I’ve just finished reading The

I’ve just finished reading The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (instead of working on the changes to this site, which is what I should really have been doing this evening – but hey, I’ve had a relaxing evening, and I needed a little chilltime after getting chilled walking up to Sarah’s in the driving rain). It is an excellent novel, which I recommend highly – I can see why it was awarded the National Book Award. What I can’t understand is how the reviewer from The Independent quoted inside the cover could describe it as “wildly, strikingly funny” and her counterpart at The Observer state that it includes “laugh-out-loud comedy”. There is comedy in there aplenty, but it is as black as pitch. Overall, I found the book to be hugely touching (tear-inducingly so – and I know that isn’t hard for a big softy like me) and desperately desperately sad. Perhaps that is because I identified with the characters, seeing something of all three of the Lambert children in myself, and also seeing my parents in Enid and Alfred. Perhaps it is something to do with getting older, that you start to look at your own family and wonder “where are we going?”, “how did we get here?” and, more worryingly, “what does the future hold for us?” – I just hope that it isn’t the same place that the Lamberts ended up, although I can see us slipping that way quite easily.
And I haven’t even got children of my own. God knows what I’d be like if I did.
Anyway, go buy the book, read it, and maybe you’ll see what I mean.