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Audible Sample

The Corrections Audio Download – Abridged

2.8 out of 5 stars 673 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 9 hours
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Abridged
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 6 Sept. 2001
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQB0GM
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 28 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
Spanning the last forty years of the 20th century, this is a huge family drama focusing on the elderly parents and three grown children in a midwestern family. To label these characters as dysfunctional does not do justice to their uniquenesses or to the reader's ability to identify with them. Their difficulties as a family arise because the family dynamics require them to hurt each other if they are to be true to themselves. When Enid decides that the whole family must come home to St. Jude's for "one last family Christmas," the stage is set for an emotional family reunion which results in many "corrections."
Enid, the mother, while not assertive in a traditional sense, cleverly wields the age-old guilt ploy to get her own way. Albert, the father, suffers from Parkinson's-induced dementia and creates enormous strains on the rest of the family's emotional resources. Each of the children, now adult and living away from home, brings to the reunion the baggage of the past and the insights obtained independent of the family.
Seven years in the making, this novel is an intimate, domestic drama, smoothly incorporating themes which question who we are, what we owe our parents, how we become who we are, and where we are going. Franzen's pointed observations about contemporary life--as revealed by upscale restaurants, the "green movement," cruise ship behavior, use of the internet for fund-raising, dispensation of "happy pills," nursing homes, and even the crassness of Christmas--enliven the plot as it spirals around and through time and the lives of the five characters. Albert's decline, told in part from his point of view, is particularly heart-breaking. This book offers a stunning and intimate view of a middle-class American family, its values, and its dreams, all presented with wit, sensitivity, and power. Mary Whipple
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Format: Paperback
As you can tell from all the previous reviews this is a real 'love it' or 'hate it' type book. It was bought for me as a gift quite a few years ago (probably when it was first out) and I, like many others, started it, got a few pages in, didn't 'connect' with it so put it on the bookshelf for the next couple of years and let it just quietly gather dust...

It caught my eye a few months back (it winked at me as I passed the shelf!) so I thought I'd give it another go. This time, and I really don't know why, I was completely drawn in. Once I started I couldn't put it down. Its the most wonderful beautifully well written story of an 'average-ish' family and their relationships with each other. There are moments in it that made me incredibly sad and others that made me laugh out loud. There are parts that remind me a lot of my family 'set up' (not all the way through - but there are glimpses that I think a lot of us can identify with). It really captures how the family dynamic changes as we age and how we deal with the mistakes (and choices) we make in our life. The characters just grow and grow as the book progresses and after I'd finished I sat quietly for a very long time digesting it and its impact on me. I discussed it with family and friends : I wanted to know how they would feel if, in a few years, they/we ended up like Alfred and Enid. I do rather love books like this. Ones that stay with you for a long while after you've finished them.

So yes, 9 years or so had lapsed since I first picked the book up and an awful lot had change in 'my' life in that time. Maybe second time round I really was more in tune with it. Whatever it was I completely loved it. Its brilliantly written and I know I will definitely read it again at some point. Maybe when I'm Alfred's age just to see what effect if has on me then. So for those that pick it up and struggle to start with it put it down for a while and try again after a few years. It'll be worth it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I came to the pc this Friday evening, midnight thirty, to look up more Franzen writing, having just finished The Corrections. If you are reading this, I beg you to disregard some of the downbeat reviews submitted by other readers and believe the general acclaim that has greeted this wonderful book. I rate this huge, wonderful, funny, touching, involving novel right up there with other recent great reads, from Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin to Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible. It is, as intelligent reviewers have commented, so distinctive that any comparisons risk being misleading, but it's not a million miles off the mark to say that there is a whiff of Catch 22 in the author's virtuoso handling of his material. As I experienced it, this is a book, like all great novels, about the extraordinary canvas of human life. It focuses on an ageing couple - their twilight years sympathetically, sometimes hilariously, portrayed - and on the three startlingly different adults who were once there children (and whom the mother wants to reunite for one last Christmas together in the family home). Over the course of a gloriously big book that is not a page too long, Franzen interleaves the stories of his characters with a sureness of touch that reminded me of Saul Bellow and Humboldt's Gift: the narrative at any given time is so involving that you only realise when a storyline is resumed that you actually left a situation many pages back in order to focus on another situation that has completely absorbed you... Ultimately, no theme is left unresolved in this hugely rewarding modern symphony of a novel. The prose is a joy - never a need to reread a single poorly formed sentence in over 600 pages (only an urge to reread some of the most insightful and wonderfully observed paragraphs in recent fiction); the dialogue and characterisation are terrific; the themes relevant to anyone who calls himself/herself a human being. Tremendous. Do yourself a favour and read it.
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