Ashley Hoopes's Reviews > The Corrections
Ashley Hoopes's review
Dec 03, 2010
I used to think that I loved reading non-fiction because I preferred a true tale over fiction. However, when you read an author like Franzen in the book The Corrections, you realize that fiction may be the only real place you can tell the truth...because you are free to do so. In an autobiography or non-fiction, there is always an ulterior motive- a picture that the author is trying to paint. It is hard to tell the the truth when it is your own story, because you are afraid of revealing too much, or looking bad. Even if you do reveal some errors of character, you will be quick to comment on just how much character it takes to do just that. In The Corrections I was amazed at Franzen's ability to tell the tale from every character's point of view so vividly, and honestly, and painfully. With every character the reader is allowed to see fragments of one's self for better or worse. The only other author that I can compare Franzen to is Wallace Stegner. Franzen is raunchier in places, not quite the modest puritan that Stegner was. But it never gets too salacious. His story spans generations, like Stegner, although it is based in the current times, so the references are fresh and pertinent. The family that is portrayed in The Corrections is no more functional, or dysfunctional than any other American family. Yet at times it is easy to make the judgement that they are a sorry lot, before realizing that they are not all that different than those in our own homes. The patriarchal father is a dying breed who seems to ruin the life of his wife, although she does not protest. Her submissive yet overtly passive-agressive nature is another personality that wreaks havoc on those around her, whilst claiming to save and adore them. The children are incredibly self absorbed, complex, damaged, pitiful and lovable all at the same time. Their personalities, that have forged from the fire of the unholy union of their parents is the stuff that makes people seem perfectly normal on the outside, but tormented within. This truly is to see an American Family through the looking glass. To read their journey and see it through the perspective of each one, was a treat. There was no hero, no villain, just ordinary people stumbling about through life, in a beautifully told, minutely detailed account.
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December 3, 2010 – Started Reading
December 3, 2010 – Shelved
December 18, 2010 – Finished Reading