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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  915 ratings  ·  79 reviews
The New York Times calls best-selling author Prather an 'American Kahlil Gibran.' Here Prather helps us to find our spiritual center with this modern-day book of proverbs.
Unknown Binding, 177 pages
Published January 1st 1990 by Atlantic Monthly Press
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K.D. Absolutely
Aug 24, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
Though I'm a Richard Ford fan (I've mostly read his later works), 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 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 wife, as
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
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
Charles White
Excellent, understated story about the ways we learn to cope with the absurd and incomprehensible.
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
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.
I have read this book twice. Richard Ford's writing is quiet and beautiful and perfect--still and stunning as the winter woods.
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
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."

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
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
El mejor cuarto de final de novela que podía esperar.
“La verità è che non c’è mai nessuno che vuole la tua felicità, tutto qui. Ognuno vuole la propria, di felicità. Se sta bene anche a te, allora le cose vanno a gonfie vele. Se no, peggio per te. È una regola importante”.
È questa l’amara realtà di cui parla all’inizio del romanzo la madre del protagonista. E il sedicenne Joe, che si accorge di quanto sia impossibile per lui stesso comprendere a fondo i problemi dei suoi genitori e le difficoltà di un matrimonio, non può far altro che assistere ag
Here we have three people trying to come to terms with who they are. Joe, the son, is nearing 17 and is being put under pressure from is parents to try to find something he excels at to take forward into his adult life.
We then have the patents themselves who are going through their own mid life crises and it is difficult to decide which of them is the most dysfunctional. There is little to like in either parent as they both play out their insecurities in front of their son.
It is the son who not
Susan Haldeman
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.
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).
Dan Herman
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.
Janet Fraser
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.
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.
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.
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.
Al Riske
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.
I grabbed this from the fiction stacks at the mid-Manhattan library because I wanted to read something by Ford and this was the shortest thing they had. I didn't even sample it because it was summer and the first floor's urine stink was steamier and stronger than usual.

For my money, no one writes teen boys better than Ford, perhaps because he is one to some extent. But the language is gorgeous. The gaps and pauses immaculate, the narration a big old feather bed that's probably bad for your back
Kristine Morris
I picked up this book because my husband had read Independence Day and loved it, and I needed something short to occupy me while I spent a weekend in Ottawa. It's a short novel - takes place over three days - and yet it's a profound 3 days in the life of a small family. What I liked about it was how real it was. It's a very likely story and one that no doubt could be descriptive of how many families struggle. Joe, a 16 year old, witnesses his parents flounder and separate, but at diluted angle t ...more
Diane Warrington
I'm currently reading Richard Ford's novels after reading an article about him in the New Zealand Listener, written by John Campbell. I was intrigued by Campbell's description of how captivating the prose and characters were.
Wildfire is a novella really and written from the point of view of an only son. Like a lot of Ford's novels, there is a lot of introspection from the main character because of the 1st person narrative view. I found it an interesting and complex view of a marriage that falter
Erika Jones
I loved this book. I loved the writing, and the story. So many great passages, I bookmarked just a few. I'm hiding them, not because they would spoil the plot, which is just lifelike enough to be completely unpredictable, but because I hope you read this book, and find your own favorite parts, and later discover that we liked some of the same things. One note on the voice in this book -- it feels like everyone speaks (and thinks) very formally. I found myself wondering if anyone ever spoke or th ...more
Pariskunnan nopeasti eskaloituvat parisuhdeongelmat heidän 16-vuotiaan poikansa silmin; tapahtumapaikkana 60-luvun uinuva pikkukaupunki Montanassa, jossa lähistön metsäpalot nostattavat kuitenkin yleistä huolta. Teos tuo mieleen Revolutionary Road:in, mutta Wildlife on vähemmän katkera ja teksti on paikoitellen jopa miellyttävää. Kertoja on myös uskottava roolissaan ja tarinaan jää kutkuttavasti aukkoja, kun pojan käsitys vanhempiensa parisuhteen tilasta on vain ulkopuolisen tulkinta asiasta.
Dan Phillips
Some of my favorite novels of the past few years have been those in Richard Ford's Bascombe trilogy -- The Sportswriter, Independence Day, and The Lay of the Land. I found Frank Bascombe's wandering yet intimate voice to be a comfort, a sort of preparation for middle age, I guess. Wildlife is very different, as it's narrated by a 16 year-old boy, watching his parents' marriage come apart in early-60's Montana. There were some unique moments, especially a highly uncomfortable dinner with the narr ...more
B. Glen Rotchin
This is a classic coming of age story, a young man on the cusp of maturity who learns that life is fundamentally uncertain and unpredictable when his father decides to leave home to join the teams of men (and some women) heading off to fight forest fires in the mountains surrounding their town. Ford masterfully conveys Joe Brinson's feeling of being caught somewhere between knowing and not knowing what will happen next as he is thrust into the middle of the fire that is the dissolution of his pa ...more
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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.
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Canada Independence Day The Sportswriter Rock Springs The Lay of the Land

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“Your life doesn't mean what you have or what you get. Its what your'e willing to give up.” 15 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.” 5 likes
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