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The Corrections (2001)

by Jonathan Franzen

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,177324276 (3.75)455
"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 heart 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."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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» See also 455 mentions

English (299)  Dutch (8)  Spanish (3)  Italian (3)  German (3)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  Norwegian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  All languages (324)
Showing 1-5 of 299 (next | show all)
Just... so bad. I really only read it because after reading (& similarly hating) Freedom, I figured that I should at least try another Franzen book, just in case Freedom was a whiff. Having completed all 566 miserable pages, I can confirm that I hate Mr. Franzen's writing with all of my little black heart.

There is not a human being portrayed on these pages——and don't get me started on how poorly Mr. Franzen writes women——nor is there much of a plot outside the unending backstory provided in some of the most turgid prose you'll ever willingly read. Of particular scorn is Mr. Franzen's penchant for finding the most obtuse way to say something, most memorably "having achieved non-virginity before college."

I can honestly find not a single commendable aspect of the book. For a comic novel, it only elicited one laugh from me, and it was one I let out in manic frustration when I realized that Mr. Franzen had finally decided to write a character arc in the last 10 pages of the novel.

If I had one word to describe this book, I would use bloated. And not in the sense of like, "oh honey, I loved your dinner but I'm feeling rather bloated for some reason." I mean bloated in the sense of total, unrelenting, unnecessary gargantuation. That is, right up until the very end, when everything could get really interesting, when the five characters whose interactions we've been craving for the previous five hundred pages all finally get into a room together. We have slogged through their BS time and time again and they will finally confront each other, have some good, old-fashioned human drama, will face the consequences of their actions, and——oh crap, it's over. The scene ended quicker than it took me to write that sentence. All I can say is that this novel builds you up, self-felating the entire time, like a town preparing for nuclear disaster: children running into bunkers, families killing other families over morsels of food, the construction of enormous barracks and barriers between each other, desperation on the faces of every human being in a hundred mile radius as this bomb threatens to drop. Only, when it finally does, you discover all the hullaballoo was over a pebble.

The Corrections had a time and a place. Unfortunately, it has passed. As a young person reading this novel in college, I can safely say that nobody from my generation will find any interest in this book. It served as a litmus test post 9-11, but Gen Z all already know what our lives are like, and we certainly don't want to hear Mr. Franzen's warped fever-dream ramblings on it. No thank you. ( )
  AuroraCH | Jun 7, 2021 |
painful in its realism ( )
  elifra | Dec 31, 2020 |
The writer has a reputation for being smug, but this work stands out as a classic like him or not. It's nearly twenty years at the time that I'm writing this review and I believe it is still relevant in it's assessment of the depression and sadness of so many American lives. Occasionally it's a little too cute, but the writer also has some fantastic scenes, characters, and drama packed into this novel. I couldn't put it down as there were insights that I could personally relate to or at least feel like I've witnessed in the lives of friends and family. I'm skeptical of what I understand is his more experimental writing, but in this novel Franzen demonstrates a remarkable eye to notice the detail of what it is to be American in the 21st century. ( )
  ProfH | Dec 29, 2020 |
Hmmm. That was interesting and also kind of a messy book. I think there were genuinely intriguing criticisms of pre-Y2K society, but also some genuinely stupid sexual generalizations about women. I think three stars should call it even (though probably a little generous). ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
My entire book club hated this book...it was torture to finish. ( )
  baruthcook | Aug 26, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 299 (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 (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Franzen, Jonathanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abarbanell, BettinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome 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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rororo (23523)
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To David Means and Geneve Patterson
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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)

"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 heart 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."--BOOK JACKET.

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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.

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