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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I'm usually pretty easy to please when it comes to audio books, but this one I gave up on after three hours. The characters were just overwhelmingly unpleasant. I get what the author was going for, but I prefer to read/listen to stories where I care about the characters at least a little.
I have nothing to offer anyone except my own confusion.
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.
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..
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.
Neither, but there were numerous moments when Gary and Chip were placed into situations I, like many men, had experienced in real life.
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
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