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Independence Day: Bascombe Trilogy (2) Paperback – May 7, 1996
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Independence Day is essentially an internal monologue, set on the long July 4th weekend of 1988. It is a sequel to Ford's earlier novel The Sportswriter, which I have yet to read, but I never got the impression I was missing anything due to lack of familiarity with the earlier novel. The protagonist is Frank Bascombe, a divorced, well-educated former sportswriter who now makes his living selling real estate in the affluent New Jersey town of Haddam, while supplementing his earnings with a couple of rental properties he owns in the town's African American neighborhood.
Bascombe is at something of a mid-life crisis. We learn that he has lost a son, and while he has been divorced from his wife for years, he still has feelings for her and secretly hopes for a reconciliation. At the same time, he is seen carrying on a half-hearted affair with a presumed widow whose husband left years earlier and never came back. Bascombe has planned to spend the long weekend with his troubled teenage son Paul, who is apparently battling some sort of mental illness or depression; for some unknown reason Bascombe decides to pick up his son in Connecticut, and drive to the basketball and baseball halls of fame in Springfield, Mass. and Cooperstown, N.Y.Read more ›
skill a few days in the life of a New Jersey sportswriter
turned real estate agent, Frank Bascombe.
With keen observations, outstanding descriptive
power and dialogue more real than "The Real World," Ford
pulls the strings of this great book masterfully.
Frank is in the midst of what he calls "The Existence
Period," a time when he has come to terms with his life
to date and moved on to the more uncharted waters of vaguely
contented middle-agedom. He has arrived at a crossroads
where he has plenty of past but still a lot of future left
The novel's narrative flows like life itself - forward,
back, sideways - in a way that is so natural and consuming
that you would swear the character is you and his thoughts
There is not a book that I have read that does better
justice to the realities of being human and adult in
At its heart, Independence Day is the recording of two
worlds- the one we sense through our bodies and the one
that exists in our heads - and how these two interact in
a way that is sometimes painful, sometimes beautiful, and
most times just O.K.
To read it is to see yourself, and in many ways, all of us.
Indeed, that seems to be the crux. I read this book because it was by Richard Ford, a man whom all of my colleagues in the mainstream fiction world revere. You must read this book, they said. So I did. And I consider it an extraordinary waste of my time. To be sure, this is a judgment call, but I'm allowed to make it. EVERY reader is allowed to make that call. But I know I'm in the minority in this. This book is supposed to be one of the greatest American novels of the last 25 years.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the 3rd novel of Ford's I've read over the last month. Each seemed more tedious than the previous one. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Greg
INDEPENDENCE DAY garnered the Pulitzer Prize in 1996. It is the second of the "Bascombe" novels. Read morePublished 1 month ago by R. M. Peterson
Richard Ford’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel Independence Day, in my eyes, officially marks the author as the last and possibly greatest GMN* of the twentieth-century. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jordan Hill
I wish I knew a man who thinks like he does!!!! To write it, you almost have to have lived it.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Ford is a man's writer. This book is like a comfortable chair that you sink into at night. I found it somehow soothing to read about someone with whom I could almost completely... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Joey bagadonuts
This is a worthwhile book. It's for adults, with adult insights and viewpoints. It's about one man's life and way of being. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Whales
This book did not build up to anything. I struggled to finish it because I felt like the whole time I was waiting for something to happen but nothing really did.Published 5 months ago by Samantha Rios
In "The Gods Must Be Crazy," a comedy cult movie from the 70's, a woman asks a stranger, "Can you hear that sound in my ears? Read morePublished 6 months ago by David in Beijing