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Next Up: The Sportswriter

Literary whiplash!

How in the world am I supposed to transition from a fantasy story of hobbits and elves and orcs and wizards and a magic ring into the story of a gloomy depressed and divorced sportswriter who recently lost his son?

Good question. I don’t know, but let’s give it a try.

Here are a few facts about The Sportswriter and its author Richard Ford:

  • The Sportswriter was published in 1986.
  • The novel is the first of Richard Ford’s “Bascombe Trilogy” which includes Independence Day (1995) and The Lay of the Land (2006).
  • But hark! It is a trilogy no more. Ford has written a 4th novel as part of the Bascombe series. This one is titled Let Me Be Frank With You, and is scheduled for release on November 4, 2014.
  • In 2007, Variety reported that The Sportswriter was being turned into a 6-part miniseries for HBO. As of 2014, that hasn’t happened. The project appears to have been shelved.
  • Richard Ford won the Pulitzer Prize for Independence Day, his follow up to The Sportswriter in 1995.
  • Ford, originally from Jackson, Mississippi, is currently on the faculty at Columbia University. He’s 70 years old.

One item worth noting. Ford’s Bascombe trilogy has been compared to John Updike’s Rabbit trilogy, which includes Rabbit Run, a book I read as part of the list.

Both follow one man over a long period of time and through a period of growth and maturity, a coming of age story in a sense.

Despite the literary whiplash, I’m excited about plunging forward into The Sportswriter!

Anyone read it?

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10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Sam #

    I have Ford’s novel ‘Canada’ next on my list. I’ll be starting it tonight. So we’re kind of parallel reading… but not really.

    Enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

    August 7, 2014
    • Awesome. That’s one of his recent novels, right?

      Like

      August 7, 2014
      • Sam #

        Yes, 2012. I saw him promoting it on The Colbert Report and I thought it sounded interesting. I’ve been waiting a long time to squeeze it in between book club selections.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 7, 2014
  2. This is a FANTASTIC book ….as is the follow up Independence Day …..but , yes, VERY different from Tolkein …thank goodness IMHO .

    Liked by 2 people

    August 7, 2014
  3. I know that Richard Ford was a very good friend of Raymond Carver. Also he married well. He married someone who was very good at business. This has given him the ability to stay home and write.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 7, 2014
  4. I’ve been wanting to read Richard Ford for a few years now. I’ll be following your read of this for sure. I’ve been looking at this book Canada, but The Sportswriter sounds even more up my alley. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 7, 2014
  5. Hate to say I did try it a couple of years ago and just couldn’t get interested. I’ll be waiting to see what you think.. Maybe you’ll change my mind and pick it up again!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 7, 2014
  6. This one interests me….not that The Hobbit didn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 7, 2014
  7. Liz #

    I read Independence Day and maybe that one should be on a list of something to read when you’re older. It felt like a slog to get through when I read it at around 25. I was expecting to like it more so maybe I missed something? I don’t know. I have liked his short stories though.

    Like

    August 10, 2014

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