1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
The Corrections  By  cover art

The Corrections

By: Jonathan Franzen
Narrated by: Dylan Baker
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $16.99

Buy for $16.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

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 spectacularly in 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 Frazen as one of our most brilliant interpreters of American society and the American soul.

©2001 Jonathan Franzen (P)2001 Simon & Schuster Inc.

Critic Reviews

  • Audie Award Winner, Fiction (Abridged), 2002
  • Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Adult Fiction, 2002
  • National Book Award Winner, Best Fiction, 2001
  • An Oprah Book Club Selection

"When critics refer to 'The Great American Novel' this is it, people!" (Oprah Winfrey)
"The brightest, boldest, and most ambitious novel I've read in many years." (Pat Conroy)
"This is, simply, a masterpiece." (Amazon.com)

What listeners say about The Corrections

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    252
  • 4 Stars
    251
  • 3 Stars
    164
  • 2 Stars
    103
  • 1 Stars
    85
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    153
  • 4 Stars
    84
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    12
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    122
  • 4 Stars
    79
  • 3 Stars
    59
  • 2 Stars
    12
  • 1 Stars
    23

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A memorable book; flawless narration

For once the publisher's summary has got it right. The broad character sketches and plot synopses that it offers are dead on, and without a doubt Jonathan Franzen has written a brilliant novel. I would also like to add, as many others have mentioned, that Dylan Baker, the narrator of this piece, is one of the best narrators I've heard so far. He truly adds a depth to these characters that is astonishing; he literally becomes each character.

The Corrections follows the lives of five family members, each with their own unique problems. All of these characters are fully developed and none are stereotypes -- each character is a decidedly different shade of gray. And despite the summary's emphasis on Enid, the wife and mother, of the novel's five characters, I would have to say that the story most belongs to Denise, the daughter, whose eyes seem to see more clearly than anyone else's here.

I cannot say when I first became hooked into this story, which is actually a collection of character vignettes that crisscross over one another before finally uniting in the last few chapters; but I know I surrendered early on. At nine hours this book is a saga that only gets more interesting the longer you read it. As some have mentioned, the characters do tend to do hateful things to each another, and one could classify this book as depressing in tone; yet somehow one doesn't feel depressed while reading it, only uplifted. The Corrections is a fascinating, insightful, and satisfying book that leaves you thinking about it long after you've put it down.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful study of growing old

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Hilarious and deeply moving, you find yourself alternately laughing at, abhoring, hating, and loving each disfunctional person in this family as the author digs deeper and deeper into their past and present states of mind. and just for a thoughtful look into the mind of old age and how parkinsons might be like, it's worth it. You think that this author is never going to be able to rescue these people in my mind. But he does. They do redeem themselves, if only in becoming human enough, in spite of all their failings, they do something kind. And I love them for it. It's everything I like in a book. Highly recommend it.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Ugly, brutish, and not short enough

This book is full of unlikeable people doing offensive things to themselves and each other. Alzheimer's disease is no picnic, but the author gives you nothing to work with to sympathize with the victim here. In fact, he does a good job of making it seem like the old man deserves it, like everyone in the book deserves it.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I L-O-V-E this book!

Coming from a completely dysfunctional family myself it was so refreshing to read this book. There was no pat ending, no great epiphany that suddenly made all the characters become different people, no redemption, and no deliverance. Just a bunch a crazy people (and aren't we all) trying to wrench a little fun and a little excitement from their lives before they die. Its wonderful and funny and sad and very realistic. I thought it was terrific. I wish audible was set up for recomendations, i.e. if you enjoyed X, you might also enjoy Y. I would love something else along these same lines.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

People you might not want to know

Though well written and very well narrated, "The Corrections" is a sad book about a family of pathological characters, on a series of mutually colliding courses with fate and each other.

Each chapter is told from a different character's point of view, complete with the rawest and most selfish of thoughts. I found it cumulatively UNpleasant to 'be' these people, who seem to have never contemplated a selfless act or a noble thought.

In their professional and personal lives, this group seems to have logged quite impressive failures, varying mainly whether their demolition was abrupt or continual.

If you can maintain a distance, the characterizations are quite witty and maybe even the insights are worth hearing. I felt that this made the reading even MORE depressing, since the destruction was viewed by the author as funny and his tone is relentlessly glib.

I don't think I'd want to be friends with Jonathan Franzen.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Well-written but shallow

There's a lot of words but not a lot of depth to this novel. In trying to tie together family and corporate greed and the heartland and America and mental illness, Frazen covers a lot of ground but spreads it too thin. There's some good moments, but it's sort of like driving through Nebraska -- it's a lot of flat land to travel hoping you might see something interesting.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Characters Reverberate

Finished this book 3 weeks ago and have since listened to two other audio books, but the words of Franzens' characters continue replaying in my head (perhaps this is partly attributable to the narrator's superb performance. Some books I can't wait to finish, but when this one ended I wanted more.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Almost ...

This was one of the most skillfully done abridgments I've come across - no sense at all that vital material was being left out. Unfortunately the narration was only adequate. Some of the voices were good, others not quite there. As has been pointed out, this is a depressing book, but there are passages of astounding literary brilliance. Often made me think of Roth and Bellow.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Depressing

I've had this book for months now and can only listen to an hour at a time before I'm so depressed I turn it off. It's smartly written and engaging but overwhelmingly dark. Not a well adjusted character for miles of prose in this novel. It's probably a very realistic book about family turmoil and failed relationships, but who wants something that realistic in their pastime reading? I use books to escape from reality, not drown in it.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Not for me

I am a long-time audio book listener, and have enjoyed many different types of books. Although I don't consider myself a "Polyanna type" I do like my books to have some kind of redeeming qualities. I'm afraid this book seemed more depressing than remarkable.

6 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for bookylady
  • bookylady
  • 07-26-15

It made me laugh, it made me cry.

Any additional comments?

A wonderful story of a dysfunctional family and all its ups and downs, misunderstandings and petty grudges. Bittersweet and full of well-rounded characters, none of whom have many redeeming features, but somehow become likeable in their own way. There are many moments of tragi-comedy and some real points of despair. Well-plotted and skillfully narrated. The deep-seated problems in relationships between parents and children and between siblings will strike a bell with many.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anna
  • Anna
  • 11-17-19

this is abridged

It was not clear that this is abridged which is really annoying. Wish I could rerun.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-20-19

Moving story, well told.

Fine if you haven’t read the book. Disappointingly abridged if you have. Would have preferred an unabridged reading.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Aiden W
  • Aiden W
  • 12-12-20

Abridged - caveat emptor

This is abridged but in a somewhat bowdlerian fashion. Wouldn't recommend this recording unless you are in a real hurry. Content wise the portrayal of decay is compelling albeit the characters are all more annoying than they are anything else.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for P. A. Dourado
  • P. A. Dourado
  • 12-12-19

beautifully read

Read this when it came out and felt the need to revisit it. Poignant and true-feeling on the family dynamics àt the centre of the story and the perspectives of each family member and the spirit of the age in which it was written. beautifully voiced, particularly when the reader has to voice the aged father, which was totally believable . Brilliant, richly-textured, moving book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Beth
  • Beth
  • 03-21-15

the corrections

loved it. dylan baker is brilliant and helps create the characters further with his voices and accents :)

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mrs r keeling
  • mrs r keeling
  • 05-24-20

Cleverly Constructed. A Surprise to me ...

I loved this book. I love the visual texture produced by the authors descriptive narrative. I loved the way the characters stories were carved into mini biographies where, the present day way justified by the actions, or rather, the reactions to the past, and despite being a story about family, they were rarely in the same place, both physically or mentally, at the same time. I found it cleverly constructed despite thinking initially that I wasn't going to like it. it surprised me.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Conor Biggs
  • Conor Biggs
  • 05-17-20

Stunning performance of a stunning novel.

The underbelly of the Midwest, and more. Garrison Keiler through jaundiced eyes. Superbly read. Listen!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alex H.
  • Alex H.
  • 04-19-20

Fantastic portrait of American life

Akin to death of a salesman, this is a great story of American life focusing on each character, and their flaws, in detail. Great listen and very well narrated!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-20-19

Thought Provoking

Took me a while to get into but once I did I found it moving and profound.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-08-19

where's the unabridged version?

this isn't really a review of a the book, just an expression of my annoyance that they don't have the unabridged version of this book. It's one of the biggest books of the 21st century - why wouldn't they have an unabridged version?

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jules
  • Jules
  • 06-12-16

Character

The story builds slowly and few of the characters are likeable on the surface. Without being able to explain how, I became gripped by the unfolding connections and couldn't put the story down.

1 person found this helpful