full disclosure, i didn't finish the book. i got so bored half way through that i gave up on it. surprising given how much i enjoyed freedom by franzen. i think the problem was the character gary lambert. the book starts off focused on other members of the lambert crew, and i like it, then about a quarter of the way through franzen fixates on gary. the guy has no redeeming traits, he's both unlikable and at the same time boring. i don't know if franzen every moves on because after listening to a couple of hours of gary's story i couldn't take it anymore.
I never read/listen to abridged novels because, as an English PhD, I cannot bear to let someone else decide what is not relevant. However, in this case, I wish I had listened to the other reviewer and bought the abridged version. There is a mildly interesting story here, but it is burried under so many self-indulgent narrative tangents that it gets lost. There are WAY too many details about characters and places that really do not add anything to the novel and slacken the tautness of the narrative.
I wouldn't necessarily recommend this book, in any form, but I think it would be enjoyable abridged.
The first time I listened I didn't like it very much so I left it.Then I thought I try again but the second time was just the same.
i picked this book up at the suggestion of a friend who obviously hadn't read it ... several years caring for a parent with "alzheimers" have apparently left me unable to appreciate mr. franzen's acerbic humor as he deals with this topic in his story --- i found it utterly depressing ...
Usually, when you read a novel like this, there are redeemable qualities to the characters. Or, if not, there are one or two characters you find marginally sympathetic. None are present in this book. Only at the very end of the book did one character approach pitiable, which was the most positive reaction I had to anyone in this family. As always George Guidall provided incredible narration. And, while The Corrections was well written from a prose perspective, I just hated WHO Franzen wrote.