The Corrections
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The Corrections

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  90,120 ratings  ·  6,323 reviews
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,...more
Paperback, 635 pages
Published September 2nd 2002 by Fourth Estate Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2001)
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Jacob
July 2012

Facts concerning Jonathan Franzen's novel The Corrections
•Print runs of Jonathan Franzen's novel The Corrections are believed to be the largest in recorded history.
•Although no reliable count exists, experts believe that the number of printed copies of Jonathan Franzen's novel The Corrections runs into the hundreds of millions in the United States alone, with perhaps more than one billion copies of Jonathan Franzen's novel The Corrections in existence worldwide.
•Jonathan Franzen's nove...more
Angela
Jan 15, 2008 Angela rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people dying a slow and painful death and want to make it worse
A seemingly unending stream of word vomit.

I can think of no other way to describe this thing.

I really, really despised almost everything about The Corrections. I finished it solely so that I could write a horrible review and have it be valid.

At no single point before the last 10 pages of this 566-page monster did I feel a shred of sympathy with any of the characters. There were several moments where I thought Franzen would have been better off writing dialogue-for-the-average-Joe instead of the...more
Kemper
While reading The Corrections I really understood the meaning of ‘schadenfreude’ because I despised almost every character in this book so much that the more miserable their lives got, the more enjoyment I took from it. And when a shotgun was introduced late in the novel, I read the rest of it with my fingers crossed while muttering "Please please please please please please..." in the hope that at least one of those pitiful shits would end up taking a load of buckshot to the face.

The Lambert’s...more
Books Ring Mah Bell
My first Franzen.

Really I don't even know how to start this review. I could begin, I suppose, by discussing the pure perfection of his writing. It is REALLY DAMN GOOD. If I could break reviews down into little sections, he'd get 10 stars for his style/technique. Excellent.

On the other hand, I can't give this a full 5 stars. Or can I? Yeah, it was well written. The depth of the characters and the storyline maybe just a hair short of phenomenal. ???

Yet...
Why do I bother with fiction? I feel guilty...more
Jeffrey Keeten
“And when the event, the big change in your life, is simply an insight—isn't that a strange thing? That absolutely nothing changes except that you see things differently and you're less fearful and less anxious and generally stronger as a result: isn't it amazing that a completely invisible thing in your head can feel realer than anything you've experienced before? You see things more clearly and you know that you're seeing them more clearly. And it comes to you that this is what it means to lov...more
Paul
Nov 12, 2013 Paul rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
JONATHAN FRANZEN'S TOP TEN RULES FOR WRITERS (as given to The Guardian on 20 Feb 2010)

with additional commenty comments by me :


1. The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.

Hmm, well, maybe. I can't think Hugh Selby had very friendly thoughts when he wrote his brilliant Last Exit to Brooklyn, it reads like he wants to shove all of us into a landfill site and have done with the human race. But quite often that's a good attitude for a writer to have. Some books you walk around and p...more
Kate
Jan 03, 2008 Kate rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: Emily
Conrad told me that Jonathan Franzen has been quoted as saying he deliberately rips off influential late-century American authors such as Pynchon, DeLillo and Roth, but tries to make the prose less difficult, more easily consumed.

Leaving aside for a moment the irony of that statement in light of his outrage over the Oprah thing, that is retarded. Those authors are not great because their writing is accessible when the complexity is removed.

It was when one of the main characters in The Correction...more
Jason
Franzen’s writing is impeccable. Not only does his understanding of complex, familial relationships fascinate me, but his ability to capture these characters—all five of them, I might add—with such depth...I think that is what really drew me in as a reader. I mean, these are people who are so flawed emotionally and so utterly selfish inherently, and yet each of them has this capacity for loving one another even while recognizing their inability to stand each other for more than five minutes at a...more
Brian
Franzy
An open letter to my former copy of The Corrections:

First I want to tell you that it isn’t you, it’s me. People and books grow apart just like people and people grow apart. I remember years ago when I read you that there were certain things about you that I really liked; but the truth is, I just wasn’t really that into you. Yeah, that little stunt with Oprah was pretty cute, and I recall we had a laugh, but I’m just at that point in my life where I need to make space for new experiences – open...more
Kelly
I love this novel as much for what it turned out that it wasn’t as for what it actually was. The opening vignette was a deep dive into the subterranean conflicts of a middle class home in Middle America. We're immediately focused on the agony and resentment of the emasculated American male wrought by decades of marriage to a dutiful wife who dutifully domesticates the family and becomes an expert in polishing the façade. In our initial meeting, the retired Alfred has dug himself such a deep tren...more
Emily
I'm writing this review in response to Kate's review, which tore it up with a lot of intelligent points. I feel the need to respond because I loved this book, and even re-read it about a year ago.

One point Kate makes is that this book is full of rotten characters and some of them don't stand up off the page. (My mother's main complaint, too, was that the characters weren't nice.) I'd agree that there are a couple characters who are flimsy (mainly, SPOILER, the couple Denise has her thing with),...more
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 01, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 and 1001
Shelves: 1001-core
I enjoyed reading this book. It is one of those rare instances when I fully agree to all those blurbs written in the front and back covers of a book. No wonder that The Millions (Reader's Choice) voted this book as #1 novel of this decade (2000-2009) that is now about to end. It is also in the 501 Must Read Books, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, Time 100, Oprah Selections and won the National Book Award.

This book was published in 2001 at around the same time as when 9/11 happened. Sinc...more
Alan
From start to finish on my third time through this book - my first experiencing it through text and not audio – I was struck anew at not only the bleak, hilarious story it tells but at the beauty of the writing, at the way Franzen knows how to turn a phrase.

One thing I kind of noticed on my own but had my eye made more aware of by a New York Times review of the book was how meta-fictive the book is. The Times – or whatever publication it was I found on the internet as I obsessed over this book...more
Ian Paganus
An Opportunity to Make A Few Corrections

I read “The Corrections” pre-Good Reads and originally rated it four stars.

I wanted to re-read (and review) it, before starting “Freedom”.

I originally dropped it a star because I thought there was something unsatisfying about the whole Lithuanian adventure.

Perhaps, when I re-read it, I wouldn’t object to it as much and I could improve my rating.

Having just finished it, I could probably add a half-star, but I’m not ready to give it five.

Second time around,...more
Arnie
I didn't like The Corrections. I didn't like or care about any of the characters. Seems like I've been reading about the prototypical dysfunctional American family for decades. This one was humorless and boring. Probably because the characters lacked personality.
I know most people loved it or said they did, I've already heard all the arguments defending it.
Sarah
Jul 29, 2008 Sarah rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: middle-aged ex-Midwesterner dudes who hate their parents.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Justin Sheppard
I find myself of two minds after finally getting around to reading The Corrections. While Franzen is undoubtedly a supremely talented writer, I can’t help but feel that what could have been a legitimate classic novel was ruined by the author’s idiosyncrasies.

Unlike most people, my complaints don’t lie in the novel’s hyper-sexuality or its cast of unlikable characters. Sex in literature has never bothered me as long as it serves to advance the plot in some way (which, I believe, it does here) an...more
Jason
Jonathan Franzen, you bespectacled metrosexual, you. What a great book. 4.5 stars! Now hang with me, I know this book is pretty divisive.

HERE'S WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK: at some point in your life, you will make a very difficult decision on how to provide medical/hospice care for an aging, ailing family member. Most likely that family member will be a parent (or a Baby Boomer), and that decision will not be accepted--not by the member, not by your siblings. The decision will most likely oc...more
Stan
Jun 01, 2013 Stan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Your enemies.
Is it possible to spite an author by purposely not finishing his/her book? I have purposely stopped about 70 pages short of finishing The Corrections to spite Jonathan Franzen. This book is a maddening depiction of unlikable members of a wretched family. Redeeming values are in short supply, but words, descriptors, and asides certainly are not.

Maybe the mark of great literature is the raising of one's ire. If this is true, Franzen has found success. At times, I was angry reading The Corrections...more
Jordan
Reading this book a second time (the first being in August last year), I am happy to report that this time, I was able to leave the house and be a fully-functioning member of society (well, as much as I ever am) while in the midst of it. Yay for me!

That's not to say this book didn't have as profound an effect on me the second time around; it did. It was just that I knew what to expect. The first time, I was so hooked that there was nothing else I wanted to do, other than read it. Food lost all...more
Marco Tamborrino
"Aveva perso le tracce di ciò che voleva, e poiché una persona è ciò che vuole, si poteva dire che avesse perso le tracce di se stesso."

A scuola
Alle elementari abbiamo avuto tutti la prof che ci correggeva i qual è con l'apostrofo, o le virgole dove non vanno messe. Abbiamo assaggiato cosa significava essere corretti. Eravamo nel torto, ci hanno raddrizzatto. Forse solo perché noi potessimo correggere altri, una volta adulti.

A casa
La mamma ci avrà detto un sacco di volte che non si fa questo e...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
I can't think of a single other book where I got to end and wanted to ask someone for my time back. Most books that I've strongly disliked or thought were crap were genre books, typically short and relatively fast reads. At close to 600 pages, there is nothing short or fast about The Corrections, and nothing to savour in its slowness either.

The story - about a depressingly typical and dysfunctional, middle class Middle American family from the 60s to the present - is a thief. It steals your time...more
Suzanne Macartney
Aug 23, 2007 Suzanne Macartney rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of family drama
Shelves: fiction
Didn't want to like Franzen. He is the guy who jilted Oprah and her bookclub causing major media hoopla a few years back. About the same time he suggested 'although women comprise the bulk of readers, they don't read serious literature'. Aaaaaaghh! Determined to avoid this guy I passed by his book at B&N many times that year, but then decided I could critcize him more properly if acquainted with his work.

Ahem. It's a satisfying read. Grown-up, richly detailed, fascinating characters memorabl...more
Matt
There is a crowded shelf, among my overflowing bookcases, dedicated solely to books I’m getting around to reading. However much I read, this shelf is always crammed. Most of the books are new, given as gifts on Christmas or my birthday. These are big hardcover titles with tight bindings, handsome dust-jackets, and $35 cover prices. I’m excited to read them, but I hew to a loose first-in, first-out policy, meaning I have to wade through older purchases before I can tackle them (which is part of t...more
Garrett Burnett
Ah, The Corrections. It was almost amazing. Franzen has managed to write a riveting story wherein nothing much happens and none of the characters are that likable. The book was carried purely by his writing. (In that regard, it was the "Anti-Da Vinci Code"--a horribly written book with a lot of interesting action and little insight.) Franzen's ability to round out characters, even incidental bit players, was amazing. He hinted at elaborate back stories for everything--the people, the places, the...more
Aaron
I would like my 11 hours back, however, maddeningly, the fact that I will never get that time again is a theme of the novel. For all aura of rebellion, this is a profoundly square book. The style is flat, descriptive, and free of quirk and pop cultural groundings; the politics is no more radical then the average urban reader of books such as these (even the “rejection” of Oprah fits squarely into the political framework of a very recognizable type of urban professional). Despite matter of fact o...more
Steve
Jul 22, 2008 Steve rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Steve by: Bob's Top 5 Lists
First let me say that this Franzen guy, he can write. That by itself justifies a minimum of 3 stars. He turns a phrase as well as anyone in modern literature, with a style that is both artful and incisive. His brainpower is on display just about every page. In a way, though, that’s part of my frustration with the book. When someone as clever as Franzen is sharing insights, you might hope for some traits to borrow or views to adopt from his characters—something to include in your own eclectic por...more
Lilly G
It takes a special kind of writer to create a cast of characters each and every one of which is extremely irritating. I couldn't finish it. It was "seinfeld" in book form for me. Blech.
Kaloyana
Гигантска книга. И тялом и духом. Петстотин страници дребен шрифт, малко пряка реч. Трудно се чете на моменти, но много завладяващо. Спираш, връщаш се и пак продължаваш. Точно както в човешките взаимоотношения, които така добре са разнищени. Мисля, че са засегнати почти всички или поне основните. И никъде нито беше лесно, нито особено щастливо. Сложната борба на желанията, на стремежа да бъдеш разбран и когато не си, както е в повечето случаи, да избягаш, да се спасиш. Но къде и как? Красиви хор...more
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Ideal age range? 2 17 Jun 30, 2014 01:16PM  
Goodreads Librari...: 'The Corrections' edition 6 11 Jun 29, 2014 07:23PM  
why the one star? 109 944 Jun 24, 2014 05:18PM  
The title 10 131 Aug 10, 2013 07:14AM  
Bokt goodreads gr...: Jonathan Franzen - De Correcties 1 11 May 01, 2013 07:08AM  
La Stamberga dei ...: Le correzioni di Jonathan Franzen 2 19 Jan 16, 2013 12:07PM  
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Jonathan Franzen is the author of The Corrections, winner of the 2001 National Book Award for fiction; the novels The Twenty-Seventh City and Strong Motion; and two works of nonfiction, How to Be Alone and The Discomfort Zone, all published by FSG. His fourth novel, Freedom, was published in the fall of 2010.

Franzen's other honors include a 1988 Whiting Writers' Award, Granta's Best Of Young Ameri...more
More about Jonathan Franzen...
Freedom How to Be Alone The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History Strong Motion The Twenty-Seventh City

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“And when the event, the big change in your life, is simply an insight—isn't that a strange thing? That absolutely nothing changes except that you see things differently and you're less fearful and less anxious and generally stronger as a result: isn't it amazing that a completely invisible thing in your head can feel realer than anything you've experienced before? You see things more clearly and you know that you're seeing them more clearly. And it comes to you that this is what it means to love life, this is all anybody who talks seriously about God is ever talking about. Moments like this.” 90 likes
“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 this price for its 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.” 65 likes
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