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The Corrections

by

The Corrections Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"The Corrections is a lumpy, strange, singular work, very much of this moment even as it harks back to a kind of American novel long deemed extinct. Its portrayal of American family life sometimes seems cruel and unforgiving, yet the sheer amplitude of its vision implies a kind of sympathy, or at least understanding." Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com (read the entire Salon review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 fifty 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 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 of 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.

Review:

"No one book, of course, can provide everything we want in a novel. But a book as strong as The Corrections seems ruled only by its own self-generated aesthetic: it creates the illusion of giving a complete account of a world, and while we're under its enchantment it temporarily eclipses whatever else we may have read." David Gates, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"In its complexity, its scrutinizing and utterly unsentimental humanity, and its grasp of the subtle relationships between domestic drama and global events, The Corrections stands in the company of Mann's Buddenbrooks and DeLillo's White Noise. It is a major accomplishment." Michael Cunningham

Review:

"Ferociously detailed, gratifyingly mind-expanding, and daringly complex and unhurried, New Yorker writer Franzen's third and best-yet novel aligns the spectacular dysfunctions of one Midwest family with the explosive malfunctions of society-at-large." Booklist (starred review)

Review:

"Jonathan Franzen's novel The Corrections is the brightest, boldest, and most ambitious novel I've read in many years. With this dazzling work, Franzen gives notice that from now on, he is only going to hunt with the big cats." Pat Conroy

Review:

"By turns funny and corrosive, portentous and affecting, The Corrections not only shows us two generations of an American family struggling to make sense of their lives, but also cracks open a window on a sullen country lurching its way toward the millennium." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"Let's not mince words or pussyfoot with fancy lit-crit lingo. This is a great book. It needs to be read....A panoramic work that frequently zeroes in, with almost claustrophobic clarity, on human foibles....A huge, ambitious, powerful, funny, imaginative yet realistic novel. This book is a gift." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"Smart and boisterous and beautifully paced....His rendering [of the autumnal prairie of millennial America] is frighteningly, luminously authentic." Boston Globe

Review:

"Remarkable....The best comparisons are to David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest and Don DeLillo's Underworld...but The Corrections has more heart." The Oregonian

Review:

"The last 100 pages of The Corrections is an unforgettably sad, indelibly beautiful piece of literature....[Franzen] is a writer with talent to burn." Newsweek

Review:

"More engaging and readable than other chilly magnum opuses in the same league....Unlike his Big Book peers, [Franzen] wants things tidy — not in the middle, maybe, but at the end. The chaos-theory math wizards of antimatter fiction don't often show such good manners, such politeness, and it's touching to find it here. Not just dazzle — warmth." GQ magazine

Review:

"What we're asking is whether Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections will become that rare thing, a literary work that everybody's reading? A lot of people are saying yes." Time

Synopsis:

Winner of the National Book Award

After almost fifty 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 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 of 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.

About the Author

Jonathan Franzen is the author of three novels: The Corrections, The Twenty-Seventh City and Strong Motion. He has been named one of the Granta 20 Best Novelists under 40 and is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and Harper's.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 12 comments:

Darin, September 24, 2011 (view all comments by Darin)
Take one hypercontrolling mother, a depressed, Parkinson-stricken father, and three adult children who are, in turn, depressed and materialistic, juvenile to a fault, and unsure of their place in the world. Add a satirical wit that aims for, and often hits, the jugular. Throw in enough observations on what "family" means at the end of the 20th century in America and you get this brilliantly realized, devastatingly funny, yet tender at times, account of the Lambert family of the fictional Upper Midwestern city of St. Jude. Never before has Tolstoy's famous line from Anna Karenina, "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way," so riotously applied. It's a coming-of-middle-and-old-age story. I highly recommend this for those adults coming to realize how similar they are to their parents and anyone seeking a hysterical portrait of an American family.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
scratch, October 6, 2010 (view all comments by scratch)
Franzen's first foray into family saga resembles Freedom but is (believe it!) less bourgeois.
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(4 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
Matthew Holley, January 31, 2010 (view all comments by Matthew Holley)
Easily the best book I read this decade...even though I read it nearly a decade ago! I remember being amazed by Franzen's writing, but not to the point of being distracted from the story: mesmerizing, surprising and very touching. Of course, we're all still waiting for Franzen's fiction follow-up...here's to hoping it comes to us in THIS decade!
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 12 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374100124
Author:
Franzen, Jonathan
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Location:
New York, NY
Subject:
General
Subject:
Married women
Subject:
Middle west
Subject:
Parent and adult child
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Parkinson's disease
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st ed.
Edition Description:
Oprah
Series:
Oprah's Book Club (Hardcover)
Series Volume:
no. 102
Publication Date:
September 2001
Binding:
Trade Cloth
Language:
English
Pages:
567 p.
Dimensions:
9.61x6.46x1.71 in. 1.98 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » National Book Award Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles

The Corrections Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 567 p. pages Farrar, Straus and Giroux - English 9780374100124 Reviews:
"Review A Day" by , "The Corrections is a lumpy, strange, singular work, very much of this moment even as it harks back to a kind of American novel long deemed extinct. Its portrayal of American family life sometimes seems cruel and unforgiving, yet the sheer amplitude of its vision implies a kind of sympathy, or at least understanding." (read the entire Salon review)
"Review" by , "No one book, of course, can provide everything we want in a novel. But a book as strong as The Corrections seems ruled only by its own self-generated aesthetic: it creates the illusion of giving a complete account of a world, and while we're under its enchantment it temporarily eclipses whatever else we may have read."
"Review" by , "In its complexity, its scrutinizing and utterly unsentimental humanity, and its grasp of the subtle relationships between domestic drama and global events, The Corrections stands in the company of Mann's Buddenbrooks and DeLillo's White Noise. It is a major accomplishment."
"Review" by , "Ferociously detailed, gratifyingly mind-expanding, and daringly complex and unhurried, New Yorker writer Franzen's third and best-yet novel aligns the spectacular dysfunctions of one Midwest family with the explosive malfunctions of society-at-large."
"Review" by , "Jonathan Franzen's novel The Corrections is the brightest, boldest, and most ambitious novel I've read in many years. With this dazzling work, Franzen gives notice that from now on, he is only going to hunt with the big cats."
"Review" by , "By turns funny and corrosive, portentous and affecting, The Corrections not only shows us two generations of an American family struggling to make sense of their lives, but also cracks open a window on a sullen country lurching its way toward the millennium."
"Review" by , "Let's not mince words or pussyfoot with fancy lit-crit lingo. This is a great book. It needs to be read....A panoramic work that frequently zeroes in, with almost claustrophobic clarity, on human foibles....A huge, ambitious, powerful, funny, imaginative yet realistic novel. This book is a gift."
"Review" by , "Smart and boisterous and beautifully paced....His rendering [of the autumnal prairie of millennial America] is frighteningly, luminously authentic."
"Review" by , "Remarkable....The best comparisons are to David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest and Don DeLillo's Underworld...but The Corrections has more heart."
"Review" by , "The last 100 pages of The Corrections is an unforgettably sad, indelibly beautiful piece of literature....[Franzen] is a writer with talent to burn."
"Review" by , "More engaging and readable than other chilly magnum opuses in the same league....Unlike his Big Book peers, [Franzen] wants things tidy — not in the middle, maybe, but at the end. The chaos-theory math wizards of antimatter fiction don't often show such good manners, such politeness, and it's touching to find it here. Not just dazzle — warmth."
"Review" by , "What we're asking is whether Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections will become that rare thing, a literary work that everybody's reading? A lot of people are saying yes."
"Synopsis" by ,
Winner of the National Book Award

After almost fifty 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 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 of 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.

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