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Wildlife

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  1,278 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
Ford's fourth novel is set in the same Western landscape that so distinguished his acclaimed collection Rock Springs, and with it he extends his reputation as one of the most compelling and eloquent storytellers of his generation . . . providing us with both the pleasures of narrative and the sad wisdom of art.--The New York Times. Wildlife is the story of coming out into ...more
Hardcover, 177 pages
Published June 1st 1990 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published 1990)
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(showing 1-30)
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K.D. Absolutely
Mar 26, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Modern Fiction)
Shelves: 501
A very short novel yet a whooper.

Richard Ford is more known for his Pulitzer-award winning Independence Day but this book, his fourth, Wildlife is his only book included in the 501 Must Read Books so I picked this up first. Good intro to his works. I will definitely pick up the others soon.

Ford has been compared to William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway. I agree to both. Wildlife has the brevity and consciseness of Hemingway's works. This novel also reflects the ordinary American lives in the ha
...more
Sub_zero
Jan 04, 2017 Sub_zero rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reto-2017
Richard Ford es un autor que gusta de destripar el argumento de sus novelas en la primera página. Una maniobra, supongo, que pretende desviar la atención del lector hacia elementos de mayor peso. Así pues, poco importa saber de antemano que la madre del protagonista mantiene una aventura con otro hombre mientras su marido combate un colosal incendio forestal que amenaza con cernirse sobre la localidad de Great Falls, Montana, pues no se trata de una novela sobre los hechos, sino acerca de cómo r ...more
Michael
I found this a well nuanced story of a boy coming to terms with the challenges faced in his parent’s marriage and the complex ways adults deal with their uncertainties in their purpose and commitment. The tale develops some of the themes Ford distilled in his later novel, “Canada”. Joe is 16 and living in Great Falls, Montana, where his parents had moved from Idaho because of job prospects created by the shale oil boom. His dad finds work as a golf instructor and his mother as a bookkeeper. Fore ...more
Paul
Dec 23, 2010 Paul rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2010
Fantastic. Could be the simplest novel I've ever read. There's all of four characters, plus three extras who play extremely minor, one-scene roles. The emotion was really there on the page, while somehow never approaching melodrama. I really felt for the characters. At times, the mother was a bit of a mystery, or a cipher even, who just spouted cliches, but eventually you realize this is sort of just who she is. This isn't a character-driven novel in the sense that you really, really get to know ...more
Teresa
Jul 03, 2012 Teresa rated it liked it
Though I'm a Richard Ford fan (I've read his later works, mostly), I wasn't planning on reading this early novel of his, but then I recognized some similarities in the description of this to that of his latest, "Canada," so I decided to read this first.

While I enjoyed reading it, and there's nothing wrong with it, it's not nearly as complex as his later works, so it suffered in comparison for me. But perhaps only in comparison, as there's a lot to like in this story of an insecure husband and wi
...more
Susan Haldeman
Mar 07, 2011 Susan Haldeman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't understand why people hate on this book. Though it could be slow at times, I thought it was very realistic and surprisingly insightful coming from a 16-year-old narrator (but not unrealistically insightful). There aren't any monumental events, but I think that's what makes the book stand out from others. It just is.
Dan Herman
May 28, 2008 Dan Herman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
realistic tale about a boy's experiences in Montana, as I recall, 1940s. Ford tells all his stories beautifully. I don't mean as in "pretty writing" but more as in "spare" writing, Hemingwayesque, where every word and every paragraph count for something.
Charles White
Sep 17, 2010 Charles White rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Excellent, understated story about the ways we learn to cope with the absurd and incomprehensible.
David
May 24, 2017 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is actually some of the best Ford that I've seen. Clean and hits emotionally like a hammer. No less interesting cowboy or manly man type stuff, which bores me a little even as quiet about it as Ford can be. This is what I always hope for from Ford, what I know he can do. It's not quite Rock Springs, but pretty damn close. Good stuff.
Censured
Jul 29, 2016 Censured rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cuando empecé a entrar en el mundo del realismo sucio de la mano Palahniuk, Carver y, cómo no, Bukowski, pensé en que sería interesante también leer algo de Ford. Y esta fue la perspectiva con la que me enfrenté a la primera novela que leía de él: Incendios. Me la imaginaba mucho más cruda, dura y directa, como en el caso de los autores mencionados anteriormente. Sin embargo, me encontré con una novela adictiva y de tintes extremadamente existencialistas, lo cual me resultó algo chocante pero pa ...more
Donna
Mar 13, 2010 Donna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The dialog of the book was very flat and seemed very strange and unnatural to me. The main character in the story, a teenage boy tells his story which is a view into a few days in his life. There are major events that take place, such as his father losing his job, his mother having an affair, before his very eyes, and his father leaving home to fight a wildfire threatening the area, but these events don't seem to impact him in a major way-he just accepts them as the next thing that happens in hi ...more
Allie
Feb 25, 2007 Allie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have read this book twice. Richard Ford's writing is quiet and beautiful and perfect--still and stunning as the winter woods.
Rafalmur
Feb 05, 2017 Rafalmur rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dos mundos paralelos que, en apenas tres días, se ciernen sobre un adolescente. El del hogar abandonado por el padre y el de los incendios a los que se ha marchado para combatirlos, en los montes cercanos. El hijo que contempla los acontecimientos que cambian su vida desea que no alteren su mundo. Recibe frases punzantes de su madre, una madre terrenal frente a un padre idealista. Toda los libros que me he leído de Ford parecen estar marcados por un padre tan idealista que es incapaz de discerni ...more
Douglas
Aug 14, 2013 Douglas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good coming of age novel. The plot occurs over a few days, and nothing necessarily extraordinary takes place, but it's packed with intense emotional charge. I liked that Ford avoided the precociousness you typically find in these type of novels. Sixteen year-old Joe's favorite line in this book is, "I don't know". Isn't that often typical of young people when faced with growing up? To not really know what to think or how to feel? I will probably never forget the scene in the ki ...more
Andre
Jan 20, 2017 Andre rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Que complicada estoy con este libro, me generó mucha violencia y rabia, pero es el objetivo que quiere lograr el autor. Está muy bien escrito.
Nos remontamos a 1960 al norte de Estados Unidos, se incendian los bosques y un padre de familia luego de quedar desempleado se larga como voluntario para extinguir el fuego. Todo el relato es visto a través del hijo adolescente, que en ausencia del papá, su mamá se enamora de otro hombre. Dónde está el "PERO"? Como Carver, acá se sigue la tendencia del r
...more
Sarah  Perry
A story about a teenage boy in the early 1960's - his father loses his job as a golf instructor and decides to go away for a few days to fight wildfires. While he is gone, his mother falls in love with another man, and the boy gets to see way too much. It is understated, modest, short, simple. I didn't find the story particularly interesting. Not very convincingly told in my opinion, it felt written, not like an organic tale, and the characters were quite wooden with unconvincing dialogue (but n ...more
عبدالله ناصر

أسرة تعيش ثلاثة أيام عصيبة تبدأ بفقدان الأب لعمله بعد أن طرد بتهمة السرقة و الذي بدوره يرتكب حماقة عظمى في الالتحاق برجال الإطفاء الذين يذهبون في مهمة مستحيلة لإطفاء حرائق الغابات الموسمية. يدفع الغضب بالزوجة لمعاشرة أحد أصدقاء زوجها و ارتكاب حماقة أكبر بالرغبة بالانفصال . كل هذا يحدث على مرأى و مسمع الابن الذي يفكر في الهرب من هذا الجحيم. يأسف والده على هذه الحياة الوحشية و بعد فترة من الزمن تعود الأمور إلى مسارها الصحيح . هل تعود فعلاً الأمور إلى مسارها الصحيح ؟

مع تقديري الكبير للمترجم و لحماس
...more
Capítulo IV
"Incendios es una novela compleja enmarcada en una historia sencilla; ahí reside parte de su fuerza: con pocos elementos -una ciudad que prometía mucho, un porvenir incierto, unas desavenencias matrimoniales y una crisis adulta- se construye un relato donde la inmadurez (la incomprensión) del niño que observa y padece va destilando una extraña sensación ante la vida y una tristeza acendrada que recorre todo el texto". Más en https://capitulocuarto.wordpress.com/...
Jesse
Jun 08, 2011 Jesse rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
Effective, though emotionally minimalist to the point that it left me aware of the author's hand, particularly in the main character. Nothing was unbelievable, though I did find myself frequently picking apart the first-person narrator in a way I don't really think the author might have intended.
Molinos
Oct 22, 2016 Molinos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incendios es una historia de Ford tal cual. Recuerda a Canadá y a Rock Springs, su primera recopilación de relatos. A Canadá recuerda por el narrador adolescente que analiza lo que ocurre a su alrededor intentando entender que les pasa a los adultos, porqué hacen lo que hacen, intentando buscar una explicación que le consuele porque lo que, en realidad, sabe no quiere saberlo. Los dos adolescentes, el de Canadá y Joe el protagonsita de Incendios, luchan por quedarse en el lugar seguro que es la ...more
Ciara
Mar 25, 2008 Ciara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The storyline here is intentionally vague, but once I passed the halfway point, I couldn't put it down. Quite the affecting plot, especially since you're not meant to fully understand it.

One quibble, though: a quote from a critic from the Chicago Sun-Times appearing on the cover characterizes the book as offering "a sense of hope," and I've gotta say, I found it had the opposite effect on me. What hope is there in this:

"And what there is to learn from almost any human experience is that your ow
...more
Pustulio
El puro dramón familiar. Y con unos simbolismos muy marcados. Cosas como los incendios y otros detalles minúsculos. En general me gusto como narra las cosas Ford, pero tampoco me encantó.

Le daría el beneficio de la duda en otro libro aunque este si estuvo entretenido. Un pelín antes del final mejora, pero la resolución no fue la mejor. Sentí que habrá más climax.

Ahora que me enojé ya sé cuál es la solución. Cuando pasaba el final no podía dejar de pensar en:


Aunque bueno yo siempre estoy pensan
...more
Offuscatio
Pese a todo, el tiempo no se detiene y la vida sigue adelsnte.

"Y hay palabras - palabras importantes - que uno no quiere decir, palabras que dan cuenta de vidas arruinadas, palabras que tratan de arreglar algo frustrado que no debió malograrse y nadie deseó ver fracasar, y que, de todas formas, nada pueden arreglar."
PattyMacDotComma
Sep 23, 2010 PattyMacDotComma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed it very much, although 'enjoyable' is not the word to describe this boy's situation. He's part of a barely functioning family that maintains a certain loyalty out of habit (that is probably true of many of us) with attempts by all to bust loose (probably true of many of us, too).
Sarah
Mar 15, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Coming of age tale about 16/17 year old boy who idealizes his irresponsible, unhappy parents. Set in small town of Montana in 1960s, simple and straightforward writing style.
Janet Fraser
Sep 08, 2011 Janet Fraser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, this novella is a masterpiece. A long poem of sombre beauty and mystery, and a marvellously realistic depiction of a teenage boy and his complicated relationship with his parents.
Al Riske
May 12, 2011 Al Riske rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the kind of novel where, if you're a writer, you think: I'd like to do something like that.

The voice and viewpoint in this one really are riveting.
James
May 07, 2012 James rated it really liked it
Reminded me of Tobias Wolff. For John Dorsey Pitts, Jr. in memory of Spencer Gladding Pitts:
Libro pro meo antiquissimis amicus in hora eius profundissimum damnum.
Sylvie
Oct 07, 2009 Sylvie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simplistic, engaging and realistic story of a experiencing the early stages of divorce. The story is short, tight and works well as it is set amidst a wildfire that burns nearby.
Justin
Feb 27, 2016 Justin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A bleak story about unlikeable people doing stupid things
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Richard Ford is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer. His best-known works are the novel The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day and The Lay of the Land, and the short story collection Rock Springs, which contains several widely anthologized stories.
For more info see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_...
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“Your life doesn't mean what you have or what you get. Its what your'e willing to give up.” 18 likes
“When you are sixteen you do not know what your parents know, or much of what they understand, and less of what's in their hearts. This can save you from becoming an adult too early, save your life from becoming only theirs lived over again--which is a loss. But to shield yourself--as I didn't do--seems to be an even greater error, since what's lost is the truth of your parents' life and what you should think about it, and beyond that, how you should estimate the world you are about to live in.” 7 likes
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