Acción de Gracias eBook ✓ Acción de eBook Ô

Acción de Gracias ➯ [Read] ➫ Acción de Gracias By Richard Ford ➻ – Buyprobolan50.co.uk Richard Ford nos ense a que la vida nunca es sencilla ni pl cida Luchamos y nos esforzamos, amamos y perdemos Y sin embargo nunca dejamos de avanzar hasta alcanzar ese ocasional momento de completa co Richard Ford nos ense a que la vida nunca es sencilla ni pl cida Luchamos y nos esforzamos, amamos y perdemos Y sin embargo nunca dejamos de avanzar hasta alcanzar ese ocasional momento de completa comprensi n Stephen Lyons, Chicago Sun Times Tras a os de incertidumbre emocional, Frank Bascombe se encuentra instalado en una madurez relativamente feliz Sigue trabajando como agente inmobiliario, ahora en la empresa que posee en Sea Clift, en la zona costera de Nueva Jersey, donde se fue Acción de eBook Ô a vivir junto a su segunda esposa Inesperadamente, sta le abandona Poco despu s descubre que padece un c ncer de pr stata Se resquebraja as el fr gil bienestar que hab a logrado obtener De nuevo acompa aremos a Bascombe en sus traves as en autom vil por las carreteras de Nueva Jersey, de encuentro en encuentro, mientras hace balance de su vida.


About the Author: Richard Ford

Richard Ford, born February , in Jackson, Mississippi, is an American novelist and short story writer His best known works are the novel The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day, The Lay of the Land and Let Me Be Frank With You, and the short story collection Rock Springs, which contains several widely anthologized stories Comparisons have been drawn between Ford s work and the writings of John Updike, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway and Walker Percy His novel Independence Day won Acción de eBook Ô the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in , also winning the PEN Faulkner Award in the same year.



10 thoughts on “Acción de Gracias

  1. Jaline Jaline says:

    In this third novel of the Frank Bascombe quartet, we find Frank in what he calls his Permanent phase Frank is now 55 years old, he feels estranged from his son, has a tentatively good relationship with his daughter, and his ex wife a widow in her second marriage still enters his life from time to time.I can t help being fascinated with Frank s life and I m not sure why I also can t help being mesmerized by Richard Ford s writing According to my eBook, this novel has 697 pages My guess i In this third novel of the Frank Bascombe quartet, we find Frank in what he calls his Permanent phase Frank is now 55 years old, he feels estranged from his son, has a tentatively good relationship with his daughter, and his ex wife a widow in her second marriage still enters his life from time to time.I can t help being fascinated with Frank s life and I m not sure why I also can t help being mesmerized by Richard Ford s writing According to my eBook, this novel has 697 pages My guess is that if all the conversations were spliced from the novel, they might fill one fifth of the novel The remainder of the time is spent in Frank s head observing what he sees, following his thoughts as each conversation stimulates an entire story consisting of memories, associations, and descriptions of places and people.This novel in fact, this whole series so far is one of those where you are compelled to fall right into it and live moment by moment in uncomfortable at times proximity with the protagonist So close that I couldn t help laughing at the things Frank found funny so poignant that I felt Frank s experiences like those of a very close if somewhat disconcerting friend.Frank is still in real estate and he has a partner in his own firm now a fellow named Mike who is of eastern ancestry, a Buddhist who adopted an Irish last name, and is amazingly clever and business savvy despite his naivety.I won t go into Frank s love life because it would open up a whole world of spoilers, but I will say this Frank, being Frank, is often consumed by, and bewildered by, his love life He believes he knows what he wants and needs, yet when these wants and needs are satisfied, he never quite feels complete within himself.Frank s life model could be said to follow the line, Question everything Because he does and he takes the reader by the hand and makes you question everything, too.Brilliantly written, highly entertaining, this series of novels has so far been a unique reading experience for me In many ways, I even feel that I have gotten to know the men in my family and my men friends better by reading this novel And not surprised it has also helped me to know my female friends better, too Including myself


  2. Melanie Melanie says:

    Dennett had three things to say about how we should live The secret to spirituality had nothing to do with the soul, or anything supernatural it was this let your self go If you can approach the world s complexities, both its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply you have seen, you have only just scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane preoccupation Dennett had three things to say about how we should live The secret to spirituality had nothing to do with the soul, or anything supernatural it was this let your self go If you can approach the world s complexities, both its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply you have seen, you have only just scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that important in the great scheme of things Keeping that awestruck vision of the world ready to hand while dealing with the demands of daily living is no easy exercise, but it is definitely worth the effort, for if you can stay centered, and engaged, you will find the hard choices easier, the right words will come to you when you need them, and you will indeed be a better person From The Age of Atheists by Peter WatsonCould Frank Bascombe be The Great American Existentialist character Never before have I felt such powerful and intrinsic descriptions of how I personally feel when I happen to wander through Middle America s landscape of suburbia, the alignment of stores along the highway oh the poetry of Home Depot and Target and Kohl s and Walmart , the clusters of houses constituting a town , the widening of empty spaces between centers of activity, the deafening silence in mid afternoon, the evisceration of community, the quiet existential despair you can almost hear in poorer neighborhoods and vacant parking lots drenched in sunlight.And here comes Frank Bascombe, realtor extraordinaire, dealing with the customary prostate cancer scare and the upcoming upheavals of Thanksgiving celebrations Three days in and around the beach town of Sea Clift feel like a Joycean and Camusian promenade along the New Jersey shore, with a touch of Bruce Springsteen angst and About Schmidt quiet desperation Frank Bascombe is just a regular guy trying to deal with the demands of daily living and trying to stay centered and engaged in the process.Except Frank Bascombe is anything but a regular guy He is an astoundingly perceptive, impossibly funny, stubbornly eager and repeatedly awestruck American man, father, twice husband, once divorced, once abandoned, whose musings about women and men, politics, Democrats and Republicans, fathers and sons, fathers and daughters, work, real estate, the philosophical stages of life, the inescapability of death, immigration, self actualization and the various delights of aging will make you weak at the knees at every single turn.If you haven t met Frank yet, I urge you to start at the beginning with The Sportswriter and Independence Day These melancholy and anger fueled works of art will introduce you to a character who will stake a permanent place in your heart and your pantheon of unforgettable characters


  3. B the BookAddict B the BookAddict says:

    Few writers can detail just three days in some 500 pages and still keep the reader interested but Richard Ford can This novel is unsentimental, humorous and distinct prose the third about Frank Bascombe, although this is definitely a stand alone book I have not read the two previous in the set but this didn t detract from my understanding and appreciation of this wonderful novel There is not an extraneous sentence, not a word too many, not a character irrelevant in The Lay of the Land Frank Few writers can detail just three days in some 500 pages and still keep the reader interested but Richard Ford can This novel is unsentimental, humorous and distinct prose the third about Frank Bascombe, although this is definitely a stand alone book I have not read the two previous in the set but this didn t detract from my understanding and appreciation of this wonderful novel There is not an extraneous sentence, not a word too many, not a character irrelevant in The Lay of the Land Frank Bascombe, the fifty five yr old NJ real estate salesman recent sufferer of prostrate cancer, once divorced twice married father of two whose current wife has just left him for her legally dead husband and Frank is about the experience three days like never before Superb reading will go on my Best of the Best shelf.5


  4. Steve Steve says:

    In this, the last in the trilogy, Frank is still the ever thinking everyman, now age 55 He recently returned from the Mayo Clinic with less than full assurances, has seen his second wife leave him under odd circumstances, and has taken two steps forward and one step back or is it one forward and two back with his first wife and their two grown kids Frank has plenty to mull over But then Ford offers up quite an assortment for readers to chew on, too 1 Is there such a thing as a life too w In this, the last in the trilogy, Frank is still the ever thinking everyman, now age 55 He recently returned from the Mayo Clinic with less than full assurances, has seen his second wife leave him under odd circumstances, and has taken two steps forward and one step back or is it one forward and two back with his first wife and their two grown kids Frank has plenty to mull over But then Ford offers up quite an assortment for readers to chew on, too 1 Is there such a thing as a life too well examined Frank is as reflective as they come, but his insights are so interesting, we rarely begrudge him his self focus 2 Is the Permanent Period that Frank described himself to be in, when few contrarian voices mutter doubts in your head, when the past seemsgeneric than specific, when life s a destinationthan a journey and when who you feel yourself to be is pretty much how people will remember you once you ve croaked in other words, when personal integrationis finally achieved, de rigueur around that age 3 Is awareness of one s own foibles a helpful step in dealing with them Frank is full of admissions like the following to fuel the debate It s loony, of course, to think that by lowering expectations and keeping ambitions to a minimum we can ever avert the surprising and unwanted Though the worst part, as I said, is that I ve cluttered my immediate future with new blooming dilemmas exactly like young people do when they re feckless and thirty three and too inexperienced to know better 4 Are great writers like Ford just naturally better at dealing with deep, personal issues things like Frank s suppressed despair from a loss years ago This was a very effective scene made all the better by a rare show of emotion that Frank himself, in the first person account, didn t see coming 5 Speaking of great writing, could this be Ford at the height of his powers All the prizes went to Independence Day, the second in the series, but I think the prose in this one is even better long and lush sentences, words flowing like music, acoustically pure While I wouldn t consider Frank a role model, he comes by his opinions honestly Did I payattention because I m getting close to his age Is his search for meaning less clich d for its lack of a spiritual basis Does his contemplative inner life make him an island He s a complex character these are questions to weigh with him in mind.About two thirds of the way into the book, it occurred to me that there was a lot Frank needed to wrap up before the trilogy s end I consciously slowed down so I wouldn t miss any bit of how he did it Five star books like this give us data we should measure well to include in our eclectic samples


  5. Kiekiat Kiekiat says:

    After ten years of having this book lie unread on my shelves, I finally got around to reading it, twelve years after it was published I remember seeing the book on the remainder shelf at Barnes Noble a couple years after its issue, and felt sad that one of Richard Ford s books had apparently fallen into oblivion so fast.This is the third book in what used to be called, The Sportswriter Trilogy I m not sure if that title still holds since,, as with John Updike s Rabbit trilogy, a 4th book After ten years of having this book lie unread on my shelves, I finally got around to reading it, twelve years after it was published I remember seeing the book on the remainder shelf at Barnes Noble a couple years after its issue, and felt sad that one of Richard Ford s books had apparently fallen into oblivion so fast.This is the third book in what used to be called, The Sportswriter Trilogy I m not sure if that title still holds since,, as with John Updike s Rabbit trilogy, a 4th book has emerged in 2016 as a sort of coda though from reviews I ve read on here it is less a wrapping up than an admission that life can never be summed up in a tidy package.In The Lay of the Land, Frank Bascome, narrator of Ford s The Sportswriter and Independence Day, is back and has moved from Haddam, the once quaint but now gentrified New Jersey town he lived in many years, to the shore He is still selling real estate and prospering and is still ruminating about all sorts of pithy insights and memories of the past, particularly the death of his 9 year 0ld son many years before, and the break up of his first marriage, which happens in The Sportswriter.His life at age fifty five is a mixture of career success, regret, coming to terms with his mortality he is being treated for Prostate Cancer and dealing with a bizarre circumstance that has riven his second marriage Frank s also dealing with his two surviving children and his daughter, Clarissa, is living with him after leaving her girlfriend in New York Frank is sad about Clarissa s break up, as he has a particular fondness for her ex, but father and daughter seem to have reached an understanding and appreciation of each other that has come as both have matured Clarissa is at loose ends as to her life s future plans a situation that Frank understands but has the wisdom to realize she will have to work things out for herself.Frank s relationship with his son, Paul, is far less amicable Paul writes schmaltzy greeting card apothegms for Hallmark, dresses in odd clothing and speaks in a zany way, making connections and puns that are either nonsensical or unfunny He was always an odd child and Frank clearly wants some sort of bond with him but has no idea how to make this happen.In sum, while his life situation has changed since we last encountered him, Frank remains the introspective, insightful and brilliant guy he s always been, while adapting to his ever changing life circumstances As with the previous novels, the events take place over a major US holiday, in this case Thanksgiving The year is 2000 and Frank seems to have a prescient awareness that life in America is changing The election that year also hangs in the balance, and perhaps serves as a metaphor for Frank s own life as he faces the uncertainty of cancer and his marital estrangement.As another reviewer noted, Frank is no ordinary realtor even in a profession known for attracting a melange of characters He is not really Updike s Rabbit everyman given to prosaic banalities and simplistic reveries Bascombe is a man of great perspicacity and intelligence who has found a tenuous but real contentment living his life in a fairly banal way.I rated this book four stars because Ford s writing is superb and it is clear he is a writer in love with words who has devoted his life to telling stories with them If he was not so verbally felicitous, I would probably have given this book a 3.5 star rating based on my feeling that in this work Ford s ending seems weak and a bit too fantastical I was not quite as immersed in The Lay of the Land as I was reading The Sportswriter and, particularly, Independence Day I m not sure, though, if this is due to an attenuation in Ford s powers or in mine The Lay of the Land is a worthwhile read, and though as other reviewers have noted it can be read as a stand alone book, I recommend a reader new to Ford s Bascome books start with The Sportswriter and move on to Independence Day before tackling The Lay of the Land The reader that does this will have a far greater understanding of Frank Bascombe and the characters that comprise his world


  6. Paul Paul says:

    OK At the risk of sounding mawkish or, gasp, even worse, sentimental, I d describe this book, along with the other two Frank Bascombe novels less so The Sportswriter, evenso Independence Day as wonderful I often tell people that reading them is like slipping into a warm bath or,appropriately, a warm parka They re comforting Which is not to say they re light or feel good They re books you don t ever want to end though if they didn t they would become quite tiresome, due to th OK At the risk of sounding mawkish or, gasp, even worse, sentimental, I d describe this book, along with the other two Frank Bascombe novels less so The Sportswriter, evenso Independence Day as wonderful I often tell people that reading them is like slipping into a warm bath or,appropriately, a warm parka They re comforting Which is not to say they re light or feel good They re books you don t ever want to end though if they didn t they would become quite tiresome, due to the narrator s proclivity for prolix analyzing.Frank Bascombe is someone in whom you immediately place a lot of trust and respect, someone whose creator you really, really wish you could meet and have dinner with, not only because you assume he is quite similar to his character If you find yourself wishing writers like David Foster Wallace et al were your buddies while reading their work, Ford isthe sort of guy you wish were your dad Only you start to realize that all his Frank s philosophical surety is merely stuff he s concocted to cope with the fact that he can t seem to form any real connection with anyone and to convince himself that it s, in fact, better to just be self reliant and, ultimately, alone This doesn t work for anyone, though, and hence the novel s s conflict There s no real plot per se, aside from the events that take place over the course of three days which, in the space of 485 pages of small type, is not much time , so the novel is comprised mostly of the informed, intelligent, etc etc., yet flawed because they re human musings of a man who s experienced whatever he s experienced up to this point The novel is suffused quite heavily with death Someone told me they, after reading The Sportswriter, didn t like Richard Ford because he was too depressing, which I simply don t buy, but I have found myself thinking twice about suggesting a book so death obsessed to people like my dad or my soon to be father in law who s name is also Frank For me, the writing is, again, simply wonderful, a warm parka on a chilly night, so I couldn t feel anything but elated while reading it, but that s me.There aren t any structural or linguistic tricks or gimmicks in this or any of the three novels, which makes them evenspectacular and inspirational to a writer It s extremely unpretentious, straightforward, and honest The words have nothing but nothing to hide behind I can t really recommend these three novels highly enough I expected this book to last me through the Thanksgiving holiday during which, coincidentally, it happened to take place , but I really just couldn t put it down and ended up, in a way unfortunately, reading the whole thing in a week.If you find yourself dying slowly and painfully, reach for a copy of this or any of the Bascombe novels if they re all within reach and you don t think you ve got enough time to read the three, go for Independence Day You ll realize or, actually, you won t realize about three or four pages in that you ve forgotten completely about your imminent death, and instead will just be sitting there rapt and in absolute literary bliss I m not really joking If you re not dying, though, probably you should read the books anyway, and soon like now, because they re shit hot good, and why wait


  7. Teresa Teresa says:

    4.5 stars, if I could.I ve said many times I don t believe in the entity called the Great American Novel, but if I did, this book would qualify It s wonderfully written though exhausting at times with all the details, but trust the author, they all serve a purpose , chuckle out loud funny at other times, and even heartbreaking in a non sentimental way, while giving insights into man, a man, and the American way of life warts and all.I read the first two Bascombe novels before I joined GoodRea 4.5 stars, if I could.I ve said many times I don t believe in the entity called the Great American Novel, but if I did, this book would qualify It s wonderfully written though exhausting at times with all the details, but trust the author, they all serve a purpose , chuckle out loud funny at other times, and even heartbreaking in a non sentimental way, while giving insights into man, a man, and the American way of life warts and all.I read the first two Bascombe novels before I joined GoodReads, so I m not sure if I felt exactly the same way about those two novels as I did this one, but I m guessing I did


  8. Leah Leah says:

    A digressive, long winded, over adjectived, frequently hyphenated contemplation of the middle aged, middle classed, middle of the road AmericanFrank Bascombe sets out to have a meeting with his ex wife Five immensely tedious reading hours later and nearly a third of the way through the book, he hasn t yet got there But he has digressed endlessly on those subjects that seem to obsess the white, middle class, middle aged American male their health, the fact that they don t understand their A digressive, long winded, over adjectived, frequently hyphenated contemplation of the middle aged, middle classed, middle of the road AmericanFrank Bascombe sets out to have a meeting with his ex wife Five immensely tedious reading hours later and nearly a third of the way through the book, he hasn t yet got there But he has digressed endlessly on those subjects that seem to obsess the white, middle class, middle aged American male their health, the fact that they don t understand their children, their ex wives almost always plural , their sexual prowess or lack thereof, and the way the country is going to the dogs I admit defeat I can t take any .I feared right from the beginning that I was going to struggle with this book Straight away, Ford gets into existential crisis mode with our narrator, having been diagnosed with prostate cancer, fearing that he is not ready to make his maker Five hours later, I was unsympathetically thinking that he shouldn t worry he has plenty of time left since he has the ability to turn every hour into a yawning eternity of angst It took me four days to read that five hours worth, because I had to keep stopping to remind myself that actually life isn t a dismal wasteland of pretentious emptiness or at least, if it is, then I prefer my own pretentious emptiness to that of the tediously self obsessed Frank Bascombe.Each line of sparse and unrealistic dialogue is separated by two or three paragraphs analysing the one before and anticipating the one to come, while every noun is preceded by roughly eight, usually hyphenated, increasingly convoluted and contrived, unnecessary except to fill up the space adjectiveselderly, handsome, mustachioed, silver haired, capitalist looking gentleman in safari attirea fetid, lightless, tin sided back country prisona smirky, blond, slightly hard edged, cigarette smoking former Goucher girlwhat on earth is a Goucher girl All those words and yet he still fails to communicate his meaning And frankly, until I tried to read this book, I thought I was fairly fluent in American After all, I coped with Twain s dialect in Huckleberry Finn and Steinbeck s in The Grapes of Wrath But it appears not Even my Kindle s built in US English dictionary didn t recognisethan half of the words I looked up Has he invented this language Or is it a kind of slang that was fashionable a decade or so ago and has now been already forgotten Whatever, if it s comprehensible to Americans then that s what matters, of course, but I think I d have to wait for the translation to become available Though I m in no rush for it skint black hairbusiness lunch and afternoon plat map confabagainst every millage to extend services to the boondocksMy life in Haddam always lacked the true resident s naive, relief seeking socked in ed ness It s not just made up words and jargon related to the property market that s a problem for the non US reader, it s also his use of brands as a shortcut to description fine if the brands mean something to the reader, otherwise irritating And he constantly does the same with what I assume are cultural referencesHe knows I bleed Michigan blue but doesn t really know what that meansNope, nor me This means a living room the size of a fifties tract homeSo tiny Huge Average Mike frowns over at me He doesn t know what Kalamazoo means, or why it would be so side splittingly hilariousAgain, nope pity, because by that stage I could have done with a laugh I m not blaming the book for being too American why shouldn t it be but it did make it impossible for me to get into any kind of reading flow, since I was constantly either looking things up or trying to work out the meaning from the context I m quite sure that was a large part of why I found it such a stultifying read, but I d have tolerated it if I d felt the book was shedding light on anything that interested me But I m afraid the trials of the well off educated American male don t, particularly Shall I eat wheat grain or indulge my wicked side with a furter Let me list all the things I wear so you can understand my social position I spent 2000 dollars on Thanksgiving lunch cool, eh Buried amidst the heap of unnecessary wordiness, there is probably some insight on what it is to be middle aged, middle classed, middle of the road and male in Millenium America, and there may even be bits that are funny Sadly I lost my ability to laugh at around page 5, but am hoping it may return now that I ve abandoned it Is there a plot or a story Not that I noticed, but maybe it becomes a gripping read once he gets to the meeting with his ex wife, if he ever does I guess I shall never knowSo how did it do on the Great American Novel Quest laughs hollowly I think we all know the answer to that onewww.fictionfanblog.wordpress.com


  9. Pris robichaud Pris robichaud says:

    Bittersweet Downshift In Life Expectations , 13 Nov 2006 This novel showcases many of Mr Ford s gifts his ability to capture the nubby, variegated texture of ordinary life his unerring ear for how ordinary people talk his talent for conjuring up subsidiary characters with a handful of brilliant brushstrokes MICHIKO KAKUTANI, New York Times Frank Bascombe, real estate manager, aka sportswriter and novelist is in the prime of his life He is on what he describes as the permanent phase of Bittersweet Downshift In Life Expectations , 13 Nov 2006 This novel showcases many of Mr Ford s gifts his ability to capture the nubby, variegated texture of ordinary life his unerring ear for how ordinary people talk his talent for conjuring up subsidiary characters with a handful of brilliant brushstrokes MICHIKO KAKUTANI, New York Times Frank Bascombe, real estate manager, aka sportswriter and novelist is in the prime of his life He is on what he describes as the permanent phase of his life, the period when life starts to look like a destination rather than a journey He is 55, his second wife has left him for her first husband, he has prostate cancer, his daughter is moving from her lesbian phase to what exactly His son has a girlfriend and wants a relationship with his father But Paul, the son is overbearing and what was it that Frank did not give him His first wife, Anne, calls and wants to start another relationship, But, do they really love each other These and other life problems all emerge within three days of this 500 page novel These three days take place in 2000 I began to see the irony of Frank s thinking his life is going down a permanent road, when the election of Bush has just taken place There is no peace in America or in Frank s life at this time We find that events and tragedy s spring up around us at all times Frank realizes he has fear for The Lay of the Land in 2000, and, as we all know 9 11 2001 is just around the corner We have the luxury of looking back as Frank tells his story Some parts of this novel are too limiting, the explosion in the local hospital and one of the police officers must question him as a suspect but that never occurs His first wife has but a small part in the novel and it is confusing, but I wonder if her part is to explain that we are all looking for love and may be confused about where we will find it The next door neighbors are strange and the final chapter leaves no explanation people come and people go in these three days and we learn allot Frank is a man that we feel some sympathy for but do we really like him Yes, he has his faults, and I see some of mine in him This is a book to ponder and re read Frank is wondering what his last days will be like, he wonders as he is ordering a complete Thanksgiving dinner that is organic and elite and is it edible I consider this book to be one of the best of the year Like Cormac McCarthy s book, The Road the other great book of this year Lay of the Land looks back to look at what has happened while The Road looks to the future so we can contemplate where we are Yet while the melancholy settles in deeper this time, Bascombe remains what he always has been a funny, kind and gentle man, a possessor, as one critic observed, of the mysteriousness of the agreeable, nice person, harder to describe than the rake, miser or snob Which is to say, he is not merely pleasant Ford has kept Emerson in mind throughout Your goodness must have some edge to it else it is none Bascombe is willing to speak difficult truths and does so but he doesn t enjoy it and says so BRIAN McCLUSKEY, The Scotsman Highly, Highly Recommended prisrob 11 13 06


  10. Andy Andy says:

    So we come to the third and seemingly final installment of Richard Ford s brilliant portrait of contemporary American adult life, as seen through the eyes of Ford s meditative everyman, Frank Bascombe I have spent a great deal of time now with Mr Bascombe over the past few years, and in book time, we ve passed nearly 20 years together Here, I slipped so easily back into reading Frank s voice, it was like I was passing time with an old college buddy someone I know, but only see every few y So we come to the third and seemingly final installment of Richard Ford s brilliant portrait of contemporary American adult life, as seen through the eyes of Ford s meditative everyman, Frank Bascombe I have spent a great deal of time now with Mr Bascombe over the past few years, and in book time, we ve passed nearly 20 years together Here, I slipped so easily back into reading Frank s voice, it was like I was passing time with an old college buddy someone I know, but only see every few years now As in all three of the Bascombe novels, Frank s voice is just so damn absorbing, it s hard to imagine seeing the ever expanding New Jersey suburban landscape through another set of eyes Frank knows this place, and you never for a moment question his authority Sometimes, he knows his surroundings so well, you find yourself saying, ok, Frank, get on with it We know that cafeteria serves some good meatloaf, but there sstory to tell He s also a great observer of character Frank has the ability to pinpoint what makes someone unique in a recognizable, American sounding way he looked like an old Division III linebacker e.g If Frank Bascombe were a character in every single book I read, I would be happy He s someone who, despite his propensity for pervasive self analysis, is comforting He s sure of himself and aware of the influence he has on the people around him.Now, my criticisms have a lot to do with putting The Lay of the Land in the context of the other novels in this trilogy The story here is the least engaging of the three, in my mind Frank has entered what he dubs the Permanent Period of his life which is a little restrictive, since we ve already spent 450 pages with him undergoing his Existence Period in Independence Day He defines the Permanent Period rather broadly as life running a steady course until death intervenes But Frank undergoes such enormous upheaval in these pages, it was hard for me to reconcile him having a permanent view of himself his second wife leaves him, he develops cancer, his first wife expresses a desire to rekindle their decades old marriage and all the while he is trying to understand the strange adults that his two children are turning into At points, Frank recognizes the tenuousness of the Permanent Period, but he never renounces it In the end, I didn t buy into it the way I did the Existence Period.My other big issue is that Frank is still plying his trade as a New Jersey real estate jockey Sure, he s moved out to the Shore, away from the staid suburban life of Haddam, so the climate s a little different, but the volume of observations on real estate, housing, finance etc etc., didn t stray far enough from the realm of the previous book to keep my interest from flagging at times The book is structured around Frank driving all over the state, so there are times when he just doesn t get places fast enough This was especially true at the beginning of the novel, which I thought was a real snoozer The story gains a lot of speed when he hits on his family esp when wife 1 reappears, and we enter the backstory of wife 2 s disappearance , and for the most part carries through to the end The pacing, in places, felt off The Bascombe novels have successively gained weight, which may reflect real life complexities, but does not serve the fictional purpose ideally, in my mind All in all, though, I love spending time with this character, hearing his commentary on contemporary American family life He is wise without being overbearing, he is emotional without being false, and he is aware of his place in history, in league with so many of his fellow Americans, trying to hold it together in the face of life s continual adversity, waiting for those bursts of happiness along the way that make it worthwhile


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