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Rock Springs Kindle Edition
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“These stories elevate Richard Ford to the small group of great living American storytellers. With great strength and tragic grace, Richard Ford will shoot an arrow through your heart.” —The Denver Post
“Richard Ford is an enormously versatile writer, a perfect ventriloquist who achieves his end in voices that vary from swamp-deep to mirror-flat. . . . Rock Springs is cause for celebration.” —The Village Voice Literary Supplement
“Beautifully imagined and crafted stories, by turns heartrending and wickedly funny, and just plain wicked. Richard Ford is a born storyteller with an inimitable lyric voice, and Rock Springs is the very poetry of realism.” —Joyce Carol Oates
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B003CIQ57O
- Publisher : Grove Press; Reprint edition (October 12, 2010)
- Publication date : October 12, 2010
- Language : English
- File size : 769 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 257 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #302,808 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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ROCK SPRINGS contains ten stories. With the possible exception of one, all are set in the West, most in Montana. They serve as an antidote for the popular, romantic image of the West as the realm of rugged and proud individualists who heroically forge lives of success and quiet dignity. Instead, the characters in ROCK SPRINGS are merely hanging on, some pathetically, and most are whining about it. Many are unemployed and/or sponging off their girlfriends who are working at airport bars. Most come from failed marriages and are scarred veterans themselves of failed relationships. Some are living outside the law (Deer Lodge Prison, Montana is mentioned in half the stories). The characters of ROCK SPRINGS don't heroically forge anything in their lives; instead, things happen to them. And they want out. As one says, "I don't know why people came out here. The West is [screwed] up. It's ruined. I wish somebody would take me away from here."
The stories are gritty, and they are realistic. For the most part, they are not uplifting, though they aren't terribly depressing either. There are some good lines. (For example: "I don't know what was between Edna and me, just beached by the same tides when you got down to it.") In general, Ford's prose is straightforward and serviceable. But the attraction of the book is more the stories than the prose. I thought the blurb on the back of the book - calling ROCK SPRINGS "a masterpiece of taut narration, cleanly chiseled prose" - a tad hyperbolic.
As I said, it was having read "Winterkill" that prompted me to pick up and read ROCK SPRINGS. It turns out that "Winterkill" is also one of the two best stories in ROCK SPRINGS - in part, perhaps, because it is one of the funniest and most cheerful, involving three middle-aged loners who seem to be relatively content with their lives of drinking, dancing, fishing, and casual sex (though one of the three is wheelchair-bound). The other truly excellent story in the book is "Sweethearts", from which the title to this review was taken.
Ford simply SEES deeper into the anguish, and poverty of human existence than most of us, and then he has a magic ability to deftly capture his vision onto paper, carefully using a few phrases that capture the essence of the scene. In about half of these 10 short stories, one of the characters is going to, or returning from Deer Lodge Prison. In all, they are bitten by economic insecurity. The male-female interactions are almost always "heartless." It is virtually impossible to read these sad stories without thinking of the cliché, "lives of quiet desperation."
In some of his other books he does describe equally well other social strata, but in this one he manages to depict those living a very hard-scrabble existence. You have to wonder how he actually does it. None of his characters find their surroundings inspiring, or receive any solace from them. These are bare, bleak lives, so if you are on your way to the Grand Tetons, perhaps stopping in a shabby bar in Rock Springs, and looking around carefully, might provide an essential balance to the experience.
Top reviews from other countries
The writing is superb, concise, but giving characters room to breathe