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The Corrections

The Corrections

Book rating: 04 Paperback Harper Perennial

By (author) Jonathan Franzen

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  • Publisher: HarperPerennial
  • Format: Paperback | 672 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 46mm | 458g
  • Publication date: 2 July 2007
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0007232446
  • ISBN 13: 9780007232444
  • Sales rank: 871

Product description

From the author of 'Freedom', a richly realistic and darkly hilarious masterpiece about a family breakdown in an age of easy fixes. After fifty years as a wife and mother, Enid Lambert is ready to have some fun. Unfortunately her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity, and their children have long since fled for the catastrophes of their own lives. As Alfred's condition worsens and the Lamberts are forced to face their secrets and failures, Enid sets her heart on one last family Christmas. Bringing the old world of civic virtue and sexual inhibition into violent collision with the era of hands-off parenting, do-it-yourself mental healthcare and globalised greed, 'The Corrections' confirms Jonathan Franzen as one of the most brilliant interpreters of the American soul.

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Author information

Jonathan Franzen won the National Book Award in 2001 for 'The Corrections'. He is the author of three other critically acclaimed novels, 'The Twenty-Seventh City', 'Strong Motion' and most recently 'Freedom', as well as two works of non-fiction: 'How to be Alone' and 'The Discomfort Zone'. He lives in New York City and Santa Cruz, California.

Customer reviews

By Monika Stasiak 18 Jan 2010 4

The Corrections is an epic of American middle class life in the 21st Century. Its character development is its standout feature. Each of the main characters contributes a stream of consciousness narrative episode; these could be strong stand-alone stories but are also elegantly linked to each other. All characters are genotypes in America's contemporary cultural landscape, but Franzen delves deeply into their minds to create individuals and consequently each character is exquisitely full of memories, stereotypical behaviours and external accessories. Franzen masterfully creates layers of interaction and events that map each character's path; this is symbolic of emotional and physical 'clutter' created by families across generations.

As a sub-theme, Franzen explores the concept of a tragedy most powerfully delivered as a farce, but this is also a skilful element of his narrative. Characters verge on hysterical and hilarious, illuminating the human strategy of 'numbing' pain by shrouding it in caricature. This technique encourages the reader to engage in the humour also: if you didn't laugh, you'd cry.

Review quote

'A book which is funny, moving, generous, brutal and intelligent, and which poses the ultimate question: what life is for? And that is as much as anyone could ask.' Blake Morrison, Guardian 'Intelligent, compellingly readable, funny and above all generous spirited, it is a rare thing, a modern novel with both head and heart.' Daily Mail 'Jonathan Franzen has built a powerful novel out of the swarming consciousness of a marriage, a family, a whole culture.' Don DeLillo 'Impossible to dislike, an unpretentious page-turner.' Zadie Smith 'Compelling. A pleasure from beginning to end. Franzen, in one leap, has put himself into the league of Updike and Roth.' Evening Standard