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Canada by Richard Ford


by Richard Ford

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1,8041145,789 (3.67)159



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English (98)  Spanish (6)  Swedish (3)  French (2)  Italian (2)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (113)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
This book took me forever to read. It just did not do it for me.
  chasidar | Dec 30, 2018 |
"First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later."

Even if I didn't win the book, how could I resist a line like that? (Right after I found out I won it, I saw it on a huge display table while out shopping. It made me so happy.)

Canada was a deep, thought-provoking novel. It was brilliantly, artistically written. Canada is the story of Dell Parsons’ fifteenth year. It was the most important year of his life, given that’s when the robbery and murders happened.

I spent the first half of the book wanting to know what happened to Dell’s parents. I spent the second half hoping Dell doesn’t have a hand in the murders. I was so eager to read about how Dell’s parents ended up committing a robbery. There was so much build-up. I started to feel like Ford was taking a long time to get to the robbery. He described every scene in vivid detail. He described the complexities of fifteen-year-old Dell’s emotions. It was beautifully written, but I felt it was too long, especially since we knew the outcome – the robbery.

The second half was more interesting. There was still a lot of description, but I felt that because we didn’t know for certain who was going to be murdered and exactly who was going to be the murderer, there was more of a mystery. Though, this is not a mystery novel. I’ve seen it categorized as such, but when you find out the ending at the beginning, there isn’t much of a mystery.

Richard Ford managed to create a character that felt like a real person. You could believe that Dell Parsons was a teacher, with a big secret. He could be anyone. He could have been your high school teacher or your next door neighbour. Dell's voice was thoughtful and introspective, like someone really looking back at their life. It almost felt like you were reading a memoir. I really enjoyed the tone and the feeling it gives you. It invites the reader to really connect with Dell. If you like deep, thought-provoking, literary fiction with a twist, then pick up Richard Ford’s Canada. I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it.
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  Loni.C. | Aug 17, 2018 |
No suspense, minimal action, no plot twists/surprises, endless, repetitive descriptions of the same people/scenery/smells, a dull main character- Dell.....I just kept waiting for something meaningful to happen to reward me for slogging through this long, slow novel. Two stars for masterful descriptions of towns, rooms, and all of those smells, but so little happened - actually things happened but it felt like Dell was sleep- walking through all of it. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
I'd give this 3.5. The first 150 pages or so could have been condensed into 50 and still had the same impact/background info.

Desolate, ambiguous, timeless, bildungroman novel. ( )
  Thebrownbookloft | Jun 29, 2018 |
Well-written but of a genre that generally doesn't appeal to me. The mid-West out to the borders of the coastal states style that's very well crafted but about topics and people who live pretty miserable lives. Not every book I read is about happy people -- but there's usually at least a possibility of change or redemption. This is another volume that I tip my hat to, but didn't finish. ( )
  abycats | May 11, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (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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Richard Fordprimary authorall editionscalculated
Graham, HolterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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After his parents are arrested and imprisoned for robbing a bank, fifteen-year-old Dell Parsons is taken in by Arthur Remlinger who, unbeknownst to Dell, is hiding a dark and violent nature that interferes with Dell's quest to find grace and peace on the prairie of Saskatchewan.… (more)

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