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The Corrections: A Novel (Recent Picador…
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The Corrections: A Novel (Recent Picador Highlights) (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Jonathan Franzen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
14,256307251 (3.76)428
Member:wsickler
Title:The Corrections: A Novel (Recent Picador Highlights)
Authors:Jonathan Franzen
Info:Picador (2002), Paperback, 576 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:fiction

Work details

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (Author) (2001)

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    Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner (charlie68)
    charlie68: Touches on a lot of the same themes just in a different era.
  8. 01
    Cronus' Children by Yves Navarre (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: A similar cast of characters--rigid paterfamilias, compliant wife, troubled adult children who are loth to return to the family home. And an interesting contrast, because Navarre's tone, approach, and attitude are altogether unlike Franzen's.
  9. 01
    The Beast in the Jungle by Henry James (WSB7)
    WSB7: Similar central theme, but taken up a notch.
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    MsRoux: Complex and rewarding
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» See also 428 mentions

English (285)  Dutch (7)  Spanish (3)  German (3)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (307)
Showing 1-5 of 285 (next | show all)
Up to now I didn't read it because I thought it would be too depressing, but all the 5 star ratings and raves swayed me. Bad move. The comic undertone wasn't enough to balance out the dementia story-line for me. I should have quit, but it read so fast and was so well written that I couldn't jump ship. When I finished it last night I had to chase it with a couple of chapters of another book to keep it out of my dreams. ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
It has been a long time since I've read anything like this. I mostly avoid contemporary literature (except for the kind with spells and spaceships, and that is [let's be honest] mostly not literature) so The Corrections came like a blow to the face.

My mother is Enid. No she isn't, but Franzen's characterization of Enid made me think of my mother in the same light. The others didn't have so much personal resonance for me, but they fit into the world so well - even when Chip made a [a:Couplandesque|1886|Douglas Coupland|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1264509011p2/1886.jpg] there-and-back-again jaunt to Eastern Europe it seemed completely legitimate and fair.

I am wary of hype, I hate to be led to thinking highly of an author only to find more pretentious critic-bait. Franzen may be pretentious, but his bait works for me. The book is a parade of pathetic life-choices and cringey situations and downright depressing realities of day to day living and, not just growing up, but aging; by the end of the book all of this is somehow uplifting.

Mr. Franzen, I will drink some more of your kool-aid. ( )
1 vote ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
I made a second attempt at reading this book since two friends have loved it. I managed to get to around page 350 this time before I couldn't take anymore of Franzen's characters' internal incessant babbling. Blah, blah, blah of thoroughly boring, unlikable middle class Americans. Admittedly the author was often insightful, but I just didn't care about the angst of these characters. I have better things to do with my time. ( )
  amaraki | Jan 2, 2019 |
This novel is aptly named, exploring different kinds of corrections as its theme. There are the corrections one makes for past mistakes; corrections subject to a fallible perception of the problem to be solved, when being too self-conscious or judgemental; correcting others, or for their actions. All of these efforts may lead into traps, the largest of them being that 'corrections' place emphasis on fixing rather than accepting. I thought I was going to be reading a book about selfish people making bad decisions, and there's plenty of that going on, but this is more focussed dealing with the aftermath of all these corrections in play.

Reviews I read in advance warned me that this book is littered with unlikeable characters, but I didn't find anyone in the central family unsympathetic. They can all be seen as victims of circumstance, upbringing, accident, illness or of each other. I had less patience for their instances of narrow-mindedness and prejudice, but this didn't define a whole person. In fact (as in real life) all of these people are revealed through backstory to have much deeper complexity than what a surface glance would suggest. When Chip is first introduced it feels as though we're told everything about him in one page - and, we are. It's only when that story is stepped through in greater detail that we learn how much more lies behind the surface impression; and so it goes with each until, well before the last is delved into, I learned to be both more cautious and more curious.

A novel provides one view into the world, and Franzen's is littered with the seamy side of capitalism: a story full of avarice and greed, where even the principled who stand against it are doing so out of spite rather than morals. Family is an anchor for some in this environment, but it also threatens to be the wrong kind of anchor that will plunge them into the depths. Sometimes, however, those depths turn out to be their own dark sides that they're forced to confront, offering a chance to come away stronger after all.

I'm not fond of the author's revisionist history of Lithuania and its false portrayal. It would have been more honest had Franzen invented a new country for the purpose, but perhaps that would have veered too close to Narnia for his liking. ( )
  Cecrow | Dec 20, 2018 |
A sprawling narrative of epic proportions. Good if a little depressing in portraying the modern American ethos. ( )
  charlie68 | Dec 16, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 285 (next | show all)
Franzen’s brilliant achievement is that he creates a set of stereotypical characters and then opens the door and allows us see, in suspenseful, humorous, mesmerizing detail, their defining moments. What was once a silhouette becomes three-dimensional. The complexity becomes a dim mirror of our own complex interiority—writ large, the way we like it writ, because then we can’t help but see ourselves in it.
 
Hvis du skal ta med deg en eneste roman på sommerferie, bør det bli Jonathan Franzens "Korrigeringer". Du kan ikke gjøre noe bedre kjøp akkurat nå. Men romanen gjør deg ikke dermed til en lykkelig konsument, mener Tom Egil Hverven.
added by annek49 | editNRK, Tom Egil Hverven (Jun 24, 2002)
 
'Met voorsprong het beste boek dat ik in jaren gelezen heb. Het enige slechte is dat het jammer genoeg na 502 pagina's ophoudt.'
added by guurtjesboekenkast | editDe Morgen, Yves Desmet
 
'De correcties is een zeldzaamheid: een boek dat hoog inzet, stilistisch verbluft en niet kan worden weggelegd tot het is uitgelezen.'
added by guurtjesboekenkast | editNRC Handelsblad, Pieter Steinz
 
Fremragende amerikansk roman minder os om hvor nøjsomme vi i grunden er herhjemme. Litterært set.
added by 2810michael | editJyllands-Posten, Niels Lillelund
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Franzen, JonathanAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baardman, GerdaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freire de Andrade, Maria JoãoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Groenenberg, HuubTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lameris, MarianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundgren, CajTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pareschi, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To David Means and Geneve Patterson
First words
The madness of an autumn prairie cold front coming through.
Quotations
The human species was given dominion over the earth and took the opportunity to exterminate other species and warm the atmosphere and generally ruin things in its own image, but it paid the price for the privileges: that the finite and specific animal body of this species contained a brain capable of conceiving the infinite and wishing to be infinite itself.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
The Corrections is a 2001 novel by American author Jonathan Franzen. It 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.
Haiku summary
You're soldiering on . . . ?
It might become interesting . . . ?
It doesn't. Trust me.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312421273, Paperback)

Jonathan Franzen's exhilarating novel The Corrections tells a spellbinding story with sexy comic brio, and evokes a quirky family akin to Anne Tyler's, only bitter. Franzen's great at describing Christmas homecomings gone awry, cruise-ship follies, self-deluded academics, breast-obsessed screenwriters, stodgy old farts and edgy Tribeca bohemians equally at sea in their lives, and the mad, bad, dangerous worlds of the Internet boom and the fissioning post-Soviet East.

All five members of the Lambert family get their due, as everybody's lives swirl out of control. Paterfamilias Alfred is slipping into dementia, even as one of his inventions inspires a pharmaceutical giant to revolutionize treatment of his disease. His stubborn wife, Enid, specializes in denial; so do their kids, each in an idiosyncratic way. Their hepcat son, Chip, lost a college sinecure by seducing a student, and his new career as a screenwriter is in peril. Chip's sister, Denise, is a chic chef perpetually in hot water, romantically speaking; banker brother Gary wonders if his stifling marriage is driving him nuts. We inhabit these troubled minds in turn, sinking into sorrow punctuated by laughter, reveling in Franzen's satirical eye:

Gary in recent years had observed, with plate tectonically cumulative anxiety, that population was continuing to flow out of the Midwest and toward the cooler coasts.... Gary wished that all further migration [could] be banned and all Midwesterners encouraged to revert to eating pasty foods and wearing dowdy clothes and playing board games, in order that a strategic national reserve of cluelessness might be maintained, a wilderness of taste which would enable people of privilege, like himself, to feel extremely civilized in perpetuity.
Franzen is funny and on the money. This book puts him on the literary map. --Tim Appelo

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:05 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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 flown the family nest to live their own lives. Desperate for some pleasure, Enid has set her heart on bringing her family together for one last Christmas at home.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 15 descriptions

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