intense sensations

Worthy of some sort of award

Posted on: October 12, 2011

The CorrectionsThe Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It’s very difficult to form an opinion of this book because it is already weighed down with so many.

I have heard it called the Great American Novel. Americans are always looking for the Great American Novel and I think they are a little bit lenient sometimes when they find something that appears to want to carry that label.

This novel appears to aspire towards something literary because the plot is really dull. Also, the characters are dysfunctional and lack an inner life. These three factors makes the writer’s job really hard. Just to get a reader to finish this book should merit some sort of award.

I suppose if your view of America is a very cynical one then you could call this the Great American Novel.

I think of it more as the Mediocre American Novel. It’s more or less what I’ve come to expect from literate American male novelists turning a spotlight on their society and it wouldn’t have held my interest for more than 60 pages if Franzen’s reputation hadn’t been so huge.

I was surprised at how unstylish the prose was, how dreary the story was and how unenviable the characters were.

It was literate. I’ll give it that. But I’m looking for something more than literate. I’m looking for something with soul.

Vanessa Wu is the author of Love Has No Limits

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