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Independence Day

by

Independence Day Cover

 

Awards

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Frank Bascombe is no longer a sportswriter, yet he's still living in Haddam, New Jersey, where he now sells real estate. He's still divorced, though his ex-wife, to his dismay, has remarried and moved along with their children to Connecticut. But Frank is happy enough in his work and pursuing various civic and entrepreneurial sidelines. He has high hopes for this 4th of July weekend: a search for a house for deeply hapless clients relocating to Vermont; a rendezvous on the Jersey shore with his girlfriend; then up to Connecticut to pick up his larcenous and emotionally troubled teenage son and visit as many sports halls of fame as they can fit into two days. Frank's Independence Day, however, turns out not as he'd planned, and this decent, appealingly bewildered, profoundly observant man is wrenched, gradually and inevitably, out of his private refuge. Independence Day captures the mystery of life — in all its conflicted glory — with grand humour, intense compassion and transfixing power.

Review:

"Frank Bascombe has earned a place beside Willy Loman and Harry Angstrom in our literary landscape...with a wry wit and a fin de siecle wisdom that is very much his own." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Each flash of magical dialogue, every rumination a wild surprise....Independence Day is a confirmation of a talent as strong and varied as American fiction has to offer." The New York Review of Books

Review:

"A Babe Ruth of novelists....One of the finest curators of the great American living museum." Washington Post Book World

Review:

"One of his generation's most eloquent voices." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"Independence Day is an astonishing accomplishment, richly detailed, peopled with compelling and realistic characters, and constructed with heartbreaking care by an enviably gifted writer." David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

Review:

"Ford's achievement in Independence Day — and it is a considerable one — is to reclaim the strangeness of a country which he knows is at least as beguiling as it is wretched, and to rescue it from its worst own image. Amazingly, this late in the American century, he gives every impression of cruising through a territory nobody has laid claim to, nailing it with such a devouring — such an undeceived — eye that it begins to seem new again and in need of a writer of Ford's marvellous talents to explain and translate it. It needs a path cut through its potentially muderous complexities with what Ford is not embarrassed to call 'a hungrified wonder'." Gordon Burn, Times Literary Supplement

Review:

"Mr. Ford's wit and fine turn of phrase prevent some deep thoughts from ever becoming heavy-going....As in Mr. Ford's previous novels, the characters are ordinary, muddled, drifting, yet described in ways that endow their humdrum lives with significance and sometimes beauty." Economist

Synopsis:

The Pulitzer-Prize Winning novel for 1996.

In this visionary sequel to The Sportswriter, Richard Ford deepens his portrait of one of the most unforgettable characters in American fiction, and in so doing gives us an indelible portrait of America. Frank Bascombe, in the aftermath of his divorce and the ruin of his career, has entered an "Existence Period," selling real estate in Haddam, New Jersey, and mastering the high-wire act of normalcy. But over one Fourth of July weekend, Frank is called into sudden, bewildering engagement with life. Independence Day is a moving, peerlessly funny odyssey through America and through the layered consciousness of one of its most compelling literary incarnations, conducted by a novelist of astonishing empathy and perception.

About the Author

The author of five novels and two collections of stories, Richard Ford was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Independence Day, the first book to win both prizes. In 2001 he received the PEN/Malamud Award for excellence in short fiction.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Charles McQuary, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by Charles McQuary)
Richard Ford's third book about Frank Bascombe is not only the richest but the most deeply felt, and not surprisingly, the funniest. Maybe it's just my own advancing age, but I found more humor in Frank's struggles this time around than the previous two books. Maybe Ford did as well.
Ford's prose is always The Model: lush but concise with an emotional accuracy a sniper would envy.
I read many books this decade. I loved many books this decade. I can't remember a book that was as rich as 'Independence Day'.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
toula colovos, July 11, 2007 (view all comments by toula colovos)
I like to think of Independence Day, not as a book remembered for action plots,
but like the story of a Modern Ulysses who is called Frank and who is trying to return to his Ithaca!
He wonders around in haze and on the way he meets strange creatures and characters .
He wants to capture it again so much , but he really never does.
At the end, we see him approaching some port where he maybe happy ........
but we do not know for sure!
Isn't this what life is all about?

Very interesting book! An American Classic
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(18 of 30 readers found this comment helpful)
clay cosner, July 1, 2007 (view all comments by clay cosner)
Richard Ford has an amazing gift for detailed description. After reading this book, it seems like a non-fiction book, because of the meticulous detailing of people. places and psychological processes.

The protagonist, Frank Bascombe, perhaps finds his own peace of mind, that is, his independence, as he struggles with life during his "existence period." He deals with a son's serious injury, an irascible real estate client, and a tenuous relationship with a woman friend, among other issues.

As Richard Ford has stated, one does not zip through his books. To get the most out of it, at least for me, it required a thoughtful, slow reading.

By the way, Ford, makes my GRE all-verbal team. I had to look up a few words. Good.

I highly recommend this novel.

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(25 of 40 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780679735182
Author:
Ford, Richard
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Author:
Richard Ford Author of The Sportswriter
Author:
Richard Ford Author of The Sportswriter
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Fathers and sons
Subject:
Real estate agents
Subject:
New jersey
Subject:
Divorced men
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Divorced men -- New Jersey -- Fiction.
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Series Volume:
no. 96-6
Publication Date:
19960531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
464
Dimensions:
8.22x5.18x1.05 in. .74 lbs.

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Featured Titles » Pulitzer Prize Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Independence Day Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 464 pages Vintage Books - English 9780679735182 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Frank Bascombe has earned a place beside Willy Loman and Harry Angstrom in our literary landscape...with a wry wit and a fin de siecle wisdom that is very much his own."
"Review" by , "Each flash of magical dialogue, every rumination a wild surprise....Independence Day is a confirmation of a talent as strong and varied as American fiction has to offer."
"Review" by , "A Babe Ruth of novelists....One of the finest curators of the great American living museum."
"Review" by , "One of his generation's most eloquent voices."
"Review" by , "Independence Day is an astonishing accomplishment, richly detailed, peopled with compelling and realistic characters, and constructed with heartbreaking care by an enviably gifted writer."
"Review" by , "Ford's achievement in Independence Day — and it is a considerable one — is to reclaim the strangeness of a country which he knows is at least as beguiling as it is wretched, and to rescue it from its worst own image. Amazingly, this late in the American century, he gives every impression of cruising through a territory nobody has laid claim to, nailing it with such a devouring — such an undeceived — eye that it begins to seem new again and in need of a writer of Ford's marvellous talents to explain and translate it. It needs a path cut through its potentially muderous complexities with what Ford is not embarrassed to call 'a hungrified wonder'."
"Review" by , "Mr. Ford's wit and fine turn of phrase prevent some deep thoughts from ever becoming heavy-going....As in Mr. Ford's previous novels, the characters are ordinary, muddled, drifting, yet described in ways that endow their humdrum lives with significance and sometimes beauty."
"Synopsis" by , The Pulitzer-Prize Winning novel for 1996.

In this visionary sequel to The Sportswriter, Richard Ford deepens his portrait of one of the most unforgettable characters in American fiction, and in so doing gives us an indelible portrait of America. Frank Bascombe, in the aftermath of his divorce and the ruin of his career, has entered an "Existence Period," selling real estate in Haddam, New Jersey, and mastering the high-wire act of normalcy. But over one Fourth of July weekend, Frank is called into sudden, bewildering engagement with life. Independence Day is a moving, peerlessly funny odyssey through America and through the layered consciousness of one of its most compelling literary incarnations, conducted by a novelist of astonishing empathy and perception.

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