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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.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 7 days 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 23 days 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 1 month ago by michelle mahon
A first-person, introspective, witty narrative reminiscent of Updike's "Rabbit." I wish he had developed his minor characters more fully. Read morePublished 1 month ago by David in Beijing
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 1 month ago by Wendy Durand
I found this book so uninteresting. I tried to finish it, but I just couldn't do it.Published 2 months 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 3 months ago by firstname.lastname@example.org