Tony's Reviews > The Sportswriter

The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
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's review
Jul 18, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: read-for-bookclub, novels
Read in January, 2010

This is one of those books I've seen sitting on other people's bookshelves for years, and have picked up to look at countless times, only to put it back down and instantly forget the jacket's plot description. So, when my book club picked it to read, it felt somehow both familiar and disappointing at the same time. As I started it, I was momentarily drawn in by the fact that the narrator and I were the same age, and I was reading it over a long Easter weekend, paralleling the timeline of the book. However, it didn't take me long to realize that I didn't like misanthropic titular narrator, and I didn't care at all about his pseudo-existential midlife crisis. To be fair, the narrator is two years removed from the death of a child, and one year removed from the end of his marriage, either of which could fairly send one spiraling into depression. But despite the highly crafted writing, I never felt like the several hundred pages we spend inside his head ever rise above ponderous (and often whiny) WASPy navel-gazing. Definitely not my cup of tea, and I certainly won't be reading the two further books that continue the man's tale.

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