Friday, May 2, 2008

Independence Day by Richard Ford, 1996

Independence Day is the sequel to The Sportswriter. The Lay of the Land, 2006, is the third book in the trilogy.

Frank Bascombe, is reminiscent of "Rabbit" Angstrom the main character in the Rabbit series (two are Pulitzer Fiction winners) by John Updike, and the overall writing styles, I found to be similar. Bascombe is a dreamy, drifter-like character both personally and professionally. His family life is in a shambles and although he has a "job," it seems only to provide further fodder for his attempt to figure out what he wants to do with his life. I may be subject to flaming here, but I find this character very emblematic of the loss of "manliness" in American men. This guy can't seem to make anything happen, and I'm not sure I have any sympathy for him since he has brains and money - perhaps too much so that enables his pathetic existence. He would make a good prime time network comedy leading male character.

1 comment:

Mulled Vine said...

I worked hard at reading this, but only lasted until page 148. I found it mildly amusing and interesting, but generally quite tedious. Lots of mood and rambling without a real story line to grab my interest.