- The Corrections: A Novel © 2001
- Farrar, Straus and Giroux
- 568 pages
I took a quick look at the Amazon reviews for this book and was quite surprised. I just assumed everyone would love it—I certainly did!
The Corrections is an massive work. The plot is simple on the surface: an elderly woman wants to bring all of her children together for one final Christmas in the family home. Franzen allows us into the minds of all three kids, as well as their parents. This is where things get interesting.
The mother is mildly psychotic from dealing with the dementia of her husband. The kid’s lives are all tragic in their own different ways. Franzen manages to explore all of these tragic lives and relationships while making you laugh at the same time.
Yes, it’s long. Yes, it sounds a bit like verbal diarrhea at times—but that’s the point! One of the best paragraphs in the book is a massive run-on sentence that details the single thought of the Father as he’s drifting into dementia.
The Corrections is tragic, funny, and mildly redemptive in one package. What more could you ask for?