The Sportswriter The Sportswriter discussion


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Reader impressions

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message 1: by Jerome (new)

Jerome Segundo About halfway through this book, I’m having a love/hate experience. I’m distracted by the use of present tense (not common in a novel) along with a few grammatical errors and an annoying voice inconsistency. (Every so often the author addresses the reader directly as “you,” before reverting to the first person.) Also, despite the title, sports gets little play; in fact, the protagonist himself seems to have scant interest in athletics.

But these flaws notwithstanding, the character development has progressed nicely, with a nuanced and layered portrayal of Frank Bascombe, the eponymous lead character. He exhibits some latent gay tendencies and appears to be slowly but steadily inching toward a nervous breakdown, which is holding my interest.

I’d be keen on hearing the views of others who have read the book, and will check in again when finished.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Frank Bascombe is a great creation and the novel a wonderful mix of humour and aching sadness. The voice is note-perfect and consistent. If Frank's narration slipped into 2nd or 3rd person for no reason, that'd be different.


Gerry Frank Bascombe is as important to American literature as is Harry Angstrom (Rabbit). As Larry said, Frank Bascombe is irreverant to the point of distraction and so full of despair and love for those he cares about and even those he doesn't. A most important novel by a most important novelist.


message 4: by Len (new) - rated it 5 stars

Len I think Frank Bascombe is a great literary character, but Rabbit Angstrom is perhaps the greatest American literary character so I wouldn't put them in the same boat. That said, The Sportwriter and Independence Day are two of my favorite novels, though I was very disappointed with Lay of the Land and I didn't love Canada either. If you like Richard Ford, and I do, try Ethan Canin and Richard Russo -- and I'll assume if you are a fan of Ameircan literature you've already devoured the Rabbit series and all of Tom Wolfe's novels!


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