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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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
If some authors are masters of suspense, others postmodern verbal acrobats, and still others complex-character pointillists, few excel in all three arenas. In his long-awaited third novel, Franzen does. Unlike his previous works, The 27th City (1988) and Strong Motion (1992), which tackled St. Louis and Boston, respectively, this one skips from city to city (New York; St. Jude; Philadelphia; Vilnius, Lithuania) as it follows the delamination of the Lambert family Alfred, once a rigid disciplinarian, flounders against Parkinson's-induced dementia; Enid, his loyal and embittered wife, lusts for the perfect Midwestern Christmas; Denise, their daughter, launches the hippest restaurant in Philly; and Gary, their oldest son, grapples with depression, while Chip, his brother, attempts to shore his eroding self-confidence by joining forces with a self-mocking, Eastern-Bloc politician. As in his other novels, Franzen blends these personal dramas with expert technical cartwheels and savage commentary on larger social issues, such as the imbecility of laissez-faire parenting and the farcical nature of U.S.-Third World relations. The result is a book made of equal parts fury and humor, one that takes a dry-eyed look at our culture, at our pains and insecurities, while offering hope that, occasionally at least, we can reach some kind of understanding. This is, simply, a masterpiece. Agent, Susan Golomb. (Sept.)Forecast: Franzen has always been a writer's writer and his previous novels have earned critical admiration, but his sales haven't yet reached the level of, say, Don DeLillo at his hottest. Still, if the ancillary rights sales and the buzz at BEA are any indication, The Corrections should be his breakout book. Its varied subject matter will endear it to a genre-crossing section of fans (both David Foster Wallace and Michael Cunningham contributed rave blurbs) and FSG's publicity campaign will guarantee plenty of press. QPB main, BOMC alternate. Foreign rights sold in the U.K., Denmark, Holland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Spain. Nine-city author tour.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. See all Product Description
A well written book on the lives of an US mid-west family and "the corrections" Alfred, Enid and their three adult children go through. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Sigmund Travis
Franzen is a really fun writer to read in *The Corrections*.Published 13 months ago by Reggie Mills
I'm not a literary critic but I tend to only read books that are worth the time, and this one of them! Find out for yourself, why it was in the finals on the Pulitzer Prize list.Published 15 months ago by Crystal
I have the following confessions to make:
1) I am a writer.
2) I have not enjoyed one percent of the celebration of Franzen. Read more
In this novel, which does not pretend to be thoroughly realistic, Franzen flatly lays out what each of his creations must do. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Jeff Bursey
This is a rich and complicated story of white middle-class families in the United States. The characters are very well thought out, and Franzen is good at pacing the story. Read morePublished 22 months ago by AC
Was recommended for our book club and unfortunately not many in the group actually finished it. But I have heard of others who liked it.Published on June 24 2013 by jaimejm
I only popped on to Amazon just now to order more works by Jonathan Franzen. I am nearly finished The Corrections and I wouldn't normally be taking such a long break from the... Read morePublished on July 28 2012 by Tunfæsk
To qualify as a bona fide reader of Franzen's new book, "Freedom", I thought I would catch up with one of his earlier works, and I am glad I did. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2010 by Ian Gordon Malcomson