It's hard to imagine a book illuminating the texture of everyday life more brilliantly, or capturing the truth of human emotions more honestly, than Ford does in his account of an alienated scribe in the New Jersey suburbs. Frank Bascombe, Ford's protagonist, clings to his almost villainous despair in a way that Walker Percy's men don't, but the book is heavily influenced by Ford's fellow southerner nonetheless. Read this and you're ready for Ford's Pulitzer Prize-winning sequel, Independence Day.
Ralph Bascombe, the brooding antihero here, is not a Walter Matthaustyle, cigar-smoking sportswriter. Rather he resembles John Updike's Rabbit Angstrom (sans cynicism). Bascombe has decided in his "mid-life crisis" years to write heartwarming articles for a glossy sports magazine, and in the literal world of sportswriting, he has found a way to avoid life's "searing regret" without sacrificing its mysteries. In fact, Ralph is comfortable all around, living an ordinary, invisible existence in the "muted and adaptable" landscape of a New Jersey suburb. He has two lovely children, buddies in the Divorced Men's Club and occasional romps in the sack with a buxom nurse. Then comes a crisis, with a narrative that becomes an odyssey through an extraordinary Easter week of death and renewal that brutally challenges Ralph's fragile optimism. This painfully funny addition to Ford's two other masterful novels (A Piece of My Heart and The Ultimate Good Luck establishes the author among the best realist American writers today.
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There were some very interesting observations, and it never purported to be an "action" book, but my goodness, it became a real slog after a while. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Wendy Durand
I found this book so uninteresting. I tried to finish it, but I just couldn't do it.Published 1 month ago by Lizzy Knits
Of the ten or so reviews by fellow Amazon members I read, I didn’t see any asking about some of the character’s choice of language. Read morePublished 1 month ago by firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sportswriter by Richard Ford chronicles an Easter Weekend in the life of Frank Bascombe, a failed novelist turned sportswriter. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kammbia
My all-women book club just read this book and it left us terribly bored and curious as to why it won the Pulitzer Prize and received so much acclaim by critics and readers. Read morePublished 3 months ago by elascher
This book is a book club selection and since our club meets tomorrow, it had to be finished tonight. I did not like this book because the protagonist is such a dreary character. Read morePublished 3 months ago by glasslady
The condition of the book was as expected. The book itself, I did not like.Published 4 months ago by Lyell Fox