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The Corrections

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  134,183 Ratings  ·  8,346 Reviews
From the author of ‘Freedom’, a richly realistic and darkly hilarious masterpiece about a family breakdown in an age of easy fixes.

After fifty years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity, and their children have long since fled for the catastrophes of their own lives. As Alfred’s condition wors
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Hardcover, 567 pages
Published 2001 by HarperFlamingo Canada
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Bl Late reply, but I couldn't either. It took me a very long time to finish it. At one point I left it behind at a restaurant, and didn't even notice it…moreLate reply, but I couldn't either. It took me a very long time to finish it. At one point I left it behind at a restaurant, and didn't even notice it had been there for 2 weeks. I should have abandoned it, but I was 3/4 of the way through the book and too invested. The characters are totally unlikable people. A lot like my family. In fact, after reading this book, I think of it often, which is ironic. I think he captures the nails-on-a-chalkboard feeling some families cause. People behaving badly, yet believing they are successful and even virtuous.(less)
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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
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Angela
Sep 04, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people dying a slow and painful death and want to make it worse
Shelves: modern-canon
4/19/17 update: I appreciate that so many people have "liked" this review and/or commented on it, whether we agree or not. Please know that I will not be interacting with any comments as I remember almost nothing about this novel other than the repulsion I felt toward it. I cannot add anything worthwhile to a discussion or engage in any intelligent discourse unless I read it again.... which I think we all know I am not going to do. That being said, anyone using the comments section to make a per ...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
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Jeffrey Keeten
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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
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
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Paul Bryant
Sep 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kate
May 07, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  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
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Brian
Jan 30, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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
Howard
The critics loved The Corrections. Published in 2001, it won the National Book Award for fiction for that year and was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize a year later. It also won or was nominated for a number of other prestigious literary prizes.

David Gates wrote in his glowing review in the New York Times that the book had “just enough novel-of-paranoia touches so Oprah won’t assign it and ruin Franzen’s street cred.”

Wrong, David. Oprah not only chose it for her book club but went so far as to pr
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Perry
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Gunter gleiben glauchen globen
All right
I got somethin' to say"


"no serenade, no fire brigade, just pyromania"
{{ Def Leppard, Rock of Ages, 1982 }}
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
description

Despite Herr Franzen's picturesque prose and stellar structuring, I could not get past the gloomy, grating, grinding, megalomaniacal, monomaniacal, hypochondriacal, nymphomaniacal bitching, bemoaning, boohooing, bleating and bloated backbiting and bullshit of this family full of neurotic whiners, stretching from the Midwest to the Northeast for an
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Saleh MoonWalker
Onvan : The Corrections - Nevisande : Jonathan Franzen - ISBN : 1841156736 - ISBN13 : 9781841156736 - Dar 653 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2001
Claudia
Ein Scheißhaufen kommt selten allein....

In diesem Buch ist nicht nur 1 Haufen vorhanden, der einem unentwegt um die Ohren fliegt. Von dieser Sorte sind sehr viel versteckt, über die man ständig stolpert. Irgendwann ist man es leid, sich dauernd die Schuhe abzuwischen.

Das ist an und für sich nicht mein Schreibstil, übernehme hier nur die Fäkalsprache des Autors.

Worum es geht, ist schnell erzählt. Warum man dazu 780 Seiten braucht, erschließt sich wohl nur Jonathan Franzen.

Mutter Enid liebt ihren
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Moira Russell
Dear Mr. Franzen,

Please be so good as to kindly go unfug yourself.

Sincerely,

The fabulous Edith Wharton


Lyn
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine owning a bonsai tree and snipping, cutting, making small corrections from the plant’s growth, guiding it and making it become what you want it to be.

Imagine an engineer with a sharpened pencil making schematics and rigidly following mathematical, precise principles, forming a design that fits a specific purpose and allows for only infinitesimal error.

But these ways of making corrections are not ways to deal with humans, this is not how people exist, there are no hard fast rules, no blac
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K.D. Absolutely
Aug 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Emily
Mar 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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),
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Alan
Apr 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Andrew Smith
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved Franzen's Freedom and really couldn't wait to get into this novel. I listened to this on audiobook (it helped that my favourite reader, George Guidall, recorded this in unabridged form). George does a brilliant job, as he always does. The story is long and complex and funny and sad. It has the right mix of obnoxious characters and those who evoke sympathy. I liked it and I loved bits of it. The last part of the book was brilliant and in the end I was really sad I'd finished it.
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
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Fabian
Jun 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On the other hand, there are IMPULSIVELY READABLE works of fiction. The much appreciated "The Corrections" is a prime example of what can occur if all you do is describe members of a family (it is not even all that dysfunctional--which is why the pathos is all too real). The Lamberts have a fallen patriarch, a mother who is on the verge of being taken under by her spouse (in other words, she's The Mother), a sibling who cares too much, another one too little, & a younger sister who may be a ...more
Ian "Marvin" Graye
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,
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Homer
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Προσπάθησα να το πρωτοδιαβάσω-δυο φορές νομίζω- όταν εκδόθηκε στα ελληνικά το 2002. Δεν το προχώρησα πάνω από το 1/4 του ογκωδέστατου βιβλίου. Το έβρισκα βαρετό. Ήμουν πολύ νέος-φευ !
Fast forward 15 χρόνια μετά και στην ηλικία των τέκνων της οικογένειας Λάμπερτ δοκίμασα να το ξαναδιαβάσω και βλέπω τα πάντα : η οικογένεια, η δουλειά, το σεξ, τα χρήματα, η επιτυχία, η αποτυχία, οι συγγενείς, οι φίλοι, τα γηρατειά, η αρρώστια, οι ενοχές. Εξακολουθώ να το θεωρώ σε μεγάλα κομμάτια του βαρετό-μακροσκε
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Chris_P
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You know all those things that we never stop carrying inside us but we'd rather die than let them out into the world? Those dialogues we keep having with the little voices inside our heads that we refuse to admit even to ourselves that they exist? That's exactly what The Corrections is about. Jonathan Franzen writes about a typical american family that could be yours or mine since, nowadays, there isn't much difference between the american and the non-american families of the "western" world, th ...more
Arnie
Dec 15, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
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.
Jason
Feb 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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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
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Auguste
Jan 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being a writer can make you an extremely poor - and biased - reader. Over the years, as fears and frustrations keep piling up, you're tempted to dismiss contemporary masters, geniuses writing at the same day and age as you do; why should you endure the pain of realizing you'll never be that great? And yet I've always known that if I gave in to this ungenerous voice, and refrained from reading as avidly as I do, I'd become an even worse writer than the one I fear I am in my darkest moments.

This w
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Sarah
Jul 07, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
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Book Club: The Corrections 1 6 Jul 06, 2017 08:31AM  
why the one star? 113 1071 Jun 08, 2017 04:34PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Update page count 2 13 Dec 27, 2016 07:12AM  
Mystery/Suspense/...: July/August 2016 - Fiction - The Corrections 9 10 Sep 28, 2016 11:10AM  
Goodreads Italia: GdL Narrativa Maggio 2016: Le correzioni di Jonathan Franzen - Commenti e discussione 73 159 Aug 26, 2016 07:43AM  
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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...
“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.” 169 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.” 99 likes
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