Now sixty-eight, Frank resides again in the New Jersey suburb of Haddam, and has thrived – seemingly but not utterly – amidst the devastations of Hurricane Sandy. The desolations of Sandy, which left houses, shorelines and countless lives unmoored and flattened, are the perfect backdrop and touchstone for Ford – and Bascombe. With a flawless comedic sensibility and unblinking intelligence, these stories range over the full complement of universal subjects: ageing, race, loss, faith, marriage, the real estate debacle – the tumult of the world we live in.
Through Bascombe – funny, profane, touching, wise, often inappropriate – we share the aspirations and sorrows, longings, achievements and failings of American life in the morning of the new century.
With his trademark candour and brimming wit, Richard Ford brings Bascombe back in all his imperfect glory to say (often hilariously) what all of us are thinking but few will voice aloud.
“Frank Bascombe, the protagonist of The Sportswriter, Independence Day, and The Lay of the Land, continues to reflect on the meaning of existence in these four absorbing, funny, and often profound novellas.” Publishers Weekly
“Ford is celebrated for his Frank Bascombe novels–stories swirling around the life of a middle-aged real estate agent. His profession lends itself to Ford’s rich descriptions of natural land. Here, Ford places Bascombe in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.” Huffington Post, Best Books for Fall 2014
“… caustically hilarious, warmly philosophical, and emotionally lush… In each neatly linked tale, Frank ruminates misanthropically, wittily, and wisely about love, family, friendship, race, politics, and the mystery of the self…Like Frank, Ford, certainly is incisively frank, forensically observant, and covertly tender.” Booklist (starred review)