This post should really be called 'The Problem with The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen" - I haven't finished it and have at present left it dangling in mid air in what is pretty early days of the novel.
It first caught my attention when I read that Oprah Winfrey had tried to select it for her Book Club and had been flatly refused by Franzen, saying he didn't want it to be included among books which he saw as "schmaltzy" and overly sentimental. At some point, he had a change of heart, no doubt realising that an Oprah recommendation creates a massive bump in sales, and has more recently allowed his new work Freedom to be part of Oprah's Book Club. For some reason I got it into my head that The Corrections must be one of the great American novels, and decided I must read it at some point. That point came and although the novel is meant to be about a woman trying to get her three children home for Christmas, I have thus far only read about Chip, one of the sons, a university lecturer who has lost his job following an ill advised relationship with a student and is trying to get a novel published.
The writing is terrible, truly truly terrible, and my tipping point with it came during a sex scene in which a woman was first described as having B.O stuck to the synthetic fabric of her clothes and then her vagina described as a warm affectionate rabbit springing forth. Dire.
So, I gave up the Franzen, but it still sits there on my Kindle like a rebuke. Haha, you haven't finished me, I beat you!! But part of the challenge that I've now given myself, partly because of the Franzen and partly because I'm just anal that way, is that I have to finish all the book for it to count. So, one day when I feel like I can brave it, I shall return to The Corrections and tough it out. If anyone is reading this, and has read the book and can give me hope that it improves please do. Eventually I will update this post with a full review :-)