For me this book was doomed. I read it right after I read "Infinite Jest." That's akin to being the poor soul who replaced Willie Mays. Actually, that was Bobby Bonds, Barry's father. I didn't like it at all. Sometimes I focused on "poetic" passages which were still underway long after the falcon had reached Lithuania. Sometimes the perfect manner in which people speak made me wonder if they all were carrying scripts. Sometimes I thought the characters were just a bit too stupid as they displayed little ability to deal with "issues" which have been on the table for a half century or more. Jeez, is Alfred the only one who occasionally makes up his mind?
Having said that; I am a fan of "poetic" writing, do not appreciate misused words and do enjoy the company of people who are not dogmatic. Worse, after I decided that I hated the book I spent a few months with indie stuff. With my expectations apparently altered I re-opened "The Corrections" and was absolutely floored by the fantastic writing I discovered.
This book is long and probably not have been hurt by a bit of trimming; though it is also true that the story is a wide one. Whether or not any individual reader will like it is probably a function of more factors than text space allowed here. There is no doubt that there will be parts you will find brilliant. The only advice I offer was learned the hard way. Don't read it right after "Infinite Jest" or "The Catcher in the Rye.
I wonder how much more this book would be liked if it had not won so many goddam awards.