From Library Journal
This audiobook features an unabridged story taken from author Ford's recent collection, Women with Men. As narrator, Ford's voice is melancholic and perfect for evoking the downbeat tone of the work. In brief, a tangle of jealousy erupts among a Montana family, leading directly to the unnecessary death of a total stranger. The telling of the story is enhanced by the program's production values: effective music, good sound quality, and an appropriately somber pace. The story is so subtle that listeners may need to hear it twice to catch a single line in the narrative that is critical for insight into the real cause of the tragic event, never admitted or even spoken by the character responsible for it. A wholly absorbing work for adults.?Mark Pumphrey, Polk Cty. P.L., Columbus, N.C.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the
Ford's novel, Independence Day
(1995), won both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and there is no question that he is a gifted storyteller, albeit a morose and relentlessly precise one. Here, in three powerful long stories, he explores precarious and complicated relationships between men and women. Each tale revolves around the fractured emotions aroused by the dissolution of a marriage: feelings of failure and the dizzying sense of spinning unsteadily and off course through life, like a wheel without an axle. In "The Womanizer," a man who believes he still loves his wife goes to Paris alone on a business trip and becomes obsessed with a Frenchwoman, an awkward and futile pursuit with a near-disastrous denouement. In "Jealousy," set in a bleak little Montana town, a 17-year-old finds himself skewered on the sharp psyches of his unhappily separated parents and lonely aunt Doris (a wonderful character with a taste for schnapps, a pink Cadillac, and a red dress). Ford returns to Paris in "Occidentals," rendering the city intolerably gray and extremely dangerous to the mental health of its fuzzy-minded American visitors. All of Ford's magnetic characters seem permanently jet-lagged, woozy with displacement and disappointment, and their troubles escalate accordingly, with surreal and sickening inevitability. Donna Seaman