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
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.
That George Guidall was the reader.
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.
Al's infirmity got to me. I'm his age.
Keep 'em coming.
For this book I wish I could rate it 3.75, it was definitely better than a 3 but really not quite a 4. The characters are really well developed and Franzen's writing style is very detailed and so vivid (unbelievable descriptions of what it must be like to have Parkinson's disease) - you definitely get the picture he has painted with words, but sometimes he just goes on too long, the detail and description is just too much. I like a good book that doesn't waste my time with tedious, unrelated to the story, details. For me that is what stops this book from being a 4.
I really got into this book and it stands out as one of my favorite listens. It's a character driven book and the story and characters felt really true to life in a quirky way. The observations woven into the story on life, family and marriage brought the story to another level for me. Franzen's other book Freedom seems to be more reviewed. I have listened to both and prefer this one. George Guidall does his usual fantastic job as a narrator.
Franzen and Guidall are a perfect formula for a successful literary novel. The Lambert family is so funny, sad, hopeful and disastrous that I was unaware that all the 568 pages had passed me by. Franzen's gift for allowing characters to drift, grow and develop their self awareness have made me a devotee of all his work so far.
Definitely recommended as worth your time and credit.
I did not want to like the book because the author seems like an asshole. It was fantastic. An incredible story read by someone who understands the characters.
Avid reader of classics and fiction, history and well-written genre novels. Music lover and huge audiobook fan.
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
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.
I do not consider raising my anxiety level to the max by putting me in the midst of the most hopeless and unlovable family I have ever come to know entertaining. If this is a true representation of " the American society and the American soul" we are doomed. The author is amazingly skilled at his ability to portray believable characters. The problem for me was I didn't want to know them. I didn't even want to face the possibility people as despairingly undone as this are among us. I was never more glad when this ended and I could leave their world. The narrator did a fine job of conveying the utter doom of the whole story. As gifted as he is, I fear to read anything else by Franzen. There could be knives too available nearby.
George Guidall's rendition of this pitch-perfect portrait of neurotic dysfunction is brilliant. Only slightly exaggerated, the interior worlds of these generally unlikeable persons emerge with poignant and uncomfortable clarity.
The author seemed bent on impressing us with wordplay rather than plot or character development. Sadly, even George Guidall, an excellent narrator, could not keep me engaged.
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