the Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (2001)
 Meet the Lamberts; the parents, Enid and Alfred, and their grown children Denise, Chip and Gary. Alfred has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and he’s getting worse. Enid wants all the kids and Gary’s family back home to St. Jude for one last Christmas, but this turns out to be hard to achieve.

Chip is dumped by his girlfriend, Julia, on the day his parents come visit and he leaves them to run after her. Instead he runs into her husband, who offers him a job in Lithuania. Gary is being overrun by his wife in daily battles and their kids usually side with Caroline. And there’s no way Caroline’s going to celebrate Christmas in St. Jude. And then there’s Denise, the little sister, who is a recognised chef and beautiful. But she has a tendency to fall for her bosses and/or their beautiful wives.

Are any of the Lamberts likeable? I found them more dislikeable by every book, and I guess that is one of the reasons why I liked the book so much. And there is so much dark humour in here. My absolute favourite part was when Enid and Alfred were on their cruise and they were seated with a Norwegian and a Swedish couple. That conversation was so spot on, especially with the whole Norwegian-Swedish rivalry. Hilarious!

I can’t believe I waited so long after reading Freedom, before I read this one. I seem to keep the good authors on my shelves for years and I get anxious if I have read all the works by them. Thus, I need to buy more Franzen books!


Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (2010)

The Berglunds met at university in Minnesota. Patty was a very talented basketball player who moved to Minnesota to get away from her family on the east coast. Walter is very concerned about mother nature, but he also goes home every weekend to help his mother run a motel while watching his father drink himself to death. He lives with a very attractive musician, Richard Katz, and Patty has always loved him, but she chooses Walter because he is so sweet (and Richard is such an asshole).

This has been one of the most anticipated books of the year and it doesn‘t disappoint. It is a very slow-moving train, but you know it’s going to crash, you just don’t know the effects of the crash yet.

My favourite part? The three pages about my favourite band, Bright Eyes. The book is using every major and minor event in America in the past ten years. I would recommend reading this now as I think it will be a very difficult and different book to read in twenty years.

But what is really to be learnt from this book is this; keep your cats indoors.