The Corrections

  • by Jonathan Franzen
  • Narrated by Dylan Baker
  • 9 hrs and 0 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

After almost 50 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 the catastrophes of their own lives. The oldest, Gary, a once-stable portfolio manager and family man, is trying to convince his wife and himself, despite clear signs to the contrary, that he is not clinically depressed. The middle child, Chip, has lost his seemingly secure academic job and is failing spectacularly in his new line of work. And Denise, the youngest, has escaped a disastrous marriage only to pour her youth and beauty down the drain on an affair with a married man - or so her mother fears. Desperate for some pleasure to look forward to, Enid has set her heart on an elusive goal: bringing her family together for one last Christmas at home.Stretching from the Midwest at midcentury to the Wall Street and Eastern Europe of today, The Corrections brings an old-fashioned world of civic virtue and sexual inhibitions into violent collision with the era of home surveillance, hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental health care, and globalized greed. Richly realistic, darkly hilarious, deeply humane, it confirms Jonathan Frazen as one of our most brilliant interpreters of American society and the American soul.

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What the Critics Say



Audie Award Winner, Fiction (Abridged), 2002
Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Adult Fiction, 2002
National Book Award Winner, Best Fiction, 2001
An Oprah Book Club Selection
"When critics refer to 'The Great American Novel' this is it, people!" (Oprah Winfrey)
"The brightest, boldest, and most ambitious novel I've read in many years." (Pat Conroy)
"This is, simply, a masterpiece." (Amazon.com)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A memorable book; flawless narration

For once the publisher's summary has got it right. The broad character sketches and plot synopses that it offers are dead on, and without a doubt Jonathan Franzen has written a brilliant novel. I would also like to add, as many others have mentioned, that Dylan Baker, the narrator of this piece, is one of the best narrators I've heard so far. He truly adds a depth to these characters that is astonishing; he literally becomes each character.

The Corrections follows the lives of five family members, each with their own unique problems. All of these characters are fully developed and none are stereotypes -- each character is a decidedly different shade of gray. And despite the summary's emphasis on Enid, the wife and mother, of the novel's five characters, I would have to say that the story most belongs to Denise, the daughter, whose eyes seem to see more clearly than anyone else's here.

I cannot say when I first became hooked into this story, which is actually a collection of character vignettes that crisscross over one another before finally uniting in the last few chapters; but I know I surrendered early on. At nine hours this book is a saga that only gets more interesting the longer you read it. As some have mentioned, the characters do tend to do hateful things to each another, and one could classify this book as depressing in tone; yet somehow one doesn't feel depressed while reading it, only uplifted. The Corrections is a fascinating, insightful, and satisfying book that leaves you thinking about it long after you've put it down.
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- Charles

Wonderful study of growing old

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Hilarious and deeply moving, you find yourself alternately laughing at, abhoring, hating, and loving each disfunctional person in this family as the author digs deeper and deeper into their past and present states of mind. and just for a thoughtful look into the mind of old age and how parkinsons might be like, it's worth it. You think that this author is never going to be able to rescue these people in my mind. But he does. They do redeem themselves, if only in becoming human enough, in spite of all their failings, they do something kind. And I love them for it. It's everything I like in a book. Highly recommend it.
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- Todd

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-06-2001
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio