Editorial Reviews for this title:
Frank Bascombe is no longer a sportswriter, yet he's still living in Haddam, New Jersey, where he now sells real estate. He's still divorced, though his ex-wife, to his dismay, has remarried and moved along with their children to Connecticut. But Frank is happy enough in his work and pursuing various civic and entrepreneurial sidelines. He has high hopes for this 4th of July weekend: a search for a house for deeply hapless clients relocating to Vermont; a rendezvous on the Jersey shore with his girlfriend; then up to Connecticut to pick up his larcenous and emotionally troubled teenage son and visit as many sports halls of fame as they can fit into two days. Frank's Independence Day, however, turns out not as he'd planned, and this decent, appealingly bewildered, profoundly observant man is wrenched, gradually and inevitably, out of his private refuge. Independence Day captures the mystery of life — in all its conflicted glory — with grand humour, intense compassion and transfixing power.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Another title for Ford's 1996 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel might be "The Return of Frank Bascombe." Bascombe, in this sequel to Ford's 10-year-old The Sportswriter, comes close to taking his place with John Updike's Rabbit Angstrom in the pantheon of confused white middle-class American literary protagonists. At age 44 he has entered what Bascombe calls "the Existence Period, the high-wire act of normalcy, the part that comes after the big struggle which led to the big blowup." Bascombe's almost comic indecisiveness has led to the breakup of his marriage, a detached, wary affair, and an achingly fragile relationship with his troubled teenage son, Paul. Ford details Bascombe's Fourth of July weekend in leisurely, measured prose, crafting scenes of muted heartbreak.
2 cassettes / 3 hours
Read by John Rubinstein
The Pulitzer-Prize Winning novel for 1996.
In this visionary sequel to The Sportswriter, Richard Ford deepens his portrait of one of the most unforgettable characters in American fiction, and in so doing gives us an indelible portrait of America.
Frank Bascombe, in the aftermath of his divorce and the ruin of his career, has entered an "Existence Period", selling real estate in Haddam, New Jersey, and mastering the high-wire act of normalcy. But over one Fourth of July weekend, Frank is called into sudden, bewildering engagement with life.
Independence Day is moving, peerlessly funny odyssey through America and through the layered consciousness of one of its most compelling literary incarnations, conducted by a novelist of astonishing empathy and perception.
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