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The Corrections Hardcover – 2001

3.1 out of 5 stars 235 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 2001
CDN$ 26.93 CDN$ 1.30

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1st Edition edition (2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374129983
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374129989
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4.6 x 23.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 885 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars 235 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #599,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

"...a grandly entertaining novel for the new century--a comic, tragic masterpiece about a family breaking down in an age of easy fixes."


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A number of people made comments to the effect: "Oh, you're reading The Corrections? I couldn't get through that book." Now that I have read it, I may understand why.
Reading this book is like looking at a skinned human -- you always knew that the blood and guts and bones were in there, but you generally focus on the more palatable exterior; it's disturbing at the same time that it is completely natural.
The Corrections is like this. Lives laid bare; intrafamily squabbling, game-playing and meddling. Like an uncleansed soap opera, many times closer to real life than would be comfortable. I loved it, yet found it uniquely disturbing.
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Format: Hardcover
Let me sum up for you every bad review you might read here: Wah wah, this book didn't fulfill my preconceived expectations. Wah wah, I only like stories where the characters are 100% likeable.
My wife and I are reading this book right now and I can tell you this book will challenge you. Can't deal with that? Try another book. In fact, might as well forget books entirely and watch some more reruns of "Everybody Loves Raymond." Remember that episode when Debra gets PO'ed at Ray? Yeah, I love that one too. That's probably more your speed.
For the rest of you. Take the Gary character, for example. When you first meet him, the battle lines on him between my wife & I are clearly drawn. I felt sorry for him. Now midway through the book neither of us can figure him out, if he's a jerk, or if Caroline is being a bee-eye-tee-you-know-what.
The book is hilarious, too. You'll be reading along and suddenly be smacked in the face with Franzen's humor, and the best part is he doesn't warn you, draw attention to it, anything. Makes me wonder how many other jokes I've read through without catching them already.
Great book. Buy it. No whiners!
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Format: Paperback
In this novel, which does not pretend to be thoroughly realistic, Franzen flatly lays out what each of his creations must do. The children, Chip, Gary and Denise, fit the clichés one expects from many authors, usually male. An academic cannot be seen marking papers, attending committee meetings or serving on grievance panels. Instead, he must `transgress' against hierarchical structures and have a career-terminating affair. A successful businessman has to be married to a non-supportive wife. For a young woman who was Daddy's Girl, the future holds a string of failed relationships and the am-I-straight? routine. Enid and Alfred Lambert, the parents, must be unorthodox in a very prescribed fashion.
Franzen does not disappoint here, establishing five individual paths so relentlessly that the stereotyped Lamberts emerge on the other side as complete cartoon figures, perfectly matching the unrealistic plot. (Enough reviewers divulge plots, as if that was the only element in a book, so it won't be addressed here.) As in a sitcom, where spit-takes and mistaken identities occur all too often, in this book sexual mistakes, marital discord and illnesses come across as tired devices. So what is Franzen up to in utilizing them with such vigour? Before one can answer that, another element must be talked about, something that strikes one from the first word.

The narrative voice is rarely differentiated from the internal voice of the main figures. To the unnamed narrator the world is completely poisonous. If he was commenting on you and I having tea and coffee in a café, then the discarded brown sugar packet lying on the table would be a turd, and the packet would have been vanquished, breathing distress from its crushed brown lungs as it expired in the too chilly air-conditioning.
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Format: Paperback
Our story begins in the ancestral home of the Lambert family, in suburban St. Jude. The house, though it has seen better days, still maintains its façade of upper-middle-class style, with tasteful furniture and knick-knacks from around the world strategically deployed to give the appearance of gracious living. Within this house, Enid and Alfred Lambert wage the long-running and tireless war of a couple who have never agreed on a single thing. Skirmishes are staged in the living room (each side capturing territory with successive furniture purchases); in the hall closet (where Enid, on the strength of her oldest son's advice, squirrels away financial correspondence that she tells Alfred she has mailed for him); and in the basement (where Alfred, inexplicably, fills old Yuban cans with urine when there is a "nice little half-bathroom not twenty feet away").
In more urban locations around the country, the three Lambert children are fighting their own battles with their respective demons. Gary, the oldest, is battling depression, his infuriating wife, and his materialistic brats; Chip is struggling with a rapidly disappearing sense of self-worth, after an affair with an undergrad leaves him jobless and heavily in debt to his sister; and Denise, the youngest, is learning that her penchant for making destructive choices is something of a hindrance to her chances for happiness. On top of all this stress is the burden of dealing with Enid's increasingly strident demands for a last family Christmas in St. Jude, and Alfred's rapidly deteriorating condition. There is also a brief but extremely gratifying cameo from a talking piece of poop, which ought to be enough to sell the story to any discerning reader.
Franzen has an amazing gift for making terrible things funny.
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