The Lay of the Land: Bascombe Trilogy (Frank Bascombe #3)
National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist
A New York Times Best Book of the Year
A sportswriter and a real estate agent, husband and father –Frank Bascombe has been many things to many people. His uncertain youth behind him, we follow him through three days during the autumn of 2000, when his trade as a realtor on the Jersey Shore is thriving. But as a p...more
I've said many times I don't really believe in the entity called the Great American Novel, but if I did, this book would certainly qualify. It's wonderfully written (though exhausting at times with all the details, but trust the author, they all serve a purpose), chuckle-out loud funny at other times and even heartbreaking in a completely non-sentimental way, while giving such insights into man, a man and the American way of life, warts and all.
I read the first two Bascom...more
I first read Richard Ford when I was far too young to appreciate him--I think I stumbled across "Independence Day" in late elementary school. I was glad to revisit him at the beach this summer.
In terms of logistics, "The Lay of the Land" is the third in a set of novels about Frank Bascombe's life (Who is he, you ask? A modern-day self-deprecating Renaissance man of a sort). The first two, "Th...more
Bittersweet Downshift In Life Expectations , 13 Nov 2006
"This novel showcases many of Mr. Ford's gifts: his ability to capture the nubby, variegated texture of ordinary life; his unerring ear for how ordinary people talk; his talent for conjuring up subsidiary characters with a handful of brilliant brushstrokes.
MICHIKO KAKUTANI, New York Times
Frank Bascombe, real estate manager, aka sportswriter and novelist is in the prime of his life. He is on what he describes as ""the permanent phase" of...more
I have spent a great deal of time now with Mr. Bascombe over the past few years, and in book time, we've passed nearly 20 years together. Here, I slipped so easily back into reading Frank's voice, it was like I was passing time with an old college buddy - someone I know, but only see every few y...more
In this novel, realtor Frank Bascombe, previously appearing in Independence Day and The Sportswriter, finds that...more
To be fair, Ford does have some very pithy and spot-on observations about life in the middle decades. My question, though, is where was his editor? Is it considered bad form to actually edit...more
And Ford's writing is as fluid as a poet's, as ever.
Some people compare him to Raymond Carver, or John...more
- "as his characters seemed to become more and more repllent, and without any corresponding sign that the author understood that they were repellent--I've continued to...more
Ford is one of those writers (like, for example, McEwen and Ishiguro) who turns out books that modern literati love to dub “voice-driven” or “character-driven.” To me, out of step as I am, that often s...more
Lay of the Land is the third book in a trilogy about novel...more
Not all of Richard Ford's readers share his fondness for monologues, introspection, and the mundane details of everyday life. To be sure, some found them fascinating and insightful, but others were decidedly turned off. Most felt Ford had gone slightly overboard with his decision to follow Frank from car to bar to bathroom. Also, critics regarded the series of mounting unfortunate circumstances as ranging from those hopelessly contrived to those luminously metaphorical. The book seems most appea...more
1) Is there such a thing as a life too-w...more
Frank is 55 now, in the part of life he refers to as "The Permanent Period," where you are sailing into the sunset, if not smoothly, then at least somewhat secure in the knowledge that you cannot mess everything up a...more
For more info see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_...