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.
[Corrections] is a book made of equal parts fury and humor, one that takes a dry-eyed look at our culture, at our pains and insecurities, while offering hope that, occasionally at least, we can reach some kind of understanding. This is, simply, a masterpiece.
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.
David Foster Wallace
Funny and deeply sad, large-hearted and merciless, The Corrections is a testament to the range and depth of pleasures great fiction affords.
Jonathan Franzen has built a powerful novel out of the swarming consciousness of a marriage, a family, a whole culture -- our culture. And he has done it with sympathy and expansiveness that bend the edgy modern temper to a generous breadth of vision.
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.
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.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Dorothy S Most despicable group of characters I've encountered. I most heartily disagree with all the "official" reviewers and the general public who find this book to be a masterpiece and a potential classic that accurately reflects the angst and dysfunction of modern American social and family... Read More
Rated of 5
by Ryan Schiely Franzen's Best to Date From small town life to big city indulgences Franzen's novel brings forth nearly every aspect of family life beginning with childhood memories and working it's way through the fallout of the child-parent relationship and the failing relationship of... Read More
Rated of 5
by S. Peddycord
The Corrections entertained me while making me question "what the heck is going on here?" I often had to flip back several pages to figure out who, when and where. The author brilliantly jumped from one setting to another (and there are... Read More
Rated of 5
I hated this book. I'm tired sick of dysfunctional families being the basis for so many novels these days. I despised these characters (what a pathetic bunch of self-destructive losers). There were some passages that actually made me nauseous.... Read More
Rated of 5
A big disappointment. I was so excited to begin this book, but quickly realized that I would not finish it. There were only 2 people who finished it in our group of 12. I really tried, but just couldn't bring myself to finish it. Too wordy, too... Read More
Rated of 5
by Bert Bell
I found The Corrections to be a remarkably insightful and moving family saga that struck a good balance between social issues and personal issues. It is also at times extremely funny. The characters are nuanced and very real.
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