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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 (723 )
5 star
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4.3 (552 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jacqueline 01-13-11
    Jacqueline 01-13-11

    Perception isn't everything- turn picture 1/4 to the right and see the sweet reality.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1095
    ratings
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    547
    133
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    9
    Overall
    "ABRIDGED is BETTER and 12 hours shorter"

    Usually the unabridged version of any book is the best one- -however, after listening to the abridged version of this book, which was 9 hours long, I saw there was a new unabridged version. Of course I thought I had missed a ton of material since the unabridged book is 12 hours longer - so I listened to the unabridged version, which was 21 hours long - I've got to say the additional 12 hours did not add much substance to the book. There was some value in that explanations of some of the events were more understandable, but overall it really was not worth it. Both versions are good, but I would recommend the abridged -it gets you there without all the "fillers"-

    The book is a masterpiece of the understanding of human emotions, but also of all the secret motivations that drive our daily lives- -we all have our own agenda's- I applaud the author on his incredible insight.into the human heart and his ability to translate those feelings with such skill.

    By the way, the narrator of the Abridged Version is the very best to listen to- he hits the perfect mark everytime on all characters and just the right pauses and tempo!

    23 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nedal 06-24-15
    Nedal 06-24-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Drawn out but great family drama"

    The amount of detail was amazing but what was covered could have been cut down by a 1/4 and you would still get the same effect. If you are having a hard time getting into it stay the course it is worth it in the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris 03-12-15
    Chris 03-12-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Stunning performance"

    I love Franzen but hearing this was so much more enriching for me. Awesomely absorbing all around. Highly highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hayley Sampson 03-08-15 Member Since 2015
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    2
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    "Fantastic, but Narrator sounds sexist"

    This is a fantastic book about the American psyche. However, in this version, all of the women's voices are portrayed in the same shrill, grating tone. The effect minimizes the depth of these characters and is annoying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan United States 02-03-15
    Dan United States 02-03-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Funny, Challenging, Absurd and Dark."
    Where does The Corrections rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Not my favorite, but very memorable. I laughed a good bit and could see myself listening to it again in a couple of years. I like how the author jumped from family member to family member and often filled in the blanks in a Tarrantino kind of way.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Denise. She seemed to be the most sane of all the Lamberts. She was the relief of the reader that someone in the family had a sense of reality.


    Have you listened to any of George Guidall’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    All his performances have been great so far. I still think my favorite is The Accidental Tourist which is no longer available from Audible. I'm glad I bought my copy when I did!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not at first. It took me a few chapters for the book to grip me. By the end, I wanted to know how it was going to end.


    Any additional comments?

    If all you read are "clean" books and expect to love every character in every story you listen to, skip this novel. If you have a sense of humor and can appreciate the absurd and love good literature, I'd recommend this very dark comedy. Just like the script Chip wrote in the story, you have to get through a very challenging beginning to finally get to the good stuff which is the rest of the novel. I don't think Franzen wrote it that way by accident.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eugene 01-14-15
    Eugene 01-14-15 Member Since 2014
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    "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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    3
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    "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
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    "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 2015

    I have nothing to offer anyone except my own confusion.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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 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

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