25 Women to Read Before You Die

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


Authors, readers, critics, media — and booksellers.


Out of Character

The Lay of the Land: A Novel by Richard Ford

Reviewed by Joseph O'Neill
The Atlantic Monthly

"'No tricks,' Raymond Carver crisply enjoined the prospective writer. 'At the first sign of a trick or gimmick in a piece of fiction...I tend to look for cover.' Carver was, as everybody knows, a mentor, friend, and admirer of Richard Ford; yet one can't help wondering whether Ford's verbally awesome but, I fear, fundamentally specious new novel would have had the maestro ducking behind a parapet. The Lay of the Land is the third Frank Bascombe narration — Frank being the dreamy, sadly self-monitoring sportswriter of The Sportswriter, and thereafter the less dreamy but still sadly self-monitoring real-estate broker of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Independence Day..." Read the entire Atlantic Monthly review.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. The Sportswriter
    Used Trade Paper $4.95
  2. Independence Day
    Used Trade Paper $4.95

Post a comment:

Get Your Gravatar

  1. Please note:
  2. All comments require moderation by Powells.com staff.
  3. Comments submitted on weekends might take until Monday to appear.
PowellsBooks.Blog uses Gravatar to allow you to personalize the icon that appears beside your name when you post. If you don't have one already, get your Gravatar today!
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.