When I decided to start this blog, I was currently in the middle of reading “The Corrections” by Jonathan Franzen. While it is not technically within my 100 Books to Read in a Year, I thought that it should be included since I did just finish the book today.
“The Corrections” was a very good but depressing read about a family trying to live their individual lives and maintain a semblance of a relationship as a family. Alfred is an abrasive, aging father who is diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is unhappy in his retirement time. Enid is Alfred’s wife, and is miserable and unfulfilled living with Alfred, in denial about his disease progression, and extremely critical of her three children, Gary, Denise, and Chip. Gary, the oldest of the three children, is in a constant battle with his wife about mental health issues. Denise, the youngest and only daughter, is in denial about her personal life as well as struggling with her position as a successful chef. Chip is a struggling screenplay writer who was fired from his job as an assistant professor at a college because of some questionable activity he was involved in.
Jonathan Franzen is an excellent writer, and while I did enjoy this depressing read, I felt like the book was a little long (565 pages). However, I wasn’t as disturbed by the length in “The Corrections” as I was when reading another book by Franzen, “Freedom.” I thought “Freedom” could have been shortened and still been a good book, while with “The Corrections” I think the length suited the book.
All in all, I’d recommend (as would Oprah, as the book is on her book club list) this book to people who like to read and can stand a long, slightly depressing novel.