Characters are interesting, book is well written (if tedious to read), and I learned some new words. But overall the story was far too depressing. Just about every story line was depressing.
I think this is my favorite book of all time. Finishing it was like getting punched in the stomach, but in a good way. It was so beautiful and touching and relevant and human I cried through the last pages. Not because it was SAD! Well, the father's decline was somewhat sad, but because it is LIFE. A pure, uncut hit of the joy and sadness that make living what it is. I could go on all day but I have to go to work lol.
Late in life, Enid Lambert comes to a realization: “What you discovered about yourself in raising children wasn’t always agreeable or attractive.” Still, Enid dreams of one last family Christmas with her three grown children before her husband Alfred’s health declines too much. Their kids’ lives are falling apart in various ways, and Enid’s campaign to bring them together reveals the weaknesses and the strengths of their family ties. There are power struggles galore, but also acts of incredible love and self-sacrifice, which gives them a lot in common with many real-life families.
Compelling but unpleasant. I read the start, skimmed about a bit and read the end for closure.
Uninteresting...could not muster empathy for any of the characters. Did not make it past page 50.
Never felt invited to be involved in people's lives; just an observer of other people's discomfort
A story of family turmoil told in the honest captivating style of Jonathan Franzen. "The Corrections" speak to the human experience in a way that makes the story resonate with readers in a meaningful way.
Did you ever notice how there are a lot of younger novelists named Jonathan (Ames, Safron Foer, Lethem)? You'd think at least one would could by John or Johnny. Johnny Franzen famously pissed off Oprah when promoting this book. Some might call this one of the 00's great novels. Some would be wrong. Sure, Franzen's a skilled writer, but he's working territory that is familiar to readers of Yates, Updike and Cheever, which makes him feel a bit old fashioned. Plus he seems incapable of creating a sympathetic character. The overall feeling this creates is contempt. I also would've had a character say "I've got something you can correct!"
This will be a long time favorite book. I really look forward to reading his next book "Freedom" and following the books on his shelf. Franzen has the best descriptive skiils I have ever been fortunate enough to hear or read.
Franzen’s saga of Alfred and Enid Lambert and their three grown children’s attempts to “correct” for the emotional suffocation of their Midwestern household is a brilliant update of the old-fashioned American social novel. A dark and even scathing look at family power struggles, capitalism and our therapeutic culture; its vivid and comic portrayal of American family life also implies a kind of sympathy and understanding.
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