It has been a long time since I've read anything like this. I mostly avoid contemporary literature (except for the kind with spells and spaceships, and that is [let's be honest] mostly not literature) so 'The Corrections' came like a blow to the face.
My mother is Enid. No she isn't, but Franzen's characterization of Enid made me think of my mother in the same light. The others didn't have so much personal resonance for me, but they fit into the world so well - even when Chip made a Couplandesque there-and-back-again jaunt to Eastern Europe it seemed completely legitimate and fair.
I am wary of hype, I hate to be led to thinking highly of an author only to find more pretentious critic-bait. Franzen may be pretentious, but his bait works for me. The book is a parade of pathetic life-choices and cringey situations and downright depressing realities of day to day living and, not just growing up, but aging; by the end of the book all of this is somehow uplifting.
Mr. Franzen, I will drink some more of your kool-aid.