Gabby never high fives me either. I might start trying to train her to do it for treats.

  4. CHIP IS TOTALLY A LESS FUNNY VERSION OF BRIAN. YES. (It’s crazy how few Brian GIFs there are out there, hey? I wanted to find something with him talking about his “novel” or something, but diddly.)

    I’m impressed with how we’re all on the same page about this book so far: Chip is a douche, you can see Franzen trying to hard at times, and the book’s more enjoyable than expected. ONWARD.

    1. I’m so happy that we’re all on the same page so far! Because normally I’m the only kind of grouchy one ;-)

      I saw the twitter happenings today – what the hell is going on in the second section??? I need to read it tomorrow.

  5. I am totally on board with Chip falling down some stairs. But really I was hoping he’d fall out of the airplane on the way to Lithuania and we’d never have to see him or his leather pants again.

    I agree that I don’t hate Enid (though I am very frustrated with her ideas about gender and weddings), but I think that’s because Franzen is doing a really good job of showing how crushingly sad and pathetic her life is. I mean, she leaves a huge decision about finances up to her husband who is deteriorating from Parkinsons, and then tries to subvert his wacky decision but feels so incredibly guilty about it that she has to hide the evidence at the back of a cabinet. I mean, that is some awful internalized shit.

    But then she says something racist/anti-Semitic and I think, “Hm, I could totally hate this woman after all.” DAMNIT FRANZEN.

    See you on Friday — this week I’ll have internet access and will be able to post. :)

    **I just tried to post this comment about four times and it wouldn’t work, so my apologies if you get this same comment multiple times…

    1. I cannot STAND Chip. I wouldn’t be upset if his plane crashed… or if his new “employer” just beat the crap out of him.

      I think that Enid and her husband (what’s his name… I don’t have the book nearby) are probably never going to be characters that I love because they’re too racist/classist/other -ists that old white people tend to be. I mean I loved my grandma in spite of her being kind of a racist, but she’s pretty much the only one who got a free pass.

      And I only saw one other comment, and I deleted it, so no biggie :) I don’t know why WP has commenting issues sometimes…

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