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The Corrections: A Novel | [Jonathan Franzen]

The Corrections: A Novel

The Corrections is a grandly entertaining novel for the new century--a comic, tragic masterpiece about a family breaking down in an age of easy fixes. After almost 50 years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity to Parkinson's disease, and their children have long since flown the family nest to the catastrophes of their own lives. Enid has set her heart on an elusive goal: bringing her family together for one last Christmas at home.
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Publisher's Summary

National Book Award, Fiction, 2001

The Corrections is a grandly entertaining novel for the new century - a comic, tragic masterpiece about a family breaking down in an age of easy fixes. After almost 50 years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately, her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity to Parkinson's disease, and their children have long since flown the family nest to the catastrophes of their own lives.

The oldest, Gary, a once-stable portfolio manager and family man, is trying to convince his wife and himself, despite clear signs to the contrary, that he is not clinically depressed. The middle child, Chip, has lost his seemingly secure academic job and is failing specatcularly at his new line of work. And Denise, the youngest, has escaped a disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and beauty down the drain on an affair with a married man - or so her mother fears.

Desperate for some pleasure to look forward to. Enid has set her heart on an elusive goal: bringing her family together for one last Christmas at home.

Stretching from the Midwest at midcentury to the Wall Street and Eastern Europe of today, The Corrections brings an old-fashioned world of civic virtue and sexual inhibitions into violent collision with the era of home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental health care, and globalized greed. Richly realistic, darkly hilarious, deeply humane, it confirms Jonathan Franzen as one of our most brilliant interpreters of American society and the American soul.

©2010 Jonathan Franzen (P)2010 Simon and Schuster

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (656 )
5 star
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3.9 (495 )
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4.3 (489 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-24-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just Could Not Finish"
    What disappointed you about The Corrections?

    The narration was grating after a while. Really got to me. I really wanted to finish this book but got fifteen chapters in and realized I just couldn't go it


    How could the performance have been better?

    Another voice


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    This book was witty and humorous at times


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Vermuth Collegeville, PA 01-22-15
    J. Vermuth Collegeville, PA 01-22-15 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
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    340
    8
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Relentlessly Depressing"

    I stayed with it as long as I did because I hoped there would be some glimmer of hope for the characters. I kept thinking that one of the characters had to have some redeeming qualities. When I realized that it would never happen, I just couldn't bring myself to waste anymore time on the book. I loved "Freedom", but this is the second disappointing book in a row from Franzen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eugene 01-14-15
    Eugene 01-14-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Family dysfunction writ large and funny too!"

    Midwestern baby boom family lovingly deconstructed Pathos and truth shine from large cast of caricatures acting within engrossing interwoven subplots. Plenty of laughs too. Great read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philipp 01-13-15
    Philipp 01-13-15
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    1
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    Story
    "even better than expected"

    After the book unfolds somewhat slowly the story gains considerable momentum. the author presents an impressive work that with its multiple threads and carefully crafted characters doesn't fall short of the best works in literature.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy 06-23-14
    Cathy 06-23-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Could not get through this book"
    Would you try another book from Jonathan Franzen and/or George Guidall?

    George Guidall is a good reader, but does not always bring the voices to life. I will never attempt to read another Jonathan Franzen book.


    Has The Corrections turned you off from other books in this genre?

    It has turned me off from this author.


    What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

    He speaks clearly and steadily.


    Any additional comments?

    These people are pathetic and their pitiful mind machinations just made me tired. Even jumping ahead when the though garbage bogged me down did not save it for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Marietta, GA, United States 01-08-14
    Stephen Marietta, GA, United States 01-08-14 Member Since 2014

    I have nothing to offer anyone except my own confusion.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    21
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    Story
    "Great Modern Literature"
    Would you listen to The Corrections again? Why?

    Yes, as its' one of the single greatest novels ever written. The story captivates from beginning to end, brings a variety of timely social issues to the table and tells a great story around the discussion of those issues.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Corrections?

    Chip's arrival at the home for Christmas, which seemed predictable but at the same time the author gave no clue that it would actually happen ... or Alfred's dementia induced talking feces..


    What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His voice actually bothered me at first, or at least for the first few minutes of the listen. As you get involved with the characters of the novel what at first listen seems like the voice of an elderly man becomes capable of giving each character a completely distinct voice, and ultimately ends up in a great listening experience.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Neither, but there were numerous moments when Gary and Chip were placed into situations I, like many men, had experienced in real life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike M. Javanmard CA 01-06-14

    javanomic

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Kept Listening"

    I kept listening and it threw off my sleepiing pattern. I could not fall asleep to the book as I kept wondering what would happen next.I do not know if it was te story or the narrator that gripped my attention. I highly enjoyed it despite losing sleep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna 09-20-13
    Donna 09-20-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    27
    2
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    Story
    "A good beginning but then..."
    Would you try another book from Jonathan Franzen and/or George Guidall?

    I have already listened to Freedom and really enjoyed it, and I would listen to another based on Freedom. But this just didn't strike me.... I always finish a book (except Life of Pi, but that had to do with not wanting to listen to the death of the tiger) no matter how much I dislike it, and this is one I couldn't wait for it to be over!


    What was most disappointing about Jonathan Franzen’s story?

    The way the story was put together. All the pieces were there, but it just didn't grab me.


    Did George Guidall do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Yes, George was just fine.


    What character would you cut from The Corrections?

    All the characters were appropriate, the story just wasn't interesting to me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carmen Chile 01-06-13
    Carmen Chile 01-06-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    1965
    22
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    Story
    "Moving, and so real"

    The pleasure of a good writting is sometimes a surprise you do not expect

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 12-06-12
    Doggy Bird Glen Ridge, NJ USA 12-06-12 Member Since 2014

    Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Even more meaningful than I remember the first tim"

    Read this for a second time after passage of a decade. Hadn't remembered how depressing the story was, and how frustrating the characters, but was stunned by how very deeply down the book made me feel without allowing me to separate from it. I had to keep reading. The prose is beautiful and continues to draw you in for even the saddest and most absurd developments. There is a line in this book that i love about how can one even stand when you don't understand how difficult another's life can be. It is such an amazing and critical line that it stays after with me long after I have finished the book. THat is why I read. I want to imagine how difficult it is to live someone else's life because that understanding makes life easier to live for me. I found this an amazingly honest and compassionate book despite how very uncompassionate it starts out.The reader is excellent although the woman's characters got sort of high-pitched voices that can be really irritating.Excellent narrator and interpretation. Highly recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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