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» One Touch Football - Archive » Books » The Corrections (Page 3)

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Author Topic: The Corrections
Inca
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quote:
The first twenty pages are an exam Franzen has set for Oprah watchers
.

I hate to argue, but the book was already getting buzz (I was still working in a bookstore then, and I was given a copy by my manager who said that at the ABA (a big bookselling convention), advance copies were flying--1,000 given out each day, an undheard of number) long before Oprah tainted it. Franzen had no choice in the Oprah decision, and publishers love her nod of approval and slap the Oprah seal (literally) on the book cover.

I got to see Franzen give a reading in LA when it was known that Oprah had chosen the book, but before she announced it and he retorted, starting the controversy. He was signing books, and I made a joke and asked him if he was going to take his name off the books sold with the Oprah stickers. He laughed and seemed kind of nervous.

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What's the rumpus?
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I had this book and couldn't bring myself to read it.

I've just been given another copy by some good friends as a present and I still can't get past the first page.

I'm fearful if I do turn the page they'll be another round of overwritten melodrama.

Is the rest of the book really so different and worthwhile?

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Gas Filled Dolphin Carcass
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FFS!

Yes! It's one of the greatest American novels ever written.

There is something weird about the introduction and I came to the same conclusion as the poster above who saw it as an in joke. The rest of the book is so well written I find it hard to believe it wasn't done on purpose.

I love the way that Franzen flexes his muscles, it directly relates to the story and the stuff about exactly why you feel so remorseful when you have a hang over was fascinating. There is a point to this showing off of knowledge as opposed to, say, Will Self's tedious verboseness (verbosity, verbodaciousness?)

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What's the rumpus?
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Sorry to annoy you Carcass. I guess that's me told.

I did read the praise for the book on this thread but I was left wondering at the purpose of the opening.

If it was deliberately off-putting then you have to ask why. If it was an in-joke then its arranged so that some might never get to the explanation of the joke.

But you are right: Will Self is tedious and pointless.

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Dr. Hofzinser
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Just read it, wtr. Skip the intro, if you have to. It really is an astonishingly good book.

I'd love to read it again some time, actually.

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Pants
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Don't skip the intro!

Spend some time savouring it and you'll find that it opens out into the rest of the novel quite brilliantly.

Hof, you've made me want to read it again now.

I read the collection of essays, 'How To Be Alone': some were great, some were well-written but a bit tedious. I still haven't got around to 'Strong Motion'.

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Inca
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quote:
'How To Be Alone': some were great, some were well-written but a bit tedious.
Agreed. I really liked the one on the Postal Serivce (not the band).

Michio Kakutani ripped his new book in the NYT, and I have to say, it sounds awful--Franzen writing about how annoying he was, but still wondering why he wasn't loved by everyone.

Though if it has pieces like the one he had in the New Yorker a while back about pulling the prank at his high school, then it might be worth it.

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Gas Filled Dolphin Carcass
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Is there a link to this article? The New Yorker is starting to sound like my favourite ever magazine.
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Inca
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It was a while back--I might have it on the collected DVD-Rom set. If so, I can print it out and scan it as a PDF.

Just did a Google search, and the essay on his high school pranks is in his new book, The Discomfort Zone.

[ 18.10.2006, 20:43: Message edited by: Inca ]

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Inca
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Well, I would normally be able to print out that article and scan it, since it's in the set, but my computer is fucked and no longer recognizes my DVD drive. And it's unfortunately not on Lexis-Nexis, though some of his other recent New Yorker essays are. I can PM them to anyone interested. I like his one on Charles Schultz and the Peanuts strip, though his bird-watching one put me to sleep.
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Gas Filled Dolphin Carcass
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Ah well cheers anyway, I'll get a copy of The Discomfort Zone. How much does the New Yorker cost in London?
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What's the rumpus?
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It's around four pounds I think. A lot of stuff is available on the website.

The New Yorker can be wonderful. Even the Financial Page is worth reading.

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Pants
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The New Yorker is the best magazine ever. It's 66 quid a year for a subscription, Carcass. It's a bargain. There's a fucking brilliant profile of Christopher Hitchens in this week's copy. And a great Roddy Doyle short story. And a brilliant piece by Malcolm Gladwell about the idea of a machine that can predict whether a film will be a hit or not. And a feature on Rupert Murdoch's influence on the next American election (which looks great but I haven't read it yet). Plus, every week (well, most weeks), you get the best film reviewer in the world ever, Anthony Lane.

[ 19.10.2006, 14:14: Message edited by: Pants ]

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ad hoc
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Carcass has already read and raved over the Hitchens profile.
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What's the rumpus?
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Anthony Lane is reason enough to read the magazine. Adam Gopnik is worth your time, every time, too.

Inca, I have been looking at buying the DVD-Rom. How much did you pay for it, if you don't mind me asking?

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