HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

No title (1986)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,079323,188 (3.72)87
Member:
Title:
Authors:
Info:
Collections:
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

The Sportswriter by Richard Ford (1986)

Recently added byprivate library, GWSJr, x_hoxha, Robert3167, freedomlibrary, 442joppe, aliciamay, annelie3, Andrew_Lear
Legacy LibrariesWalker Percy
  1. 11
    The Accidental Tourist (abridged ∙ Penguin readers level 3) by Anne Tyler (Limelite)
    Limelite: See my review below. Strongly similar novels in subject matter, characterization, and theme.
  2. 11
    An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (ateolf)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 87 mentions

English (31)  Swedish (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
A fair novel. Falls in the middle of the 70s-80s male journeys of discovery, a la Irving, Russo, Roth. Frank Bascombe is narrator, and is perhaps autobiographical to an extent. What disheartened me here was that Ford plays Bascombe's character much too safe. He floats about life in an apathetic malaise, prone to stages of "dreaminess" as he reminds us several times too many. It's as though Ford never really decided where to go with him, and so for me, he comes across unformed. With reservations aside, I did generally like Ford's writing, which manages intelligence without pretension, and I looked forward to Bascombe's next move, in a book of constant movement. ( )
  JamesMScott | Nov 16, 2014 |
Frank Bascombe is seriously depressed and he is not handling things at all well. Following the tragic death of his young son, he has fallen into an extended malaise—or a bout of “dreaminess” as he calls it—that has led to several meaningless affairs, the dissolution of his marriage, and a growing disenchantment with the magazine writing job he turned to after giving up on his career as a novelist. In The Sportswriter, we follow Frank’s life over an eventful Easter weekend just before his 39th birthday when both his resolve and some of his closest relationships are severely tested.

The fact that I liked this book despite finding the main character to be mildly repellent can only be testimony to the strong writing and story-telling skills of the author. This is the first of Ford’s novels that I have read—in fact, it is the first of the so-called “Bascombe Trilogy,” followed by Independence Day and The Lay of the Land--and I was impressed with his insight into the human condition, at least as it pertains to the plight of a middle-aged, affluent male living in New Jersey during the 1980s. Without being overly sentimental, the author manages to empower Frank with an odd sense of optimism and resilience that carries him forward despite the various setbacks he faces, many of which are of his own design. I would guess that this is not subject matter that will resonate with every reader—a lot of women, for instance—but it did with me. I look forward to reading the other volumes in the series to see what Frank does next. ( )
  browner56 | Jun 7, 2014 |
A weekend in the life of a man on the verge of a mid-life crisis. Ford keeps the central character engaging despite some often unsympathetic actions and the whole thing’s studded with pithy, wise observations. ( )
  JonArnold | Mar 4, 2014 |
"The Sporstwriter" is first in Richard Ford's Frank Bascombe triloogy. I read the books out of order. First, Independence Day; then Lay of the Land, and finally The Sportswriter. Maybe that's why I thought Sportswriter Frank was a raving bore. I had enough of him already. But that's not it entirely. Frank, in this one, is constantly mulling things over and not saying much in the process. He's 39 and was born in 1945 (same year as me); so that would make the year 1984, and appropo that time, the word "yuppie" and self involved narcissist kept popping into my mind. Maybe Ford expected us to keep a sort of ironic distance from the jerk; still two thirds of the way though, the threads Ford has laid down start coming together and the read picks up steam only to peter out again in conclusion. ( )
  nicktingle | Nov 24, 2013 |
This was a lonely book about a lonely man who does and says things that you disagree with. Sadly many of these things you have either contemplated saying (or doing) or have already done yourself. In contrast, Ford makes Bascombe into a caring and intuitive character who catches himself from saying something to spare a persons feelings only to ruin it by asking them to hop into bed moments later. Frank Basombe is one of the truest human beings i have found in literature.

The book mostly takes place over the course of three days. The last day, Easter Sunday seems endless. Many things happen happen to poor Frank Bascombe that day, any one of which would probably ruin my day. Frank however soldiers on saying misplaced or inappropriate things. I am sure that some readers will find him to be a cad but I related and constantly felt sorry for him and his decisions.

We are told early on that,

We should all know what is at the end of our ropes and how it feels to be there.

I don't know that I am ready for a personal visit to the end of my rope let alone seeing how it feels to be there. I'll let Richard Ford handle that. Frank Bascombe will be a character that will stay with me especially when I realize that what I have said or done was foolish.

( )
  dtn620 | Sep 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Fordprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wiel, Frans van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
Kristina
First words
My name is Frank Bascombe. I am a sportswriter.
Quotations
What’s friendship’s realest measure? I’ll tell you. The amount of precious time you’ll squander on someone else’s calamities and fuck-ups.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679762108, Paperback)

It's hard to imagine a book illuminating the texture of everyday life more brilliantly, or capturing the truth of human emotions more honestly, than Ford does in his account of an alienated scribe in the New Jersey suburbs. Frank Bascombe, Ford's protagonist, clings to his almost villainous despair in a way that Walker Percy's men don't, but the book is heavily influenced by Ford's fellow southerner nonetheless. Read this and you're ready for Ford's Pulitzer Prize-winning sequel, Independence Day.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:47 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

At the beginning of his career, a young man gives up his chance to become a successful novelist in order to work as a sportswriter.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
39 avail.
62 wanted
4 pay2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.72)
0.5 2
1 10
1.5 6
2 31
2.5 15
3 88
3.5 35
4 156
4.5 13
5 107

Audible.com

2 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 94,386,188 books! | Top bar: Always visible