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The Corrections

Franzen, Jonathan (Book - 2002 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Corrections
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This novel revolves around the troubles of an elderly Midwestern couple and their three adult children, tracing their lives from the mid-twentieth century to "one last Christmas" together near the turn of the millennium. All five members of the Lambert family get their due, as everybody's lives swirl out of control. The author intends to deliver a tragicomic portrait of a flawed nation with the equally flawed notion of perfectibility at its heart.
Authors: Franzen, Jonathan
Statement of Responsibility: Jonathan Franzen
Title: The corrections
Publisher: New York : Picador USA, 2002
Edition: 1st Picador USA ed
Characteristics: 566 p. ; 21 cm.
Summary: This novel revolves around the troubles of an elderly Midwestern couple and their three adult children, tracing their lives from the mid-twentieth century to "one last Christmas" together near the turn of the millennium. All five members of the Lambert family get their due, as everybody's lives swirl out of control. The author intends to deliver a tragicomic portrait of a flawed nation with the equally flawed notion of perfectibility at its heart.
Subject Headings: Married women Fiction Parkinson's disease Patients Fiction Parent and adult child Fiction
Genre/Form: Domestic fiction
Topical Term: Married women
Parkinson's disease
Parent and adult child
LCCN: 2001033478
ISBN: 0312421273
9780312421274
Branch Call Number: FIC F
Research Call Number: JFE 02-3866
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From the critics


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A dark, penetrating glimpse of contemporary American family life.


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Nov 04, 2013
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Did you ever notice how there are a lot of younger novelists named Jonathan (Ames, Safron Foer, Lethem)? You'd think at least one would could by John or Johnny. Johnny Franzen famously pissed off Oprah when promoting this book. Some might call this one of the 00's great novels. Some would be wrong. Sure, Franzen's a skilled writer, but he's working territory that is familiar to readers of Yates, Updike and Cheever, which makes him feel a bit old fashioned. Plus he seems incapable of creating a sympathetic character. The overall feeling this creates is contempt. I also would've had a character say "I've got something you can correct!"

Sep 01, 2013
  • WMorello rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This will be a long time favorite book. I really look forward to reading his next book "Freedom" and following the books on his shelf. Franzen has the best descriptive skiils I have ever been fortunate enough to hear or read.

Jun 17, 2013
  • WVMLBookClubTitles rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Franzen’s saga of Alfred and Enid Lambert and their three grown children’s attempts to “correct” for the emotional suffocation of their Midwestern household is a brilliant update of the old-fashioned American social novel. A dark and even scathing look at family power struggles, capitalism and our therapeutic culture; its vivid and comic portrayal of American family life also implies a kind of sympathy and understanding.

Apr 06, 2013
  • wilqser rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Great book, excellent writing; a little too descriptive of strife in Lithuania for one of the family members in the story but overall an entertaining well visualized a story of the life of an american family whose dad has a form of dementia and how the mother tries to bring them together for the holidays for seemingly one last time. I would recommend this to anyone.

Aug 20, 2012
  • spudwil rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

brilliantly written and poignant at times but sometimes confusing and too wordy for me.

Jun 28, 2012
  • elinpat rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this more than Freedom. The characters are vivid - lovable and hateful, dysfunctional family but human and forgivable. Quirky and funny as well as tear jerking.

Jan 29, 2012
  • Safariluv03 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I liked Franzen's next book Freedom, more than this one but Corrections has its merits too. I didn't expect the books to be as politically charged as they were. There is a lot of varying views and opinions floating around in the pages of these books which is interesting to read but can also tend to drag on for a little too long. The arguments to the points of view were however, well written. Another point that can be said about this writing style is that it can at times get graphic. I was actually surprised this was an Oprah book club choice (not why I read it FYI) because there were some fairly disturbing deviant moments. One thing I disliked about this book and Freedom, is that they seemed too much alike. I read them one after the other and at times it felt like I was reading the exact same story. Granted it's the same writer so there should be some likeness but they seemed as if they could almost be a continuation of the same family into the next. I would recommend this book to all the extroverted and opinionated open-minders out there looking for an semi-intellectual read.

Dec 20, 2011
  • halgeon rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Wow. What a great book. It took me a few pages before it grabbed me, but once it did... I devoured it. Highly recommend this book if you're looking for rich, well-formed characters, clever turns of phrase, and a compelling story line. Very John Irving-esque.

Borrowed from SL based in a review of one of Franzen's later works on NPR.

This was a great read that was a true page-turner. I kept wanting to know what was next for Chip, Denise, Enid, Albert, and Enid.

Oct 10, 2011
  • RubyBananas rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I read this book weeks ago and find myself still thinking about the characters and their lives. It's fascinating, captivating and an extremely worthwhile read (it's a long one) -- entertaining from the very beginning until the very end.

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