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The Ultimate Good Luck Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Vintage contemporaries ed edition (May 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394750896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394750897
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #476,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Ford's taut, compelling prose is as piercingly clear as a police siren. No other storyteller writes about the alienated and uncommitted with such mastery' Sunday Times 'The book brings to mind cinematic versions of the romance of urban dereliction - the look of Paris, Texas for example ... You want Wim Wenders to make the movie, but you want Bogart and Bacall to be in it' London Review of Books 'His prose has a taut, cinematic quality that bathes his story with the same hot, mercilessly white light that scorches Mexico' New York Times Book Review 'Ford is a masterful writer' Raymond Carver --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

In this novel of menace and eroticism, Richard Ford updates the tradition of Conrad for the age of cocaine smuggling. The setting is Oaxaca, Mexico, where Harry Quinn has come to free his girlfriend's brother, Sonny, from Jail and, ideally, to get him away form the suavely sadistic drug dealer who suspects Sonny of having cheated him.

"His prose has a taut, cinematic quality that bathes his story with the same hot, mercilessly white light that scorches Mexico."--New York Times Book Review

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read most of the works of Richard Ford, and remain an immense fan. His prose style is appealing, and his books contain incisive and unsettlingly depictions of America's middle class Independence Day and The Sportswriter as well as achingly powerful descriptions of the despair which is dominant in the lives of America's underclass Rock Springs.

I first read "The Ultimate Good Luck" 25 years ago; remember that at the time I did not consider it the equal to his other works. But perhaps it was only those "externalities" that were life back then that colored my opinion, so I just re-read it in the spirit of a re-evaluation.

The story is set in Oaxaca, Mexico, and involves the interactions of Americans with the Mexican ruling class as well as their underworld, which, as is so often the case, are intertwined and interdependent. Sonny is in jail, the result of his involvement in the illegal drug trade. Sonny's sister Rae, along with her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Harry Quinn, are attempting to spring Sonny, and that involves money. Their principal Mexican contact is the lawyer Berhardt, who may be playing it straight, in his efforts to have Sonny released, but then, of course, may not. Deats, an American hustler in the drug trade, plays a scene with Quinn that could have been ripped from the movie,
...Read more ›
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By James P. McMahon on May 23, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Richard Ford is an incredible writer. His works dig deep into the character's psyche. Ford usually finds his characters in the midst of a down cycle in their lives and explores their personal experience as they deal with life's trauma.
Not the usual novel nonsense where everything ends happily ever after, but a real life portrayal as an individual encounters the nitty gritty essentials of life and confronts the tough choices offered.
Ford is among the best American writers alive today and I think that this is his best book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Mc Coy on July 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was inspired to read some early Richard Ford after reading an essay about him by Elizabeth Hardwick. I'd previously read the frank Bascome novels: The Sportswriter and Independence Day, but haven't read anything by him in probably 10 years or more. I really enjoyed The Ultimate Good Luck. It had a sense of foreboding menace throughout but was also a fast moving thriller about a Vietnam vet who goes to Mexico to try and help his estranged wife Rae get her drug mule brother Sonny out of Mexican prison. This takes place in Oaxaca among student protests, corrupt soldiers and cops, drug lords, hippie tourists, and violent guerrillas. There is plenty of drug, taking, violence, and betrayals to fuel the adventure. It reminded me of novels like Dog Soldiers, Dog of the South, and No Country For Old Men. Hippies in malevolent Mexico chasing drug money and you know it's not going to turn out well for somebody.
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By Morten on January 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This my first novel by Richard Ford. Maybe I chose the wrong one. Never really got into the book, not credible.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
Mr. Ford has an excellent prose style and as I began reading the book, I thought it was going to be excellent. The author seems unable to continue with anything interesting and the novel runs out of gas by the half way point. The characters are apathetic regarding their lives and their world and make the reader feel the same. In the end, I no longer cared about the characters (even loathed some of them) and I was happy when I reached the end.
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