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Let Me Be Frank with You: Frank Bascombe Series, Book 4
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A brilliant new work that returns Richard Ford to the hallowed territory that sealed his reputation as an American master: the world of Frank Bascombe, and the landscape of his celebrated novels The Sportswriter, the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner winning Independence Day, and The Lay of the Land.

In his trio of world-acclaimed novels portraying the life of an entire American generation, Richard Ford has imagined one of the most indelible and widely discussed characters in modern literature, Frank Bascombe. Through Bascombe—protean, funny, profane, wise, often inappropriate—we've witnessed the aspirations, sorrows, longings, achievements and failings of an American life in the twilight of the twentieth century.

Now, in Let Me Be Frank with You, Ford reinvents Bascombe in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In four richly luminous narratives, Bascombe (and Ford) attempts to reconcile, interpret and console a world undone by calamity. It is a moving and wondrous and extremely funny odyssey through the America we live in at this moment. Ford is here again working with the maturity and brilliance of a writer at the absolute height of his powers.

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Street Date:
11/04/2014
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780062341631
ASIN:
B00ICN30RW
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APA Citation (style guide)

Richard Ford. (2014). Let Me Be Frank with You: Frank Bascombe Series, Book 4. Ecco.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Richard Ford. 2014. Let Me Be Frank With You: Frank Bascombe Series, Book 4. Ecco.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Richard Ford, Let Me Be Frank With You: Frank Bascombe Series, Book 4. Ecco, 2014.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Richard Ford. Let Me Be Frank With You: Frank Bascombe Series, Book 4. Ecco, 2014. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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        Richard Ford is the author of The Sportswriter and Independence Day. He is winner of the Prix Femina in France, the 2019 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, and the Princess of Asturias Award in Spain. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Canada. His story collections include the bestseller Let Me Be Frank with You, Rock Springs, and A Multitude of Sins. He lives in Boothbay, Maine, with his wife, Kristina Ford.

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A brilliant new work that returns Richard Ford to the hallowed territory that sealed his reputation as an American master: the world of Frank Bascombe, and the landscape of his celebrated novels The Sportswriter, the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner winning Independence Day, and The Lay of the Land.

In his trio of world-acclaimed novels portraying the life of an entire American generation, Richard Ford has imagined one of the most indelible and widely discussed characters in modern literature, Frank Bascombe. Through Bascombe—protean, funny, profane, wise, often inappropriate—we've witnessed the aspirations, sorrows, longings, achievements and failings of an American life in the twilight of the twentieth century.

Now, in Let Me Be Frank with You, Ford reinvents Bascombe in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In four richly luminous narratives, Bascombe (and Ford) attempts to reconcile, interpret and console a world undone by calamity. It is a moving and wondrous and extremely funny odyssey through the America we live in at this moment. Ford is here again working with the maturity and brilliance of a writer at the absolute height of his powers.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Wall Street Journal
      • content: "Of all the serial heroes bustling through postwar American fiction, Frank Bascombe makes the strongest claim on our affection... It is Mr. Ford's achievement to have made the musings of this suburban everyman captivating."
      • premium: False
      • source: Providence Journal
      • content: "Mortality and the wounded human condition underscore this novel about the legacy of Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey in 2012. Beautifully written, nuanced and perceptive. Frank Bascombe's 68 and contemplating his usefulness and fate in the wreckage that surrounds him."
      • premium: False
      • source: Entertainment Weekly
      • content: "Frank has reached his twilight years with his trademark wit and ruminative self-awareness intact, even if his body is starting to slide into geriatric betrayal...There's no doubt that this is the same old Frank.."Grade: B+
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Journal of Books
      • content: "[Subtle] stories told with wit and grace... Ford has established himself as one of contemporary America's most interesting storytellers. Let Me be Frank with You does nothing to diminish this well-deserved reputation."
      • premium: False
      • source: Palo Alto Weekly
      • content: "[This book] delivers what it promises: a quartet of fresh, though brief, glimpses of a beloved character... no outsized revelations, only small, smart realizations of the pain, absurdity and tenderness of contemporary life in the U.S., after the tide has come crashing in."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist (starred review)
      • content: "... caustically hilarious, warmly philosophical, and emotionally lush... In each neatly linked tale, Frank ruminates misanthropically, wittily, and wisely about love, family, friendship, race, politics, and the mystery of the self...Like Frank, Ford, certainly is incisively frank, forensically observant, and covertly tender."
      • premium: False
      • source: Knoxville Times
      • content: "Regardless of its somewhat funereal context, Let Me Be Frank With You contains many moments of levity...This comic mockery tempers but does not overwhelm the book's essential seriousness...Frank must put his gently dogged optimism up against the fact of life's persistent sorrow, indignity, and misfortune."
      • premium: False
      • source: AARP, Editor's Picks
      • content: "In his Frank Bascombe novels—The Sportswriter, Independence Day and The Lay of the Land—Richard Ford bares the male psyche at various ages. Bascombe is retired now, and let's just say: Life's leading to one inevitable place. As ever, his ruminations offer insight."
      • premium: False
      • source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
      • content: "Small, everyday transgressions and the gravity of their consequences are the quiet calling cards of Ford's fiction... In this latest book he is watchful, bends to the truth, always stops shy of mawkishness and is never self-pitying."
      • premium: False
      • source: Jewish Journal of LA
      • content: "Remarkably, Ford is a serious novelist whose work has been compared to the writings of John Updike, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway, and yet he is also capable of prose that is laugh-out-loud funny."
      • premium: False
      • source: Sacramento Bee
      • content: "The Pulizer Prize-winner ricochets off his 'Frank Bascombe Trilogy' of novels (The Sportswriter, Independence Day, The Lay of the Land) with four themed stories told by Bascombe, his insightful, funny and irreverent main character now living in New Jersey."
      • premium: False
      • source: Daily Beast
      • content: "Frank is pushing 70 but he remains a fascinating emblem of his times... I admire Ford for bringing back Frank Bascombe as an old man and for creating a form and compressing a style to represent one late sexagenarian's circumstances and consciousness without succumbing to geezer sentimentality or contrived serenity."
      • premium: False
      • source: Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers
      • content: "The stories...serve as vehicles for Frank's witty, sad, poignant and incisive ruminations on life in America in the early 21st century... Readers of the Bascombe trilogy... are sure to be delighted at this unexpected opportunity to renew their acquaintance with Frank and see how he's coping with life's...
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        August 18, 2014
        Frank Bascombe, the protagonist of The Sportswriter, Independence Day, and The Lay of the Land, continues to reflect on the meaning of existence in these four absorbing, funny, and often profound novellas. The collection is set in New Jersey in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, in the weeks leading up to Christmas 2012. Frank considers the evanescence of life as he travels to the site of his former home on the shore; has an unsettling experience with a black woman whose family once lived in his present home in fictional Haddam; visits his prickly ex-wife, who is suffering from Parkinson’s, in an extended-care institution; and meets a dying former friend. At 68, Frank feels “old”; his bout with prostate cancer has convinced him that he’s in the “Default Period of life.” Intimations of mortality (“the bad closing in”) permeate his musings, recounted in an unadorned, profane, vernacular that conveys his witty, cynical voice. Frank’s cranky comments and free-flowing meditations about current social and political events are slyly juxtaposed with references to Tolstoy, Shakespeare, Trollope, Emerson, Milton, and others. Despite Frank’s dyspeptic outlook, Ford packs in a surprising amount of affirmation and redemption. Readers who met Frank in Ford’s earlier novels will quickly reconnect with his indelible personality.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 1, 2014
        The novelist returns with his favorite protagonist for a coda that is both fitting and timely. Ford made his critical and popular breakthrough by introducing Frank Bascombe in The Sportswriter (1986) and then continued his progression with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Independence Day (1995) and the epic The Lay of the Land (2006). In comparison to the other volumes in what had been known as "The Bascombe Trilogy"-and to Ford's most recent novel, the masterful Canada (2012)-this is a short, formalistic work. Each of its four chapters could stand as a story on its own, featuring Frank's meditations on odd encounters with someone from his past, now that he has settled into the detachment of retirement from the real estate racket. "[W]hat I mostly want to do is nothing I don't want to do," he explains, though he somehow finds himself commiserating with the guy who bought his house, destroyed by the recent Hurricane Sandy; the wife who became his ex three decades ago; and a former friend who is on his deathbed. While President Barack Obama, the hurricane and the bursting of the real estate bubble provide narrative signposts, not much really happens with Frank, which suits Frank just fine. He finds himself facing the mortal inevitability by paring down-ridding himself of friends, complications, words that have become meaningless. As he says, "I'd say it's a simple, good-willed, fair-minded streamlining of life in anticipation of the final, thrilling dips of the roller-coaster." Until then, what he experiences is "life as teeming and befuddling, followed by the end." Over the course of his encounters, there are a couple of revelations that might disturb a man who felt more, but plot is secondary here to Frank's voice, which remains at a reflective remove from whatever others are experiencing.Another Bascombe novel would be a surprise, but so is this-a welcome one.

        COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from October 1, 2014
        This cleverly titled set of four novellas narrated by Ford's signature character, Frank Bascombe, is caustically hilarious, warmly philosophical, and emotionally lush. After appearing in three novelsThe Sportswriter (1986), Independence Day (1995), and The Lay of the Land (2006)Frank is 68, retired from selling real estate, contentedly married to his compassionate if brusque second wife, and wryly cognizant of the expected shackles and surprising liberations of age. But his tenuous equanimity is put to the test in the disorienting aftermath of Hurricane Sandy during intense and unforeseen encounters, each associated with a residence bristling with memories. Frank meets an old friend at the Jersey shore, where the storm destroyed the beach house Frank sold him. A woman who grew up in Frank's house returns to see it for the first time, revealing its horrific history. Frank dutifully visits his ex-wife in a state-of-the-art staged-care facility and makes another reluctant pilgrimage to see a dying friend in the hideously overdecorated mansion he sold him long ago. In each neatly linked tale, Frank ruminates misanthropically, wittily, and wisely about love, family, friendship, race, politics, and the mystery of the self. Can he truly be Frank with others? Can he be honest? LikeFrank, Ford, winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence for Canada (2013), certainly is incisively frank, forensically observant, and covertly tender. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The word is out: Frank is back, and best-selling Ford will be touring the country backed by a muscular multimedia and online campaign.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2014, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2014

        You already know Frank Bascombe as the protagonist of Ford's The Sportswriter, Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award-winning Independence Day, and National Book Critics Circle finalist The Lay of the Land. Now, after an eight-year hiatus, Frank is back, once again summing up an important American moment by wrestling with the displacement caused by Hurricane Sandy. With an eight-city tour and a 100,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from November 1, 2014

        Ford returns to his best-known character, Frank Bascombe, first introduced in The Sportswriter, in four linked novellas that explore the state of Frank's life and that of the larger world in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Set on the Jersey Shore just before Christmas 2012, these stories find Frank, now 68 and retired from the real estate business, ruminating on age, loss, and the sense of decline he feels in himself and in the world. "I'm Here," for instance, reflects on loss and resilience as Frank visits his former beach home, destroyed by the hurricane, in the company of its present owner. In "The New Normal," Frank brings a small gift (an orthopedic pillow) to his ex-wife, Ann, who is recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, at the continuing care facility in the town where she currently resides. The idea of a new, diminished normal pervades these deeply elegiac tales. Like John Updike's Rabbit Angstrom, Frank is a barometer of his times, and the times, as Ford sees them, are not good--as if Hurricane Sandy had blown back the curtains of everyday life to reveal truths about the ravages of aging, social decline, and climate change. VERDICT A notable addition--and perhaps coda--to Ford's "Frank Bascombe" trilogy; highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 5/12/14.]--Lawrence Rungren, Andover, MA

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2014

        Ford returns to his best-known character, Frank Bascombe, first introduced in The Sportswriter, in four linked novellas that explore the state of Frank's life and that of the larger world in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Set on the Jersey Shore just before Christmas 2012, these stories find Frank, now 68 and retired from the real estate business, ruminating on age, loss, and the sense of decline he feels in himself and in the world. "I'm Here," for instance, reflects on loss and resilience as Frank visits his former beach home, destroyed by the hurricane, in the company of its present owner. In "The New Normal," Frank brings a small gift (an orthopedic pillow) to his ex-wife, Ann, who is recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, at the continuing care facility in the town where she currently resides. The idea of a new, diminished normal pervades these deeply elegiac tales. Like John Updike's Rabbit Angstrom, Frank is a barometer of his times, and the times, as Ford sees them, are not good--as if Hurricane Sandy had blown back the curtains of everyday life to reveal truths about the ravages of aging, social decline, and climate change. VERDICT A notable addition--and perhaps coda--to Ford's "Frank Bascombe" trilogy; highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 5/12/14.]--Lawrence Rungren, Andover, MA

        Copyright 2014 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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A brilliant new work that returns Richard Ford to the hallowed territory that sealed his reputation as an American master: the world of Frank Bascombe, and the landscape of his celebrated novels The Sportswriter, the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner winning Independence Day, and The Lay of the Land.

In his trio of world-acclaimed novels portraying the life of an entire American generation, Richard Ford has imagined one of the most indelible and widely discussed characters in modern literature, Frank Bascombe. Through Bascombe—protean, funny, profane, wise, often inappropriate—we've witnessed the aspirations, sorrows, longings, achievements and failings of an American life in the twilight of the twentieth century.

Now, in Let Me Be Frank with You, Ford reinvents Bascombe in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In four richly luminous narratives, Bascombe (and Ford) attempts to reconcile, interpret and console a world undone by calamity. It is a moving and...

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Frank Bascombe Series, Book 4
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