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The Sportswriter by Richard Ford (1986)

  1. 10
    An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro (ateolf)
  2. 01
    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.
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Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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 |
I couldn't finish it. Fine writing in places, yes, but the girlfriend is an old Playboy caricature and the sad "20th C male in decline" business got old for me years ago.
  scatterall | Apr 10, 2013 |
I would think I"m the target audience here, a middle aged American male who's questioning everything. I couldn't really figure out the point of most of this book most of the time. I kept stopping and thinking "what am I reading?" and "what is theis guy rambling about?". It's not totally pointless like "A Heartbreaking Con-Job of Endless Rambling", and I didn't hate it, I just sort of shrugged and said "huh" when I finished it. ( )
  bongo_x | Apr 6, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Fordprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wiel, Frans van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My name is Frank Bascombe. I am a sportswriter.
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

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