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A Piece of My Heart (Vintage Contemporaries) [Kindle Edition]

Richard Ford
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $15.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $5.96 (37%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Ford's mesmerizing first novel is the story of two godless pilgrims. Robard Hewes has driven across the country in the service of a destructive passion. Sam Newell is seeking the missing piece of himself. When these men converge, on an uncharted island in the Mississippi, each discovers the thing he's looking for--amid a conflagration of violence that's as shocking as it is inevitable.

"This is one of those books that hit you hard...a story filled with breathing characters and genius-crafted dialogue between moments of consummate description.... I can't be unbiased. I'm mad for this book."--Elizabeth Ashton, Houston Chronicle


From the Trade Paperback edition.


Editorial Reviews

Review

'This is quality writing in the highest American tradition of Faulkner, Hemingway and Steinbeck ... The dialogue is immaculate. The story-telling and plotting are confident and rich in texture. Above all, the sense of atmosphere, mood, time and place has a resonance that sings in the head and stimulates every sense' The Times 'A modern book of great power. Ford writes with a stark brilliance that imprints descriptions of the land and people deeply into one's consciousness' Daily Telegraph 'A tour de force' Daily Telegraph 'Its power is mysterious and unmistakable ... extraordinary' Newsweek

Review

'This is quality writing in the highest American tradition of Faulkner, Hemingway and Steinbeck ... The dialogue is immaculate. The story-telling and plotting are confident and rich in texture. Above all, the sense of atmosphere, mood, time and place has a resonance that sings in the head and stimulates every sense' The Times 'A modern book of great power. Ford writes with a stark brilliance that imprints descriptions of the land and people deeply into one's consciousness' Daily Telegraph 'A tour de force' Daily Telegraph 'Its power is mysterious and unmistakable ... extraordinary' Newsweek

Product Details

  • File Size: 464 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0747584966
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage Books ed edition (February 16, 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004G5ZU4Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,319 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
(4)
2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Tour De Force October 17, 2000
Format:Paperback
Richard Ford's first book, A Piece Of My Heart, scored big with reviewers across the country, but has largely been ignored by the reading public.
All the more a pity, since this book deserves a large readership, perhaps even as much or more so than The Sportswriter or Independence Day. If there is a fault with this book, it is that it flows too easily. It is the kind of work that can be devoured in a few hours. It reads so smoothly that it's rich detail can be easily overlooked.
The cinematic quality of this work cannot be understated. The sometimes stark, sometimes lush and haunting landscapes of this novel are so rich in description that they are seen effortlessly and because they flow so easily, the unwary reader is tempted to speed ahead like a traveler on the interstate, driving at breakneck speed through breathtakingly beautiful scenery.
Ford's characters are quirky and so three dimensional that they rise up before the reader with startlingly familiarity. I suspect that Ford loses many of his more urbane readers with the grittiness of these characters--their down home rustication and the sense of danger inherent in their ferocious living of lives from moment to moment.
For those who plunge into this work with abandon (as I did on my first reading), one warning: slow down. Savor the power of each scene. Don't go crashing through from page to page like a tourist in New York with one day to see the Metropolitan Museum. Enjoy each wonderfully crafted scene and avoid the temptation to read through at breakneck speed.
The amazing juxtaposition of whimsy, darkness and doom are quite extraordinary in this work.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I really wanted to like this book. It has a lot going for it: two troubled main characters, an intriguing setting (an island on the Mississippi River), some sex, a crotchety old man, and some of the best descriptions of a place you'll ever read. Ford is definitely a writer of power. I felt the importance of the setting in his detailed attention to every tree and rut in the road, yet I couldn't find a strong motivation for the two characters to be there. Robard Hewes is a lost soul, similar to other Ford characters (a lot like Quinn in *The Ultimate Good Luck*, but less self-confident) who goes south for all the wrong reasons. Robard I can sort of understand, but Sam Newel, the law student from Chicago searching for meaning in his life so he doesn't become like his father, just doesn't fit, and once he arrives on the island, he doesn't really DO much, except go on a fateful fishing excursion with the crusty old Mr. Lamb. I enjoyed reading it, but I'd probably not read it again. A little more focus would've greatly improved this first book by a wonderful writer. It should be read by all first time novelists to see how well setting and characterization can be done (and also to see how much a writer learns in comparison to his later work).
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars YUCK June 22, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
HORRIBLE. DEPRESSING. TEDIOUS. DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK. YOU KEEP HOPING IT WILL GET BETTER BUT IT NEVER DOES. HOW DID THIS AUTHOR EVER WIN THE PULITZER PRIZE?
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0 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Book: A piece of my heart April 18, 2012
By Margie
Format:Paperback
Got this book because it was one we were to read in our book club. It is a piece of trash. The back cover didn't indicate this, and I read about 50 pages, hoping it would be an ok read. After thumbing through it to see if it would be a worthwhile read, I threw this garbage in the recycle bin. Please don't waste you time.
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