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7.19.2011

Musings on Jonathan Franzen's Bulky But Very Absorbing Book 'The Corrections'

The CorrectionsThe Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I felt somewhat dizzy reading many parts of this book, which included a lot of very specific details on medicines, technical researches, engineering projects, finance, the sciences, and cuisines. At times, I thought I was reading the book of Numbers in the Bible; I was thinking 'what the f_ck!' with all these highly detailed descriptions that switched in between the minute-details of the lives of the many characters involved in this novel. But I continued reading this thick book up to the end and have no words but complete admiration for Mr Franzen's work on this epic of a novel. I've not read that many pages on novels, excepting Fyodor Dostoevky's fiction works. This is also to say: the book's meant to be read by voracious book-readers and a must-read for all fiction writers whatever their personal preferences are.

I'm totally surprised at how knowledgeable, it seems to me, Mr. Franzen has been about the details of lesbianism and bisexualism (of the female type), which lifestyles have been graphically described in this novel. Well, I have to add and emphasize that his descriptions are very tasteful - I got curious myself and has been somewhat illuminated with those lifestyles myself (considering the kind of alternative lifestyle I lead myself LOL). And yes, there were a number of highly interesting narratives of sexual acts between straight people, too.

I recall one of my patients whom I've participated on a part-time basis in providing caregiving when he was still around (and until his death). Yes, I can verify from my own experiences how Mr. Franzen went about researching extensively to present a very credible picture in one's mind out of the sick and dying Lambert paternal head (who could be symbolizing someone in American culture, of which I'm not so sure having been born and raised back in the Philippines). My deceased patient had similar health problems - I was even waiting for Mr Franzen to describe what happens when a patient has to be lifted and positioned and he gets into a dead weight stance because of his disease and the one lifting him would have to muster all his strength to do his assigned task. If those details were added here, the Lambert maternal head would have certainly died instantly. But that didn't happen. She was really an interesting character herself such that her life was given another opportunity to become more meaningful. And as such, I can imagine that there can be a continuing volume about her life and those of her grown-up children that Mr Franzen may write about in time.



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2 comments:

rohit said...

An enjoyable read The Corrections: A Novel by Jonathan Franzen . loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.

Jerome Espinosa Baladad said...

thank you very much, Rohit! appreciate it!

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