Wednesday, December 22, 2010
A 19th Century and 21st Century 'classic' this month!
Jonathan Franzen's 'The Corrections' is a terrific read.
According to one reviewer, 'Franzen has crafted the sort of introspective, character-driven, literary work that Wolfe and other boosters of so-called social realism love to loathe. In this case, it's a domestic drama about the disintegrating Lambert family -- father Alfred, who's slowly melting into a Parkinson's haze; his long-suffering wife, Enid; their successful but miserable son Gary; their less successful, also miserable son Chip; and their sexually befuddled daughter, Denise -- whose emotional lives Franzen fastidiously dissects over the course of 500-plus pages.
It's a big, ambitious, unwieldy hybrid of a book -- a literary novel and a social document, an intimate family portrait and a sprawling cultural landscape, a floor wax and a dessert topping -- but Franzen somehow manages to glue it all together with surprising warmth and wit.'
'Originally designed as a story for boys, Stevenson's novel is narrated by the teenage Jim Hawkins, who outwits a gang of murderous pirates led by that unforgettable avatar of amorality, Long John Silver. But Treasure Island has also had great appeal for adult readers and was admired by Mark Twain, Rudyard Kipling, and (reluctantly) Henry James. The story has a dreamlike quality of a fairy tale and has worked its way into the collective imagination of more than five generations of readers, gaining the power of myth.'