The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (the non-spoiler review)

The Corrections, Franzen

Alright ya’ll, so in October I took part in an awesome readalong for The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen. Not awesome because of the book, but awesome because of the people and if it hadn’t been for our hilarious discussions and GIFs galore, I wouldn’t have been able to finish this book. And now that the readalong is over, I’m reviewing it for the people who weren’t readalonging and who were avoiding those posts because of the spoilers.

You might already know a bit about this book – that it’s popular, that Oprah picked it for her book club in 2001 (which Franzen was upset about because he was worried it would only attract female readers), that it’s labeled “literary fiction”, etc. You also might have heard a bit about Franzen’s general asshole-ness, in that he basically hates everything (Twitter, the internet, Jennifer Weiner, all technology, shopping, and so on).

Alright, so what’s The Corrections about? The Lamberts. Enid Lambert is in her 70’s and taking care of a husband suffering from Parkinson’s disease, and all she wants is for all three of her kids to come home for one last family Christmas together. That’s it. Franzen churned out almost 600 pages based on that flimsy premise. The book takes a look at each of the characters, both in their pasts and their present, while veeeeeery slowly moving the plot along.

If you’re thinking that maybe even if there’s barely a plot, the characters might be awesome? NOPE. I cannot express how much I loathed every single one. They’re selfish, arrogant, pretentious, greedy, vain, whiny assholes.

Also, there’s talking poop in the book. TALKING POOP.

Sarah Says: 0 stars. I’d give it less than that if I could.

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13 comments

  1. Hahaha 😀 Hilarious review. I’ve never had the urge to read this book (or anything else loudly labelled with “literary fiction”) and knowing the whiny nature of the author, it doesn’t exactly make the situation any better.

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    1. Thank ya 🙂 And I know I went into the readalong with some opinions about Franzen just based on what I’ve heard about him, but I tried really, really hard to be open-minded about the book. By the halfway point I knew it wasn’t just me, it was just a terrible book.

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  2. Ha! I can always trust you to tell me the whole truth about these books that I wonder about but never get around to reading. You are one of the bloggers that helps me erase entries on my TBR list. For this, I love you.

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    1. LOL that post just cracked me up. Man, the things you have to do for kids…

      But yeah, that’s part of what drove me nuts about this book. It’s considered so serious and literary and smart, and there’s an actual Mr. Hanky-like scene in it. What in the hell.

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  3. I didn’t read the Corrections but wanted to because Oprah loved it soooo much. I did read Freedom though and that was so awful that once I read that there was no way I was going to read Frazen again. Not my style.

    Angie

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