Jonathan Karmel's Reviews > The Corrections

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
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's review
Apr 17, 2012

really liked it
Read from April 17 to May 15, 2012

This book kept me interested for all of its 568 pages, both because I wanted to know what was going to happen and because of the interesting and creative style of the writing. Like Freedom, which I had already read, I thought this book was a good critique of contemporary, middle class American mores. Sadly, I could identify with the people in this book even though I didn’t like any of them.

The characters are stubborn (or perhaps idealistic is a better description), and their rigid thinking causes them to forge ahead on a self-destructive path with blinders on, so they cannot see the obvious realities that are ruining their lives. Like investors trying to make enough in the stock market to be able to stop working, they experience “corrections” that jolt them back to reality.

Of course, it’s easy for us to remain in a state of denial and ignore such corrections (it’s a buying opportunity!), or to delude ourselves into believing that our issues can be “corrected” via self-medication. If we all act like this as a society, manageable corrections become disastrous crashes.

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