The Corrections

17 06 2008

So last night I finally finished The Corrections┬áby Jonathan Franzen. I’m a little behind the curve in reading it (it was published in 2001), but it’s a big book. It sits there on the shelf and kind of dares you to make the effort to pick it up. Well I’m incredibly glad I finally did pick it up.

It’s the story of a disfunctional family, or maybe a normal family. Enid and Albert Lambert are fading (or at least Albert is) as they age and leave many of there trials and issues to their children Gary, Chip, and Denise. Of course, the children all have their own issues that make their lives a trainwreck too. When you combine dementia, unemployment, sexual identity, poor choices, and a jaunt in Lithuania you get a damn fine book.

The thing that The Corrections does that many books do not is fully capture the mess we make out of our lives without thinking it needs to go somewhere. The characters in this book work through their issues but really don’t fix everything so they can ride off into the sunset. They’re still flawed individuals that will go on making good and bad decisions until they die. The only real plot in the book is Enid’s desire to have her family together in St. Jude for one last Christmas. She can hold onto all of her illusions about life and her children until she gets that.

Honestly, this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I think it might crack my top ten…

Some additional reading regarding the Corrections:

Happy Mother’s Day

10 05 2008

Before I say anything about anything this week, Happy Mother’s Day to Shannon, your Junior Grumpy Future Comic Book Nerdloves you!

I’ve got to start this post with Comics. While my pile has been growing and growing and I’m WAY behind on comments, Marvel’s Secret Invasionhas been fantastic. The two issues they’ve released have been the kind of comics I have always loved to read; full of surprise and history and action. The tie-ins have been pretty awesome too. Here are a few reviews to check out:

I have not seen Iron Man yet (babies will do that) but here is some news about the thor movie.

The AV Club has noticed Ryan Adams and his blog.

The Philadelphia sports-loving Bizzaro Jerry has put up his weekly Lost post. It’s good stuff, which can be confirmed by Shannon’s out-loud laughter and praise while reading from her perch on the couch. His Bizzaro Jerry status (or mine depending on which universe you live in) can be confirmed somewhat with his Speed Racer post. I’m kind of happy to see this movie fail, the commercials make it look worse than I Love Trouble.

Electricty & Lust has released its links of most anticipated summer movies. Not sure why Hollywood has redone Short Circuit (this time without this week’s Howard Stern highlight – The Incredibly Hung Steve Guttenberg) but I can agree with the other links. There’s also some good stuff on Electricity & Lust’s Linkemonypost.

We finished HBO’s In Treatment and I have to say that, much like life, the last episode was full of sound and fury, yadda yadda yadda. It was a really interesting nine week experiment in television endurance and I wonder if HBO will try another season of it. Like life, the series showed how messed up people are without making it all tidy or giving us much of a resolution.

I’m reading Franzen’s The Corrections and so far it’s great stuff. I still have a mountain of New Yorkers and comic books to climb.