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Thread: Any Richard Ford fans out there?

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    Registered User 753c's Avatar
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    Any Richard Ford fans out there?

    Hello,
    I am new to this forum and was searching out the author discussions for my favorites. I didn't see a thread for Richard Ford. I was a little surprised, but maybe many people do not enjoy his writing as much as I do..... I think his three book series (The Sportswriter, Independence Day, Lay of The Land) is easily on par with Updike's Rabbit series although maybe not as well known. Any Ford fans out there? I would love a good discussion.

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    Registered User sixsmith's Avatar
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    Hi 753c,

    Major Ford fan here. I hold the Bascombe books in very high esteem: particularly 'Independence Day' which, in my opinion, ranks alongside the best American novels of the last 30 years. Frank Bascombe is an incredibly compelling character and i could talk about him at great length. I'll spare people that experience. I find Ford's prose (in these later works) so rich: he gives you these slow and elegant sentences which not only beautifully carry Frank's meditations on the American condition, but also paint such a vivid picture of the physical terrain that he traverses. I've only read the first Rabbit novel but if those books surpass Ford's, they are a major achievement.

    I'm also very fond of Ford's earlier work, particularly his short stories. 'Rock Springs' rivals the best work of Carver for mine. 'A Multitude of Sins' is another favourite.
    Last edited by sixsmith; 11-01-2009 at 05:55 PM.

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    Registered User 753c's Avatar
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    Ahhhh! I knew I would find someone of like mind here. Independence day is also my favorite of the three. I love the way Ford is able to sort of immerse you in the mind of Frank Bascombe. I haven't yet discovered another author who can paint such a "complete" picture of their protagonist. I also find these books to be laugh out loud funny in places. The house shopping couple, his son, The trucker Mr. Tanks...etc. Ha!
    I also enjoyed A Multitude of Sins. Wonderful short stories.

    The big question: Will we see Frank again? Advanced in years? I don't keep up too much with literary news, but I have been keeping an eye out for any news on a fourth installment. Have you heard anything?

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    Registered User sixsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 753c View Post
    Ahhhh! I knew I would find someone of like mind here. Independence day is also my favorite of the three. I love the way Ford is able to sort of immerse you in the mind of Frank Bascombe. I haven't yet discovered another author who can paint such a "complete" picture of their protagonist. I also find these books to be laugh out loud funny in places. The house shopping couple, his son, The trucker Mr. Tanks...etc. Ha!
    I also enjoyed A Multitude of Sins. Wonderful short stories.

    The big question: Will we see Frank again? Advanced in years? I don't keep up too much with literary news, but I have been keeping an eye out for any news on a fourth installment. Have you heard anything?
    Yes. Three novels really gives you the opportunity to get to know a character but i can't really think of a contemporary protagonist more authentic than Bascombe. I remember being more than a little sad when i finished 'The Lay of the Land'. I experienced a genuine sense of loss: and that, amongst other things, is a mark of good fiction for mine.

    I'm pretty sure he wont be returning. I know that Everyman have published the three novels in one volume which suggests that we can now call it a trilogy. In any case, i'm not certain that i'd want another installment. He'd now be well into old age and his faculties might be on the wane. And given that the novels are really just Frank's ruminations, i'm not sure it would work. I thought he ended it well in LOTL.

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    Neo-Scriblerus Modest Proposal's Avatar
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    I haven't read anything by him but a professor recommended 'The Sportswriter' to me and, as soon as I find it in the libraries and used books stores I frequent, I'll read it.

    Is it part of a series? If so, should I read them in any particular order?

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    Registered User sixsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Modest Proposal View Post
    I haven't read anything by him but a professor recommended 'The Sportswriter' to me and, as soon as I find it in the libraries and used books stores I frequent, I'll read it.

    Is it part of a series? If so, should I read them in any particular order?

    'The Sportswriter' is the first in a series of three. 'Independence Day' and 'The Lay of the Land' are the other two. All highly recommended Modest.

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    Neo-Scriblerus Modest Proposal's Avatar
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    Thanks, I'm sure I'll pick up 'The Sportswriter' sometime and should it prove my taste--as it sounds it will--I'll probably pick up the rest.

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    Registered User 753c's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixsmith View Post
    Yes. Three novels really gives you the opportunity to get to know a character but i can't really think of a contemporary protagonist more authentic than Bascombe. I remember being more than a little sad when i finished 'The Lay of the Land'. I experienced a genuine sense of loss: and that, amongst other things, is a mark of good fiction for mine.

    I'm pretty sure he wont be returning. I know that Everyman have published the three novels in one volume which suggests that we can now call it a trilogy. In any case, i'm not certain that i'd want another installment. He'd now be well into old age and his faculties might be on the wane. And given that the novels are really just Frank's ruminations, i'm not sure it would work. I thought he ended it well in LOTL.
    I felt that sadness as well at the close of LOTL. I guess it did end perfectly since it left me wishing there was just a little more. Oh well, it is certainly a series that bears a few re-reads and there is definitely more enjoyment to be had there.

    Modest: Good luck with your library/used book search. When you get your hands on a copy you will be in for a very rewarding read.

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    A User, but Registered! tonywalt's Avatar
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    Bumping this thread. Just discovered Richard Ford, love his stuff. The Bascombe books remind me a bit of Updike's rabbit books.

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