Bill Preston's Reviews > Canada
by Richard Ford
by Richard Ford
Bill Preston's review
Mar 11, 12
Read in March, 2012
The inside cover description and note from the publisher compelled me to put this to the top of my to-read list as soon as a colleague handed it to me post ABA Winter Institute. And, of course, it was a new novel by Richard Ford. Expecting a fairly fast-paced coming of age story--after all the cover promised a bank robbery and three murders set amidst the wind swept prairies of Canada--it didnt take long to realize this book was going to require some patience. Fifteen-year-old Dell tells the story of his parent's ill-considererd bank roberry at a languid pace, and while I was almost at the point of thinking out loud,"get on with it", the narrative nevertheless grabbed hold. It is always a pleasure to be in the hands of a writer like Richard Ford (particularly after all the pedistrian stuff I allow myself to read)and I never considered setting "Canada" aside. And when Dell finally reaches Canada, the pace picks up, a bit, with Dell's circumstances becoming more compelling. I am still puzzling over the broader message in the book. Dell is 15 and small for his age and at the mercy of the adults making decisions for him throughout the book. His status is as an observer--for sure an astute one--and it seemed that he never relinguishes that status. Even as the adult Dell telling the story, and in the aftermath in part three, he appears to never be the cause of any action, simply an observer. He has made a modest success of his own life despite the hand he is dealt, but I was still left with a sense that a stronger man would have done more.
Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Canada.sign in »