After the disintegration of his family, the ruin of his career and an affair with a much younger woman, Frank Bascombe decides that the surest route to a normal American life is to become an estate agent in Haddam, New Jersey. Frank blunders through the suburban citadels of the Eastern Seaboard and avoids engaging in life until the sudden, cataclysmic events of a Fourth of July weekend with his son jolt him back.
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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.Review:
A visionary account of American life--and the long-awaited sequel to one of the most celebrated novels of the past decade-- Independence Day reveals a man and our country with unflinching comedy and the specter of hope and even permanence, all of which Richard Ford evokes with keen intelligence, perfect emotional pitch, and a voice invested with absolute authority.
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Book Description Vintage, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 99447126