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A MULTITUDE OF SINS.

Ford, Richard.

ISBN 10: 0375412123 / ISBN 13: 9780375412127
Published by KNOPF., NY, 2002
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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REVIEW COPY. (Color publicty photo of Richard Ford & a printed review slip laid-in) Fine in a fine dj. Stories. Bookseller Inventory # 24533

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A MULTITUDE OF SINS.

Publisher: KNOPF., NY

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Cloth

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: First American Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

One of the most celebrated—and unflinching—chroniclers of modern life now explores, in this masterful collection of short stories, the grand theme of intimacy, love, and their failures. And only a storyteller of Richard Ford’s remarkable agility, insight, and candor could envision with such felicity our most fallible human efforts to achieve what we consider most important with one another: to be faithful and sincere, empathetic and patient, to be honest and passionate and finally loving toward those we care for or merely, if desperately, desire.

As in all of Ford’s work, the settings are as distinct as the Connecticut countryside is from New Orleans, or a Michigan ski resort from Grand Central Station. Yet in each he is drawn to liaisons in and out and to the sides of marriage. An illicit visit to the Grand Canyon reveals a vastness even more profound . . . An exacting career woman celebrates Christmas with her adamantly post-nuclear family . . . A couple weekending in Maine try to
recapture the ardor that has disappeared, both gradually and suddenly, from their life together . . . A boy confronts his estranged father on a hunting trip and finds a disappointment that will change him forever . . . As they drive through a spring evening, a young wife confesses to her husband the affair she had with the host of the dinner party they’re about to join.

It is within such relations, these extraordinary stories suggest, that our entire sense of right and wrong is enacted, and the rigorous intensity Richard Ford brings to these vivid, unforgettable dramas marks this as his most powerfully arresting book to date—confirming the judgment of the New York Times Book Review that “nobody now writing looks more like an American classic.”

Review:

Love, and our frequent failure to meet its challenges, is the subject of Richard Ford's wonderfully insightful collection of short stories, A Multitude of Sins. The understated prose is shot through with an incisive, empathetic, and not at all cynical understanding of the psyche of Middle America, with which fans of Ford's previous novels, The Sportswriter and its Pulitzer Prize-winning sequel, Independence Day, will be familiar. These stories are inhabited by characters for whom love has become a moral maze rather than a clearly defined path towards fulfillment.

In "Reunion," a man accidentally encounters the husband of a woman with whom he had an affair, and he is forced to relive an episode of his life he would rather have forgotten. In another story, a young couple is driving to a dinner party when the wife discloses an affair that she's been having with their host. Ford seems to be more interested in examining the aftermath of their infidelities than the affairs themselves--in particular, what happens when intimacy fails to provide the anticipated satisfaction. There are no easy, moral solutions at the end of each tale, no sense of peace or wisdom that the characters can attain. Instead, they are left to contemplate the repercussions of their actions and to try to salvage some greater self-understanding from the morass. By holding up this mirror to our own lives, Ford renders A Multitude of Sins an unsettling but rewarding read. --Jane Morris, Amazon.co.uk

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