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
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.
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.
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.
Franzen's ability to get deep inside the heads of his characters and reveal their thoughts, emotions, and motivations is fascinating. Some characters are likeable. Others are not. But they are a very human mix of fear, frailty, hope and desire.
I can't tell you how many times I laughed out loud while listenting to this book. It is so well written, and so well read! I would listen while on the treadmill and get totally absorbed.
I don't know that this book is similar to any other I've read or listened to. The writing is somewhat similar to Franzen's "Freedom." Franzen is a true word smith!
Not possible to choose!
No -- it has to be savored. The writing is wonderful, but dense.
Get it. Take your time. Enjoy!!
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 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
This book was witty and humorous at times
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.
It has turned me off from this author.
He speaks clearly and steadily.
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.
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