Elaine's Reviews > The Corrections

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
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's review
Mar 21, 2007

liked it

I'm always interested to hear peoples' reactions to this book, because I think in some ways it betrays how they feel about certain literary trends of the day. One such trend that Franzen uses unabashedly is what's been termed elsewhere as hyper-realism, a chronicle of some expansive subject, such as post-Communist markets in Eastern Europe. Still, I think Franzen does a nice job writing about Alfred's dementia and the older son's depression. As for the criticism that the younger son, Chip is an intolerable person, I somewhat agree, as I found him the most difficult to read about. While some might argue that a book's worth does not relate to its characters' moral failures--and I would agree--whether the author is using the character for his own self-indulgence is perfectly fair to criticize. Corrections is definitely a compelling read, one that will provoke facial contortions of all sorts in response to a few of the graphic scenes, but whether it is of literary value or not is a question that still riddles me.
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