Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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
"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)
"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
"By turns funny and corrosive, portentous and affecting....cracks open a window on a sullen country lurching its way toward the millennium." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"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."
"Smart and boisterous and beautifully paced....His rendering [of the autumnal prairie of millennial America] is frighteningly, luminously authentic." Boston Globe
"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
"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
"More engaging and readable than other chilly magnum opuses in the same league... 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." GQ magazine
"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
"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)
About the Author
is the author of The Twenty-Seventh City
, Strong Motion
, and the essay collection How to Be Alone
. He has been named one of the Granta 20 Best Novelists under 40 and is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker
He lives in New York City.