The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

The CorrectionsThe Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Originally published June 28th, 2014
This book is pretty phenomenal. Franzen’s writing is thick and lush, replete with metaphor, imagery and adjectives. I had to remind myself his characters weren’t real. Just imagining the work that went in to creating each of them makes me want to sit down and rest for a few minutes. Franzen’s plan to flesh out each character individually, give them history and personality while leading up to the long anticipated Christmas, is masterful. What he’s done is write five separate novels about five people, stick them together, and then write the novel that fills in all the missing bits. It really works. Franzen didn’t bother developing different voices, it’s all third person limited omniscient, but as the book progresses we can see how each character’s history and memory influences their actions, which in turn influences the actions of their family members. For anyone who likes all their loose ends tied up neatly this is very satisfying. As well, Franzen manages to make each character sympathetic. A challenging task when you read the hateful and selfish things they inflict on each other, but I found myself empathizing with whoever the focus of the chapter was and despising the others for their heartless behavior. Until the next chapter, when Franzen wrote from another’s viewpoint and jerked my empathy along with him. I hated and loved everyone in turn. And I loved this book.

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