Friday, 1 November 2013

The Post Where IT'S THE LAST ONE


Well, that took a turn.

Welcome to the final post in the wonderful Alley's The Corrections readalong, or, as we've been affectionately calling it on Twitter, the #monthofFranzy. Spoilers ahead. 

Maybe it's the great company (very possible), maybe it's the gripping prose (it's not), or maybe it's coming off a 6 month marareadalongathon (what would Hermione think of The Corrections?), but this went by crazy quickly.

So what happened in this last section? Denise started becoming more comfortable with herself and then was slammed with the knowledge that her father's known all her life she hasn't been perfect. 



Gary, well Gary keeps being Gary (stay the insufferable course, O insufferable one). 


I hesitate to use this GIF, but Gary is every bit as self-satisfied as
Cary Grant here, but without the redeeming quality of being adorable.

Chip finds redemption in caring for his father and knocking up his father's doctor. 



And Enid finds her INNER SOCIOPATH WHAT THE HELL WERE THOSE LAST FEW PAGES?! Alfred's sinking further into depression and dementia, attempting to kill himself multiple times AND EVENTUALLY SUCCEEDING BY THE WAY, and Enid visits him everyday for the sole purpose of tormenting him. I get that he was horrible. I get that the family really couldn't have cared for him at home. But gahhhd. 



That was unpleasant. Is it just me? Was that not the most upsetting part of the book for you guys? Once again I'd really like to know what Franzen's actual motivation was there. How does he want his reader to react? Is he going for a "Yeah, take that, Alfred. You deserve every bit of this," or a "Everyone in the world is horrible and I'm moving to Mars"? I just don't know. Doesn't matter now, because it's over. It's over and suck it, Franzen.

Final thoughts: Even though the ending bummed me RIGHT OUT, I did enjoy reading the book, overall. Will I read another Franzen? I don't know. It might take another readalong.

9 comments:

  1. Enid was a crazy, crazy bitch in those last few pages. I get that it's hard caring for someone who can't take care of themselves, and that their marriage was kind of terrible, but she was really mean and sadistic in the end.

    This is why I kind of don't get literary fiction. There was nothing eye-opening about the human experience, I didn't learn anything about humanity. It was just a bunch of terrible, whiny characters who overall didn't really seem to grow at all until he suddenly decided to make them all change in the last few pages. What a load of crap.

    But like you said, "It's over and suck it, Franzen." Exactly.

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    1. Yes! There was no real point to the book. The readers don't learn anything, and the characters certainly don't, either. Even still, I have conflicted feelings. I had no trouble picking up the book to read it, and yet I was happy to close it for the last time.

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  2. That Cary Grant gif works well for Gary. As long as you remember that Grant = amazing and Gary = turd face

    Although you know, I didn't mind Enid nagging Al at the end. Yes that was not cool and it was petty to torment him about spilling stuff on his pants. But I didn't think she veered into the awfulness that is Chip (pre-taking care of Al, though I'd still keep my eye on him...) and Gary. Stupid, stupid Gary. But I felt like what she was doing was minor and given the frustrations she put up with for a lifetime, her taunting didn't bother me so much.

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    1. I think Enid got majorly dark in the last bit there. By that point, Alfred had the mental capacity of a toddler. He didn't understand why things were happening. All he knew was that his surroundings were frightening, and Enid showed zero empathy or understanding of any kind. It just put me in mind of doctors or nurses who abuse their invalid patients. Pukey McYuck I didn't like it.

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  3. "Everyone in the world is horrible and I'm moving to Mars" -- it better be this one because if Franzen was trying to write a touching tale of family redemption, he failed miserably. These people are so terrible.

    Excellent gif usage, btw. The Cary Grant one is wonderful in so many ways.

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    1. It better be. If it isn't, I'm concerned for the people in his life. Step away from the Franzen.

      And thank you! I love me some Cary Grant.

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  4. That Aaron Paul gif is perfection.

    That last scene. Man, it bummed me out. I think it's sad that the only way Enid can get better as a person is to bully her sick husband. And I get that he was awful and terrible, but it just made her as bad in comparison. I'm definitely not an eye for an eye kind of person, so ick.

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    1. Yes, yes, and yes. She was always kind of doofy, but she became cruel. I guess that's the only kind of growth we could have hoped for from these characters. Bleaaaaaaaaach.

      Oh, Aaron Paul. We miss you.

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  5. I found it totally upsetting that Enid was so awful. I had been sooort of feeling sorry for her in terms of, like, having an abusive husband for most of her life and stuff, but maaaaan, being abusive back isn't going to help anyone! I mean, damn.

    Also you are sooooo right about it going so quickly. I blame/thank Harry Potter for this entirely. Also you guys are awesome, so there's that.

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