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The Sportswriter: Bascombe Trilogy (1) Paperback – June 13, 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Like the author himself, Bascombe hails from Mississippi, lives in New Jersey, published a well-received collection of short stories earlier in life, and works as a writer for a glossy sports weekly. There the resemblances between author and protagonist apparently end. Bascombe is suffering: he is still reeling from the loss of his son four years earlier and the subsequent demise of his marriage after his wife discovered evidence of his infidelity. He's the type of guy who knows a lot of people but has no real friends, and his male reserve prevents him from confronting the tragedies experienced by his family, the lingering feelings for his ex-wife, and the emotional vacuity of his life. Instead of therapy, he escapes to a fortune-telling psychic; unfortunately, she seems to be away for the weekend.
During the course of three days, Frank reunites with his wife briefly for the anniversary of his son's death. He travels to Detroit both for business (to conduct an interview with a permanently disabled football player) and for a short holiday with his latest girlfriend Vicki. The trip is a disaster on both counts.Read more ›
Bereaved of a child and divorced from a wife (referred to only as X) whom he still vaguely regards as part of his environment, Frank finds himself drifting into a permanent state of "dreaminess", which when he explains himself turns out to be a place we've all been before though few would care to admit it. X and sportsmen in general, he calls factualists. Their lives are purposeful, defined, nailed down by very specific goals. Sportswriting allows Frank to abdicate from making any real decisions because his duty is only to report. Should it surprise that Frank scores a big zero on the relationship front ? Dreaminess isn't conducive to the making of any real friendships. With women, there's at least sex, though his fling with Vicky proves to be another rudderless affair. With men, there's even less incentive to fake interest.Read more ›
Frank Bascombe's young son has just died, his marriage has crumbled, and his promising career as a novelist has failed - and the guy's only in his late 30s. Depressing, right? Right. For sure. Sooooo, why bother, you might ask? Answer: Frank has a rich inner life that makes you want to stick with him. This is where his problems originate. We know he is sensitive (these days, we'd say he has a well-developed feminine side) and cares about the pleasures of life's small moments - but he's got a typical male problem: He can't express this side of himself to those closest to him, resorting to moral dishonesty rather than expose himself as a caring human.
Read it, ladies. Then read the sequel, Independence Day, which won the Pulitzer in 1996. But read this one first. It's important.
Of course, this is necessary reading because Ford's sequel with the same character, married and a decade or so later was his Independence Day that won the Pulitzer and the National Book Award, a larger more ambitious work, but with the same accuracy, modesty, and wisdom.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After reading Let me be Frank with you, and then Canada, I was enthralled with Richard Ford's prose. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joe Bee
couldn't get through the book. Its as if the descriptions are more important than the story. way too floweryPublished 1 month ago by L. E. Johnson
Not a good read. Difficult story to follow without much substancePublished 2 months ago by Jerry Coe
Good character development and good story line that follows a main protagonist who is emerging on the other end of a crossroads, you don't really know where Frank Bascombe is... Read morePublished 2 months ago by steve
Ford is a fabulous writer. This is a tragic-comic tale of sportswriter Frank Bascombe as he tries to find a life after the death of a child.Published 3 months ago by Rose Gonsoulin
I love all of Richard Ford's books. Low key, but penetrating insights. Even the most tragic events are described with humor and compassion.Published 4 months ago by Valeria Szigeti
A wordy, meandering books with little plot or direction ... Richard Ford' character, Frank Bascombe (and, by extension, most likely Ford himself) is infatuated with his own story... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Cicero Queens
Read a great review of this book but it was very disappointed. But did read it after Andre Agassi's book which was fantastic! So maybe my expectations were too high.Published 5 months ago by michelle mahon