Kim Fay's Reviews > The Sportswriter

The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
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's review
Jun 29, 2011

liked it

This book is infused with a hypnotic suburban melancholy that kept me reading even when I was completely frustrated with the author. His writing is superb, but sometimes I wanted him to let the story go. Instead, I often felt that I was reading an essay about the characters, or suburbia, or writing or the modern human condition. Good essays, but essays, nonetheless. "The Sportswriter" is very much of its time (the mid-1980s), both in its style and in its self-reflection that verges on excruciating. And yet, and yet ... the book has value. As a writer, I enjoyed Ford's comments on what it means to be a fiction writer versus what it means to be a sportswriter. I would also come across sentences that were so insightful, they would stop me in my tracks. As for the melancholy, which is blended with hope, it perfectly suits the main character, whose son has died (this is not a spoiler), whose wife has left him, and whose life is in a place of transition that he does not quite understand.
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