The Corrections

The Corrections

Downloadable Audiobook - 2011
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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 face the catastrophes of their own lives.
Publisher: Prince Frederick, Md. : Recorded Books ; [Prince Frederick, Md.] : [Distributed by] OneClick Digital, 2011, p2002
ISBN: 9781464023224
Characteristics: 1 sound file (22 hr.) : digital
Additional Contributors: Guidall, George

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Aug 13, 2018

Despite its brilliance, and the fact that I listened to all 19 of the CDs, in the end I just didn't buy it. I found the ending pretty much an emotional "deux ex machina." Not to spoil it I'll just say, something happens that makes it all good - that somehow magically washes away the deep neurosis, and let's face it, dishonesty of the characters.

Virtually the entire plot is the characters being emotionally and in other ways dishonest, and most of the emotional tension is them trying to avoid getting caught, or their feelings about getting caught in their dishonesty. That isn't going to change because something in the situation changes. Therefore it should have ended tragically; I found the relatively happy ending so banal. A reflection of society, yes, but not a light forward, to use the old school adage. Unlikely to be enduring.

It's an interesting book though. Franzen is a great talent, obviously. I listened to the Audiobooks version, really great narrative performance by George Guidall.

Jan 13, 2014

I was introduced to Jonathan Franzen from reading 2010's Freedom and right away I was impressed by his intricate yet deceptively simple writing style; expansive, yet concise. His attention to detail and in-the-moment conversational interplay appealed to me and Freedom easily became one of my favorites. A year later, after loving a recent essay of his titled Farther Away, I mentally noted Franzen as an author to watch. And now that I've read The Corrections, a pointed work of American middle-class desperation, I consider him one of the most talented authors currently living.

I can't say I'd ever want to personally know a family like the Lamberts. Enid and Alfred may be well into their retirement years, but that doesn't mean they don't harbor a lifetime of resentments and are more than willing to inflict their pain on others. And their adult children, Gary, Chip and Denise, are frequently despicable individuals. Still, I grew to love them all. Disappointments and forgiveness are what make us human.

Dec 06, 2007

Finalist of the 2002 Pulitzer prize for fiction.


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