Families disrupted

Tolstoy's dictum that "each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way" is played out in each of these fine novels. The dysfunctional family in Jonathan Fran­zen's The Corrections mirrors the dysfunctions of the wider society. In this, his third novel, Franzen pulls off a hat trick, successfully combining domestic drama (à la John Updike), black comedy (à la Philip Roth) and postmodern satire (à la William Gaddis)--with just a hint of Thomas Pynchon's social paranoia.


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