Synopses & Reviews
With this masterful new book his first in nearly four years Richard Ford reaffirms the judgment of The New York Times Book Review
that "nobody now writing looks more like an American classic."
Only a storyteller of Ford's remarkable agility and seriousness could produce such a rich array of stories on the single, dramatic theme of love and intimacy. A Multitude of Sins evokes, with unflinching candor, our failures to achieve what we consider to be most important: to be faithful and sincere, empathetic and patient, to be honest and passionate and finally loving toward those we care for or merely, if desperately, desire. As in all of Ford's work, the settings are as distinct as Montreal is from New Orleans, or Maine and the Grand Canyon. Yet in each he is drawn to the relations between women and men liaisons in and out and to the sides of marriage. It is in these relations, his extraordinary stories suggest, that our entire sense of right and wrong is enacted, and the fierce intensity he brings to these vivid, unforgettable dramas marks this as his most powerfully arresting book to date.
"Ford's achievement, though, isn't in the range of his palette but in how closely he focuses on the regrets of middle age, the hopes his characters still have, and the chances they take, aware that they may be fools, chasing after desires even they can't understand. Every decision is a risk that defines who they are at heart." Stewart O'Nan, The Atlantic Monthly
(read the entire Atlantic review
"The novella, 'Abyss,' the collection's finest entry...has a canonical heft to it, bearing comparison to the best of Flannery O'Connor. Its presence alone makes this collection an essential volume, and the rest of the stories hold their own alongside it." Publishers Weekly
"Startling and unabashed....Ford's sheer mastery of the form is jaw-dropping."
Julie Myerson, The Guardian (UK)
"The stories' readability is partly in their voyeuristic appeal and partly from Ford's mastery of narrative pace....Ford does what he does best, shows a fragile arrangement subtly breaking down, monitors the damage done to the psyches involved. It is a deft, highly observant performance." David Herd, Times Literary Supplement (UK)
"Actually, it's a single sin: adultery and its 'multitude' of consequences, explored with varying success in this dour collection of nine stories and a novella." Kirkus Reviews
"[Ford's] mordant gaze falls on American men and women at those moments when they are crumpling up their lives like soiled tissue, looking back in disappointment, looking forward in what they are unable to recognise as despair....[He] can conjure up Chekhovian degrees of tragedy, dredging straightened lives with a peerless ability to identify human failing." Tom Lappin, The Scotsman (UK)
One of the most celebrated and unflinching chroniclers of modern life now explores, in this masterful collection of short stories, the grand theme of intimacy, love, and their failures.
With remarkable insight and candor, Richard Ford examines liaisons in and out and to the sides of marriage. An illicit visit to the Grand Canyon reveals a vastness even more profound. A couple weekending in Maine try to recapture the ardor that has disappeared from their life together. And on a spring evening, a young wife tells her husband of her affair with the host of the dinner party theyre about to join. The rigorous intensity Ford brings to these vivid, unforgettable dramas marks this as his most powerfully arresting book to date-confirming the judgment of the New York Times Book Review that “nobody now writing looks more like an American classic.”
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.