The Corrections is a grandly entertaining novel for
the new century—a comic, tragic masterpiece about a family breaking down in an
age of easy fixes. 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 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 at 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 Franzen as one of our most brilliant interpreters of American
society and the American soul.
Download and start listening now!