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by Richard Ford

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2,2671336,602 (3.63)188
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.

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English (117)  Spanish (7)  Swedish (3)  French (2)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (132)
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
Aburrida y poco realista. ( )
  amlobo | Sep 24, 2023 |
I've read a number of Ford's previous novels and thoroughly enjoyed them, and was therefore really surprised by just how much this one bored me. The novel was told from the point of view of a whiney 15 year old boy with major self esteem issues and he just went on and on and on, in minute detail, with his sad little musings on life. A story with bank robberies, abandoned children, and murders should be compelling but as told from the point of view of this 15 year old, it was just plain Boring. ( )
  kevinkevbo | Jul 14, 2023 |
A fine novel. Perhaps his best. His usual themes. Well-constructed, clever imagery - chess, mirrored characters, twins, national borders, the nature of criminality, etc. A mild negative - the author doesn't say anything merely twice.
I've been thinking about this novel and it occurred to me that Canada is used in somewhat the same way as Cormac McCarthy uses Mexico. When the characters cross the border they seem to be more "somewhere else" than they would be in reality. So there can be a dream-like quality, or a purgatory-like quality or the author can push his characters to extremes or amplify his symbolism or imagery. This might explain Jingles in Boofland, which, as you know, came from Windsor. ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
I would like to describe this book as "good, but boring". I guess it's well-written and the story is interesting in a way, but there is a part between the robbery and the murders (don't worry this isn't a spoiler: these things are mentioned in the opening sentence) where the plot just stalls for a hundred pages, and it's not enjoyable.

The reviews on the back keeping going on about how awesome it is and that they feel sorry for anyone that doesn't read it, but let me be honest: I would not be losing sleep over if it if I had never read this book. I don't regret reading it, but it's not that good, I don't think.

Mostly I feel this is because of the narrator. Dell doesn't do anything, at all, ever. Things just happens to him, other people make decisions and tries to take charge of their life, it has consequences for them, and then Dell somehow are affected by those consequences. I guess this fact saves him since he is the only one with a semi-happy ending, but with all these other characters around - doing stuff - it's very annoying to be stuck in Dell's narrative where he just looks on as the plot unfolds.

I get that this was probably the point of the book, but that doesn't mean I have to love it for it. Anyway, if you are into hard times in the 60s US and Canada, I guess this is the book for you. ( )
  upontheforemostship | Feb 22, 2023 |
Ein Roman wie ein großer See. Man springt hinein, zieht ruhige Bahnen durchs Wasser und wird dann sanft hinausgespült, um sein Leben außerhalb weiterzuleben. Groß, ruhig, wunderschön. Eine Geschichte. ( )
  Wolfseule23 | Aug 6, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Fordprimary authorall editionscalculated
Graham, HolterNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mantovani, VincenzoTranslatorsecondary 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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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.

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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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