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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 (740 )
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4.3 (566 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Donna 09-20-13
    Donna 09-20-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    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
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    "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 2015

    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
  •  
    David Glen Echo, MD, United States 11-05-12
    David Glen Echo, MD, United States 11-05-12
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    "Painful for me, because I'm the same age as "Al""
    Where does The Corrections rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This ranks in the middle 50%. I went on forever with drawn out sub plots. I identified with the main character and that made it painful. I'll try another Franzen book and see f I can get through it without getting frustrated.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That George Guidall was the reader.


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

    You know, that's a hard one for me to answer. EVERYTHING that George Guidall reads comes to life. It's quite amazing. The way that he can truly separate one character from another; the way that he does wormen just makes him the very best in this art form..I have reached a point in my audio book listening experience that has me looking for books that he has read, no matter that I have no idea about the author or plot. I felt the same way about Muller and sorry that he has passed and there will be no more.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Al's infirmity got to me. I'm his age.


    Any additional comments?

    Keep 'em coming.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kath 09-06-12
    Kath 09-06-12

    booksfromkate

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    7
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    "Quirky characters and situations."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 07-10-12
    Laura 07-10-12
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    4
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    "Boring book, but brilliantly narrated."
    What disappointed you about The Corrections?

    Repetitive and very, very slow moving.


    What could Jonathan Franzen have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The book could be 1/3 shorter and nothing would be lost in the story.


    What about George Guidall’s performance did you like?

    Brilliant. I bought the book strictly because George Guidall is the narrator. He is my favorite narrator, and I've listen to well over 100 audiobooks. He has a great voice, does exceptionally well with foreign names and place, has a lot of variation in his voice which distinguishes the charactors well (and the voice for each character is appropriate.) His pace is also very, very good.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Good Wife Dublin, OH USA 06-06-12
    Good Wife Dublin, OH USA 06-06-12

    Miki

    ratings
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    "Fantastic Listen!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What other book might you compare The Corrections to and why?

    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!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not possible to choose!


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

    No -- it has to be savored. The writing is wonderful, but dense.


    Any additional comments?

    Get it. Take your time. Enjoy!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Pennsylvania 03-28-12
    Andrea Pennsylvania 03-28-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Another strange but likable book from Franzen"

    Second book I listened to by this author. He has a lot of observations and definite opinions on certain issues i.e., religion, politics, sex, the environment, etc. His characters have a lot of depth. I like the fact that he is such an observant writer in the sense that he really gets into detail with the characters, and also includes a variety of topics and kind of goes off into tangents and works them into the story. Feel he is getting his opinions out there through his books; different from most authors that just want to tell a story. Bottom line would recommend reading to see if you like his style. His other book I read was Freedom.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Paul E. Levin 01-23-12 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SLOW"

    Great narrator but incredibly slow going. I actually had to quit listening to this book after about five hours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joshua Salt Lake City, UT, United States 01-09-12
    joshua Salt Lake City, UT, United States 01-09-12 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "enjoyed freedom, the corrections... not so much"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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