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Canada by Richard Ford

Canada (edition 2012)

by Richard Ford

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1,349875,707 (3.68)120
Authors:Richard Ford
Info:London Bloomsbury 2012
Collections:Your library
Tags:roman, identiteit, ouder-kindrelatie

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Canada by Richard Ford

Recently added byAnneDC, Titelin, Kristelh, vwinsloe, dshigdon, private library, HighCountry, Ameise1, Citizenjoyce



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Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
a story of a boy who survives the foolish acts of adults. His parents rob a bank and are arrested, his sister runs away and his mother has arranged that he is taken to Canada to live with unreliable strangers, completely alone. This is not giving anything away, the reader always knows because the boy, Del, tells you. The setting is 1960. I really had a hard time believing some of this story but then, maybe. Del was a twin. He wanted to go to school. He had interests such as bee keeping. He was a good kid. What really held me was the narration. Something about Del's voice was very compelling. It's a story that looks at marginalized life, breakdown of family and the effects of crime on the children. ( )
  Kristelh | Mar 23, 2015 |
Richard Ford is one of my favorite authors. No American male should go through life without reading the Harry Bascombe trilogy. This novel, like his earlier one Wildlife, is a reflective piece where the narrator looks back at his life. Now a days as we have the ability to download a sample of the novel, I was pretty much hooked by the first sentence. "First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later. The robbery is the more important part, since it served to set my and my sister’s lives on the courses they eventually followed. Nothing would make complete sense without that being told first." The book goes on to detail how the narrator (Dell) and his sister moved around during their earlier years, children of a retired military man in the 60's. His father's inability to find work led him to develop a scheme of selling meat, slaughtered by the Cree Indians and sold to the railroad. He was the middleman and the one stuck in the middle when the deal went south. Soon after that Dell and his sister's life goes south as well as a failed bank robbery leaves them as virtual orphans. The narrative then moves into Dell's experience in Canada, living with an eccentric brother of his mother's friend. It is a harsh experience, but Dell manages to reflect how to adjust to the changes life throws at you.
"The world doesn’t usually think about bank robbers as having children — though plenty must. But the children’s story — which mine and my sister’s is — is ours to weigh and apportion and judge as we see fit. . . . Ruskin wrote that composition is the arrangement of unequal things. Which means it’s for the composer to determine what’s equal to what, and what matters more and what can be set to the side of life’s hurtling passage onward.” This is an important theme in the novel, and one that is appropriate to suit some of the events in my life right now - the idea of tolerating loss well.
I would recommend this book to others. If you are new to Richard Ford , start at the Sportswriter. the Harry Bascombe books, like Updike's Rabbit novels, are essential American reading experiences. ( )
  novelcommentary | Mar 22, 2015 |
Things you did. Things you never did. Things you dreamed. After a long time they run together. Page 77

Dell Parson and his twin sister Berner have their world turned upside down when their parents commit a crime that would forever separate their family. With his parents incarcerated and his sister taking off to make a life for herself, fifteen year old Dell is whisked off to the little god forsaken dot on a map in Saskatchewan. Hiding among strangers, Dell will come to terms with what life has given and taken and that sometimes life doesn't give us any answers, even when we try to ask the right questions.

I'm not quite sure what to make of Canada after initially finishing the book. None of the actions of the characters in the books made any logical sense to me, even when they tried to give it an explanation. I'm not even sure what the point of the story was, but I am glad that despite having the odds stacked against him, and his numerous encounters with questionable people, Dell was able to maintain a semblance of an normal existence, whatever normal means. Given that Ford is a Pulitzer Prize winner, I'd want to give his other works a try, but judging Canada completely on its own merits, I'm not exactly convinced yet. Not a book I'd recommend that you have to pick up right at this very second. ( )
  jolerie | Mar 13, 2015 |
Strange novel written from the perspective of an adolescent (who matures into a grown man) who, with his twin sister, finds himself adrift after his parents get arrested for an inept bank robbery. Before the authorities realize that the children are alone and put them into the foster care system, the sister runs away. A workplace friend of the jailed mother transports the narrator from his home in Montana to a hotel that her brother owns in a small town in Saskatchewan.
A lot happens in the novel, and there's a lot for both the narrator and the reader to chew on. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Jan 12, 2015 |
This book was strange and beautiful. ( )
  NatalieSW | Jan 1, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
Willa Cather once wrote that “a creative writer can do his best only with what lies within the range and character of his deepest sympathies.” By that measure, and any other, Richard Ford is doing his very best in his extraordinary new novel, “Canada,” his first book since “The Lay of the Land” six years ago. Here, Ford is clearly writing within the range and character of his deepest sympathies — in this case, from the point of view of an abandoned 15-year-old boy — and he’s doing it with a level of linguistic mastery that is rivaled by few, if any, in American letters today.

...it is a masterwork by one of our finest writers working at the top of his form.
...his [Richard Ford's] philosophy is best summed up by the wisdom he passes on to the students in his writing class, which manages to be both matter-of-fact and poetic: "I believe in what you see being most of what there is… and that life's passed on to us empty. So, while significance weighs heavy, that's the most it does. Hidden meaning is all but absent."

Perhaps that is the abiding subject of all Richard Ford's work. Here, though it is broached by way of some uncharacteristically violent interludes, it resounds with a newfound clarity. A surprisingly different kind of great Richard Ford novel, then, and one that casts its spell very slowly and with a steady cumulative power.
Canada is a superlatively good book, richly imagined and beautifully fashioned. Although it is too early to do so, one is tempted to acclaim it a masterpiece. It catches movingly the grinding loneliness at the heart of American life – of life anywhere. As the narrative makes its measured progress, the sadness steadily accumulates, a weightless silt that gets under the eyelids. The final encounter at the close of the book between Dell and Berner is one of the most tenderly drawn scenes in modern literature, and could only have been written by a writer of Richard Ford's empathy, insight and technical mastery.
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First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.
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Book description
When fifteen-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank, his sense of a happy, knowable life is forever shattered. In an instant, this private cataclysm drives his life across a threshold that can never be uncrossed. His parent's arrest and imprisonment mean a threatening and uncertain future for Dell and his twin sister, Berner. Willful and burning with resentment, Berner flees their home in Montana, abandoning her brother and her life. But Dell is not completely alone. A family friend intervenes, spiriting him across the Canadian border, in hopes of delivering him to better life. There, afloat on a prairie of Saskatchewan, Dell is taken in by Authur Remlinger, an enigmatic and charismatic American, whose suave reserve makes a dark and violent nature. Undone by the calamity of his parents' robbery and arrest, Dell struggles under the vast prairie sky to remake himself and define the adults he thought he knew and loved. But his search for grace and peace only moves him nearer a harrowing and murderous collision with Remlinger, an elemental force of darkness. (ARC)
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In 1956, Dell Parsons' family came to a stop in Great Falls, Montana, the way many military families did after the war. His father, Bev, was a talkative airman from Alabama with an optimistic and easy-scheming nature. Their mother Neeva - shy, artistic - was alienated from their father's small-town world. It was more bad instincts and bad luck that Dell's parents decided to rob the bank. They weren't reckless people. In the days following the arrest, Dell is saved before the authorities think to arrive. Driving across Montana, his life hurtles towards the unknown; a hotel in a deserted town, the violent and enigmatic Arthur Remlinger, and towards Canada itself. But, as Dell discovers, in this new world of secrets and upheaval, he is not the only one whose past lies on the other side of a border.… (more)

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