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Independence Day: Bascombe Trilogy (2) Paperback – May 7, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Independence Day is essentially an internal monologue, set on the long July 4th weekend of 1988. It is a sequel to Ford's earlier novel The Sportswriter, which I have yet to read, but I never got the impression I was missing anything due to lack of familiarity with the earlier novel. The protagonist is Frank Bascombe, a divorced, well-educated former sportswriter who now makes his living selling real estate in the affluent New Jersey town of Haddam, while supplementing his earnings with a couple of rental properties he owns in the town's African American neighborhood.
Bascombe is at something of a mid-life crisis. We learn that he has lost a son, and while he has been divorced from his wife for years, he still has feelings for her and secretly hopes for a reconciliation. At the same time, he is seen carrying on a half-hearted affair with a presumed widow whose husband left years earlier and never came back. Bascombe has planned to spend the long weekend with his troubled teenage son Paul, who is apparently battling some sort of mental illness or depression; for some unknown reason Bascombe decides to pick up his son in Connecticut, and drive to the basketball and baseball halls of fame in Springfield, Mass. and Cooperstown, N.Y.Read more ›
skill a few days in the life of a New Jersey sportswriter
turned real estate agent, Frank Bascombe.
With keen observations, outstanding descriptive
power and dialogue more real than "The Real World," Ford
pulls the strings of this great book masterfully.
Frank is in the midst of what he calls "The Existence
Period," a time when he has come to terms with his life
to date and moved on to the more uncharted waters of vaguely
contented middle-agedom. He has arrived at a crossroads
where he has plenty of past but still a lot of future left
The novel's narrative flows like life itself - forward,
back, sideways - in a way that is so natural and consuming
that you would swear the character is you and his thoughts
There is not a book that I have read that does better
justice to the realities of being human and adult in
At its heart, Independence Day is the recording of two
worlds- the one we sense through our bodies and the one
that exists in our heads - and how these two interact in
a way that is sometimes painful, sometimes beautiful, and
most times just O.K.
To read it is to see yourself, and in many ways, all of us.
Indeed, that seems to be the crux. I read this book because it was by Richard Ford, a man whom all of my colleagues in the mainstream fiction world revere. You must read this book, they said. So I did. And I consider it an extraordinary waste of my time. To be sure, this is a judgment call, but I'm allowed to make it. EVERY reader is allowed to make that call. But I know I'm in the minority in this. This book is supposed to be one of the greatest American novels of the last 25 years.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In "The Gods Must Be Crazy," a comedy cult movie from the 70's, a woman asks a stranger, "Can you hear that sound in my ears? Read morePublished 22 days ago by David in Beijing
It won the Pulitzer- deservedly so! Ford is a superb contemporary American writer and this was the only one of the Bascombe novels I hadn't read.Published 6 months ago by Elizabeth Gierach
This one is definitely different in pace and outlook than the first in the series. Very slow at times.Published 6 months ago by Lars Pendicott
A painful close-up of an ordinary life told from a very male point of view. Women who want a look into a man's head should read it. Read "THE sportswriter" first. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kindle Customer
excellent. Ford gives the reader a lot to think about while also telling an interesting story.Published 6 months ago by James
Boring! Could not get into it at all! Too much description of thing that did not make the story better or more interestingPublished 8 months ago by cheryl gandy