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El periodista deportivo
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El periodista deportivo
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El periodista deportivo
Libro electrónico518 páginas15 horas

El periodista deportivo

Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas

3/5

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Información de este libro electrónico

El periodista deportivo es la novela que consagró internacionalmente a Richard Ford, de quien Raymond Carver escribió que era «el mejor escritor en activo en nuestro país» y el crítico francés Bernard Géniès afirmó, en una encuesta en Le Nouvel Observateur, que «se está convirtiendo tranquilamente en el mejor escritor norteamericano». Frank Bascombe tiene treinta y ocho años y un magnífico porvenir como escritor a sus espaldas. Hace tiempo disfrutó de un breve instante de gloria, tras la publicación de un libro de cuentos, pero luego abandonó la literatura, o fue abandonado por ella. Ahora escribe sobre deportes y entrevista a atletas, a quienes admira porque «no tienen tiempo para las dudas o la introspección».Y escribir sobre victorias y derrotas, sobre triunfadores del futuro o del ayer, le ha permitido aprender una escueta lección: «En la vida no hay temas trascendentales. Las cosas suceden y luego se acaban, y eso es todo.» Lección que podría aplicarse a su fugaz fama como escritor, a su breve matrimonio o a la corta vida de su hijo mayor, Ralph, que murió a los nueve años. ¿Cuál es el drama que ha provocado el fracaso de su matrimonio? ¿Por qué Bascombe ha renunciado a la literatura? ¿Qué le anima, sino una «moral de la apatía», un vivir la vida de instante en instante, un rehuir el suicidio por los caminos de la deseada analgésica banalidad? El periodista deportivo es un implacable testimonio de los desencantos inevitables, de la corrosión de las ambiciones, del aprendizaje de los placeres mínimos que permiten sobrevivir.

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Fecha de lanzamiento13 oct 2016
ISBN9788433937407
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El periodista deportivo
Autor

Richard Ford

Richard Ford is the author of The Sportswriter; Independence Day, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award; The Lay of the Land; and the New York Times bestseller Canada. His short story collections include the bestseller Let Me Be Frank With You, Sorry for Your Trouble, Rock Springs and A Multitude of Sins, which contain many widely anthologized stories. He lives in New Orleans with his wife Kristina Ford.

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Calificación: 3.0044576523031203 de 5 estrellas
3/5

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  • Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas
    3/5
    This novel is not quite what you think, or expect, it to be. It is a harrowing tale of a man in a mid-life crisis dealing with everything that has been building up steadily behind him through the years. I read it a long time ago and didn't care for it, but this time through I think it has quite a few things to offer. It is less about sports and more about the human condition. Not a bad novel.
  • Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas
    3/5
    Not entirely sure what all the fuss is with Frank Bascombe. From the first page he reads like a Rabbit Angstrom rip off with less nuance. Rabbit was all about the faded gory of the former sporting hero. Frank Bascombe uses Sportswriting as a soft landing when his novel writing falls apart. It's too on the nose. I remain unconvinced. I may pick up the sequel at some future time only because it won so many prizes, but I won't be looking forward to it.
  • Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas
    3/5
    If Nick Hornby was fifteen years older during his heyday and had recently gone through a divorce this is the book he would have written.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    Early in this novel, the narrator, Frank Bascombe, muses on the short stories he wrote that were published as a book , and it feels as if the author of this novel, Richard Ford, foreshadows the ending and warns the reader what to expect from the writing. Here's a long quote from page 46 of my 1995 "Second Vintage Edition": "[The short stories] seemed to have a feeling for the human dilemma and they did seem hard-nosed and odd-eyed about things...there were a good many descriptions of the weather and the moon, and ... most of [the stories] were set in places like remote hunting camps on Canadian Lakes, or in the suburbs, or Arizona or Vermont, places I had never been, and many of [the short stories] ended with men staring out snowy windows in New England boarding schools or with somebody driving fast down a dark dirt road, or banging his hand into a wall or telling someone else he could never really love his wife, and bringing on hard emptinesses. They also seemed to depend on silence a lot. I seemed, I felt later, to have been stuck in bad stereotypes. All my men were too serious, too brooding and humorless, characters at loggerheads with imponderable dilemmas, much less interesting than my female characters, who were always of secondary importance but free-spirited and sharp-witted."The Sportswriter does indeed have a lot of descriptions of the weather and the moon. Settings include New Jersey suburbs, Detroit, New York City, Florida, and a small New England college. The narrator, by turns, deals with snowy weather, drives down dark roads, gets banged by a metal grocery store cart that cuts his knee open, and realizes that his infatuation for his girlfriend is not enough to be a foundation for a lasting marriage with her. The dialogue depends on silence a lot. The narrator constantly categorizes people according to bad stereotypes (e.g. on page 343 when the narrator sees two businessmen get off a train late at night on Easter Sunday; he says "both are Jews," with no apparent reason for making that statement). The female characters are always of secondary importance, while some are free-spirited and sharp-witted.Yes, Ford delivers what his foreshadowing promises, but it's also misleading in some ways. He pulls the rug out from under the reader every time the novel deviates from his predictions, and I think he does that deliberately. I think Ford is trying throughout the book to develop "hard emptinesses" and to make us expect the novel to end on that note but then delivers something else, something surprising that will make the reader sit up and take note. Unfortunately, after so much development, the surprise ending is too disjointed and doesn't feel at all like an organic conclusion to the story. Not only that, but some plot points, devices, and characters seem thrown into the story just to fulfill the promise in his foreshadowing (most notably, the incident with the grocery cart), so they feel stilted, unorganic, and completely unnecessary. Some reviewers have noted that the dialogue is awkward and/or too drawn out; I believe that is also a deliberate choice on the author's part. The dialogue is awkward at times when the whole exchange is fundamentally awkward, like when an acquaintance divulges too much information, or when the narrator meets someone who turns out to be dark, violent and volatile -- perfectly reasonable to make these awkward dialogues.Many of the narrator's descriptions/observations/musings use language that was offensive even in the 70s (which is the setting for the novel, though the copyright is dated 1986) like the habit of using ethnic slurs to describe people. I think Ford's language choices are very deliberate, and I suspect he was trying to keep us from liking Frank Bascombe too much and from thinking of Bascombe as a sympathetic character. Likewise, Bascombe is often misogynistic, though that attitude softens somewhat by the end of the novel -- somewhat.In short, I believe that the aspects of this book which others have identified as faults are deliberate choices on the author's part. That doesn't mean they work well or are forgivable as devices. And despite its faults and the dated writing style, I still enjoyed the book!~bint
  • Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas
    3/5
    "The Sporstwriter" is first in Richard Ford's Frank Bascombe triloogy. I read the books out of order. First, Independence Day; then Lay of the Land, and finally The Sportswriter. Maybe that's why I thought Sportswriter Frank was a raving bore. I had enough of him already. But that's not it entirely. Frank, in this one, is constantly mulling things over and not saying much in the process. He's 39 and was born in 1945 (same year as me); so that would make the year 1984, and appropo that time, the word "yuppie" and self involved narcissist kept popping into my mind. Maybe Ford expected us to keep a sort of ironic distance from the jerk; still two thirds of the way though, the threads Ford has laid down start coming together and the read picks up steam only to peter out again in conclusion.
  • Calificación: 5 de 5 estrellas
    5/5
    A weekend in the life of a man on the verge of a mid-life crisis. Ford keeps the central character engaging despite some often unsympathetic actions and the whole thing’s studded with pithy, wise observations.
  • Calificación: 5 de 5 estrellas
    5/5
    Very good writing here. I can sense some Hemingway in his dialogue, but the rest is for sure Richard Ford. Gritty but very smart prose and a wittiness coated in the colloquial dialect of, perhaps, a viewer of sports.

    I was a little miffed at the beginning. It's a lot of telling, but it gets real good when things start rolling. And then, even with the telling, it's a solid piece of literature. And it's an odd piece of literature, almost as if the world has something to learn of Frank Bascombe, and that Frank just is. The plot carries on this way until the end. Anyway, if that last doesn't really hit it, Ford has certainly written a unique plot arc with a unique narrator.

    Interestingly, I didn't know it, but I accidentally and by chance bought this trilogy on separate occasions to a used bookstore over the course of a year. I hope I will enjoy the rest of them, which span decades in publication dates and bespeaks of lessons learned. Ford probably has something interesting to say if the end of this book is any indication.
  • Calificación: 2 de 5 estrellas
    2/5
    I would think I"m the target audience here, a middle aged American male who's questioning everything. I couldn't really figure out the point of most of this book most of the time. I kept stopping and thinking "what am I reading?" and "what is theis guy rambling about?". It's not totally pointless like "A Heartbreaking Con-Job of Endless Rambling", and I didn't hate it, I just sort of shrugged and said "huh" when I finished it.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    This was a lonely book about a lonely man who does and says things that you disagree with. Sadly many of these things you have either contemplated saying (or doing) or have already done yourself. In contrast, Ford makes Bascombe into a caring and intuitive character who catches himself from saying something to spare a persons feelings only to ruin it by asking them to hop into bed moments later. Frank Basombe is one of the truest human beings i have found in literature.

    The book mostly takes place over the course of three days. The last day, Easter Sunday seems endless. Many things happen happen to poor Frank Bascombe that day, any one of which would probably ruin my day. Frank however soldiers on saying misplaced or inappropriate things. I am sure that some readers will find him to be a cad but I related and constantly felt sorry for him and his decisions.

    We are told early on that,

    We should all know what is at the end of our ropes and how it feels to be there.

    I don't know that I am ready for a personal visit to the end of my rope let alone seeing how it feels to be there. I'll let Richard Ford handle that. Frank Bascombe will be a character that will stay with me especially when I realize that what I have said or done was foolish.

  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    Frank Bascombe claims to be a literalist. But he might better be described as a fabulist, constantly lying to himself and others, inventing life histories for chance acquaintances (which mostly turn out to be far from accurate), and struggling to reassert his personal narrative in the face of his oldest son’s death two years previous, his inconsistent actions since that time, and the end of his marriage. He exists, often, in a dreamlike state, muddled and meandering, often overtly acting at cross-purposes with his best intentions. By contrast, what he admires in the athletes about whom he writes is that they can be within themselves, in the moment, totally fixated upon the task at hand. He aspires to that level of unconcern with his surroundings, his past, and his future. But Frank was never an athlete even in college, and in the end it is his words that must see him through.It takes some time to get to know Frank, not least because of how poorly he knows himself. He praises mystery—in life, in people, and in circumstance—and says he wants to preserve it, yet he is the consummate explainer, filling in all the details of a person’s life even when, in most cases, he has to invent it. He himself is unclear about what he means by mystery. Perhaps it has something to do with the son for whom he is entombed in mourning. Perhaps it has something to do with his persistently spouting proposals of marriage, but never in such a way that they could be taken seriously. He is a man divorced from his wife, from the politics of his time, from his own family history. He seems to be adrift in a sea of suburbs and insubstantial, place-holder, accommodations, that can neither substitute for the absence of community nor inspire hope for the future. His monthly gentlemen’s club for divorced men might easily be a model for all of our modern relations—insincere, uncommitted, grasping after distractions in order to avoid the real issues and emotions that are thundering down upon us. The very distractions in which the sportswriter specializes.Ford’s writing here is deft and subtle. Frank Bascombe is a man of words, by nature and by profession. But what purpose do his words serve, either when he was a short story writer, or in his career as a sportswriter? He claims that with his sportswriting he is doing about all a man could hope to do in addressing the problems of family, community, nation, even life itself. But he doesn’t really believe it, does he? He is a man hiding from himself, perhaps, and his real fear may be the literal truth he cannot face.This is no novel to be raced through. It needs to be savoured, maybe even mellowed by age. I’m not sure I would have liked it as much had I read it more than twenty years ago, when it was first published and when I was more than twenty years younger. Reading it today, it felt entirely apt. Certainly, long before the end I had reached the conclusion that Ford is a writer more than worthy of the effort. I would gladly read this novel again. And anything else Richard Ford has going. Highly recommended.
  • Calificación: 5 de 5 estrellas
    5/5
    Cerebral and self-absorbed Frank Bascombe struggles to fight back against his grief and loneliness following his son’s childhood death and, as a result, his divorce, and his disintegrating life.An internal story of Frank’s struggle against what he calls dreaminess but is really a detachment and disengagement from the world that is symptomatic of his crippling depression. Told over the Easter week, beginning on the anniversary day of his son’s death, it is a story of one man’s Christ-like agony, entombment, and resurrection.There is really little story about being a sportswriter, except for Frank’s unsuccessful assignment to interview a paralyzed former football player. That assignment goes South when the shell of what had been an athlete proves mentally shattered, incoherent, yet oddly and uncomfortably philosophical.In his personal life, Frank tries to reattach and re-engage with reality via an unsuitable “romance” with Vicki Arcenault, a broadly Texan nurse (Frank’s symbolic caregiver) who seems to have no cerebellum at all, but proves to know what’s good for her. And Frank isn’t it.Frank meets Walter Luckett through the Divorced Men’s Club, who is in a way his alter-ego. Walter’s also divorced, also lonely, but unlike Frank, bereft of coping mechanisms. He seeks Frank out as a best friend he can share moments of deep self-examination. But Frank will have nothing to do with that, preferring not to go deep but rather, to keep his own life on a superficial pleasure-seeking plane. Besides, Frank has his identity as a sportswriter to keep him anchored, while Herb flounders and toys with homosexual sex (even planting an unexpected kiss on Frank) and, in his last desperate gesture, says he’s going to write a novel – the mark of a real writer that Frank attempted once as a youth and has failed at ever since. Instead, Herb writes a suicide note and blows his brains out."The Sportswriter" seemed to me to be Anne Tyler’s "The Accidental Tourist," exactly the same subject matter, type of central hero, and exploration, but things happened in the story and it is much more hopeful. To the end, Frank seeks to maintain a nice anonymity but little else.Precisely this vagueness and amorphousness in the book is what disappoints. While Frank is a well-drawn character, he is not sharply drawn – at times Ford seems self-indulgent, preferring to exercise technical virtuosity at the sacrifice of solid story-telling -- and after one puts the book down, the reader realizes she never knew (or can’t remember) what Frank wants out of life. Perhaps this is intentional and the novel is an exploration of emotional and psychological numbness that can either lead to a coping but always a broken continuation of life, or to the ultimate, perhaps blessed, final numbness of self-destruction.Still, Ford has written a great novel, a disturbing and bleak one, but a mature and lasting work. It is the first of the Bascombe trilogy, requiring the reader to be patient and to trust that the arc of the novels will clarify Frank as a character
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    Frank Bascombe is entering middle age, divorced, and mourning the death of his young son a few years earlier. He lives in the fictional town of Haddam, New Jersey (which seems a lot like Princeton), working as a sportswriter largely from home or on the road, with the occasional commute into the City. He maintains a cordial relationship with his ex-wife, and regularly spends time with his children, although it's all still a bit awkward, as is the dating scene. This novel unfolds over a long Easter weekend. Frank takes his girlfriend Vicki on a business trip to Detroit to interview a sports figure, catches up with a friend over drinks and learns more than he wants to about the friend's life, and visits Vicki's parents for Easter dinner. As these events unfold, the reader learns a lot about Frank and things come to a head on Easter Sunday. When Frank is suddenly called back to Haddam to deal with a difficult situation, he has an epiphany of sorts but the book ends with Frank still in somewhat of a mid-life crisis. This was my introduction to Richard Ford; I very much enjoyed his writing style, illuminating the small things in life in a slow, contemplative way (think Wallace Stegner or Wendell Berry). The next book in the series, Independence Day, picks up several years later and I'm interested to see what's happened to Frank in that time.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    I bought Independence Day some time ago and was considering The Lay of the Land when a friend said I should read the whole trilogy in order so I started on The Sportswriter. I was initially drawn in by the writing style: informal, slightly comic, completely honest. This is one of the most interesting novels of “everyday life” I can think of; it’s also a novel that gives me real insights into how men think. I’ve never got into Updike’s Rabbit novels, figured they must appeal primarily to men, but this one did interest me.Frank Bascombe became a sportswriter when he reached a point in his writing career—he’d published one book of stories—when he decided he didn’t have enough to say. It was a compromise that he accepted whole-heartedly. He’s not exactly gung ho, but he takes his job seriously. He also doesn’t let it define him, preferring to live in a small New Jersey town rather than in New York, to choose the sports he writes about, and not be defined by his job.The action takes place on an Easter weekend, when he meets his ex-wife to visit the grave of their son, and plans to have Easter dinner with his girlfriend, a divorced nurse named Vicki. He also meets with a man from his divorced men’s group, someone he doesn’t know well but who adopts him as his “best friend”. The guy is stressed out because, while his ex-wife went to Bimini with her man friend, he went home with another man and had sex with him and can’t reconcile himself to what he did. There are some flashbacks: Frank’s divorce, the death of his son, college in Ann Arbor where he met his wife, conversations with a palmist, a Detroit trip with Vicki to interview a ballplayer now confined a wheelchair. Throughout Frank is self-effacing, philosophical, warm, decent and humane. By the end of the weekend Vicki has dumped him (after punching him out) and his friend from the divorced men’s group has committed suicide and left the note for him. At loose ends on Easter night he boards the train on a whim and goes to his Manhattan office where a young female intern turns up in his office and he starts a relationship with her. In the weeks following everything changes, but Frank seems still the same decent guy.Now I’m definitely going on to Independence Day and The Lay of the Land. This is one interesting guy.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    As I worked my way through Frank Bascombe's Easter weekend, despite his folksy easy retelling of his earlier and current life, I felt a growing hostility towards him. Whilst positioning himself as a man of simple needs, with straightforward simple observations on what was going on around him, I found him to be a frustratingly unreliable narrator. I came to dread the introduction of a new character and what it would set off in his mind - his observations which appear to be the intelligient clear thinking of an upbeat guy, are ultimately pessimistic or cynical or foolishly deconstructed or naive or ignorant or just plain wrong and his inappropriate utterances ... I wanted to slap him!I liked the observation that thoughts are just thoughts and having them is neither good nor bad. But whilst you can't control having them someone of reasonably health and mind (which perhaps Frank isn't) should be a bit discriminating about keeping some of them to oneself.I will read the next book because even though I don't like Frank, I do like Richard Ford's writing enormously and I'm also hopeful that Frank might emerge from his depression (or dreaminess) with some genuine clarity on what is going on.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    Bleak, depressing but cleverly written
  • Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas
    3/5
    I read this one 'after' Independence Day....and, I can now see the character development in a broader range. Good writing, nut it was a little slow-moving in parts. IT could have been 100 pages shorter. Overall, I would recommend it; but I liked Independence Day better, I look forward to reading the third installment in the series.
  • Calificación: 1 de 5 estrellas
    1/5
    An emotionally detached, middle-aged, middle class, white guy going through a mid-life crisis. Blurb on the back claimed the author was "daring." i must not know whatbthat means, because seemed pretty run-of-the-mill to me.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    I'd not read Ford before, and I'd had preconceived notions about what his writing would be like. None of them were correct.The Sportswriter is about almost everything but sports writing. Frank Bascombe is the 38-year-old protagonist. He had a smashing success with a book of short fiction as a young man, then failed at a novel and turned to writing for a glossy sports weekly. Frank doesn't particularly like sports, but the work satisfies and pays well. We meet Frank after his marriage has collapsed. He lives in a house in suburban New Jersey. His wife and their two remaining children (one has died) live nearby.I find Frank a troubling narrator, but in an interesting way. He's very sensitive and savvy, but like many males he bottles up all emotions. His deteriorating situation is Ray Carver-esque, but without the doom and gloom. Frank considers himself an optimist and simply plugs away at life without getting too worked up about it. Near the end of the book this strategy appears to be failing. In effect Frank has stopped writing books and has begun writing his own life. He has certain ideas about character and how a man should act and how the world should work, and lives his life in a very surface manner. That's not to say he has no depth; Frank could stroll into late-phase Henry James--say a parlour scene in The Awkward Age--and be completely at home smoking cigars and chatting with the lord of the manor, one elbow perched on the mantel. But like many James protagonists Ford is locked in a hermetically sealed persona nothing can touch. His life passes him by and even when he is least satisfied he asserts his satisfaction. He thinks a bland suburban life is best. He loves writing about a topic he really doesn't enjoy a bit. He wants to marry his short-term girlfriend though they have nothing in common, because he is sure he can make things work with her. If he can't, he wants to re-marry his wife. Frank is in agony but refuses to acknowledge it. He is determined if his system is unrealistic to bend reality to his will. Several small catastrophes nearly derail his serene worldview, but at its most bleak point the plot fails to penetrate Frank's bubble. By the end of the book Frank claims to have changed but he is exactly the same guy, forging ahead without too much concern. I suppose Ford is attempting a portrait of the American male in the late 20th century. There's an awkward New Age sensitivity, an identification with the feminine side, an acknowledgement that emotions are important, but an inability to escape the traditional societal expectations of a man. Frank joins a support group for divorced men, and they don't really support each other so much as do the typical reserved guy things: drink beer, go fishing, watch sports. One member of the group attempts a connection at a deeper level, and Frank tries to be available emotionally, but risks puncturing his self-satisfied view of reality. The world nearly drops from beneath him, and Frank rapidly retreats into his old sure habits to rebuild a safe place to inhabit. Henry James would have dramatized Frank reeling over missed opportunities in his dotage. I wonder how Ford will finish Frank off?There are two more in the series: Independence Day and The Lay of the Land. I'll get to them at some point, to see how Frank is holding up.
  • Calificación: 2 de 5 estrellas
    2/5
    Found it hard to develop any interest in or sympathy for the central character in this story.
  • Calificación: 5 de 5 estrellas
    5/5
    Was blown away by this book. It articulates a philosophy of living your life when bad things happen to you. The main character Frank Bascombe's son died--and not long after, his marriage fell apart. Frank would be the first to admit that he is not perfect---but he is full of wonder and appreciation for what life has given him. Frank's life is contrasted with Walter, a character who kills himself. Very well written--I look forward to reading the next book, "Independence Day."
  • Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas
    3/5
    I read this in prelude to Independence Day (for my Pulitzer fiction reading project). I can't say it has hastened me to launch into Ford's next book in the trilogy.Richard Bascombe is not a particularly compelling, interesting or sympathetic character despite having lost his son, his wife, his girlfriend, his so-called friend Walter, his writing career, etc. Can you spell L-O-S-E-R? He strikes me as a intellectually lazy skirt chaser and in the end, I'm not sure solves any of his problems hence the need for a sequel(?).Updike-esque for sure.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    Frank Bascombe is seriously depressed and he is not handling things at all well. Following the tragic death of his young son, he has fallen into an extended malaise—or bout of “dreaminess” as he calls it—that has led to several meaningless affairs, the dissolution of his marriage, and a growing disenchantment with the magazine writing job he turned to after giving up on his career as a novelist. In The Sportswriter, we follow Frank’s life over an eventful Easter weekend just before his 39th birthday when both his resolve and some of his closest relationships are severely tested.The fact that I liked this book despite finding the main character to be mildly repellent can only be testimony to the strong writing and story-telling skills of the author. This is the first of Ford’s novels that I have read—in fact, it is the first of the so-called “Bascombe Trilogy,” followed by Independence Day and The Lay of the Land--and I was impressed with his insight into the human condition, at least as it pertains to the plight of a middle-aged, affluent male living in New Jersey during the 1980s. Without being overly sentimental, the author manages to empower Frank with an odd sense of optimism and resilience that carries him forward despite the various setbacks he faces, many of which are of his own design. I would guess that this is not subject matter that will resonate with every reader—a lot of women, for instance—but it did with me. I look forward to reading the other volumes in the series to see what Frank does next.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    Probably the most enchanting thing about the book is how crystalline Frank Bascombe's voice is. It's one of those voices that you can actually hear in your head, or at least that was the effect I felt. It's a stark portrait of what I'd rather not become when I grow up, but sadly it looks that must be the way since my chosen profession, poetry, doesn't pay even when I become a "success." I think the novel is a bit too pedestrian in some parts for it to be something on the level of a This Side Of Paradise or A Farewell To Arms. The sequel won some serious awards and if it's that good then I think this book clearly lays the groundwork. If he can maintain the voice and add perhaps more elements that are surprising yet inevitable in retrospect then I think Independence Day could be a masterpiece. This book, however, is great.
  • Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas
    3/5
    Three days in the life of Frank Bascombe, a man who is apathetic toward much of life. Others featured in the book are Walter whom he met at a Divorced Men's Club, his ex-wife called "X", and his girlfriend, Vicki. There's really not a lot of action. I didn't really like the characters. It's not my type of book.
  • Calificación: 2 de 5 estrellas
    2/5
    “It is no loss to mankind when one writer decides to call it a day. When a tree falls in the forest, who cares but the monkeys?” Frank Bascombe is a thirty-eight year-old sportswriter, a job he generally enjoys, a nice house in New Jersey and a younger beautiful girlfriend so you would expect things to look rosy in his life.However, he is also trying to cope bereavement, a young son, and a relatively recent divorce. The book is essentially a first-person monologue with large sections of personal ruminations and observations - framed by 'normal' events: a trip to Detroit with his new girlfriend, Easter Sunday lunch with her family and fishing trip with the Divorced Men's Club. All the 'action' takes place over an extended Easter weekend. For me the novel is a study of grief, both for his son and his marriage, as he struggles to find some meaning in his life but he is also a quitter. He had a book of short stories published to some acclaim but quits after that initial success, seemingly quite happy to live off that past glory, then fails to really fight to save his marriage. As such I found it hard to really like Frank and found him rather superficial supposedly like the 'jocks' he interviews. There is also quite a bit of use of brackets (often unnecessary) which stunts an already pedestrian flow.In general this is not too dissimilar to the 'Rabbit' books by John Updike but just not to the quality but then that's just my opinion.
  • Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas
    3/5
    I'm really torn with this one. Ford's writing is engaging and really invites you into the narrator's mind, making it an easy book to read and get wrapped up in. But about two-thirds of the way through, I began to find myself getting a bit restless because he seemed to still be establishing the characters. Yes, there are events taking place, but for most, it was not apparent that they were significant or even if they related to where the story was going. Overall, it's a few days in which the narrator manages to move away from his recent divorce and on to whatever's next. Granted, it captures beautifully the way real life leads us from day to day, event to event, without a clear path or plot, but I'm not sure reading about someone else doing that is all that great. When finished, I didn't feel any desire to hear what happened to Frank Bascombe next.I even followed what I thought was a series of events/characters intended to symbolize an underlying meaning to the story, but, in the end, event that was left at loose ends, not apparent that they were intended to go anywhere or not. Perhaps someone better at hidden plots can do more with what I saw (POSSIBLE SPOILER FOLLOWING) - Easter Sunday is anticipated throughout the narrative, a stormy Friday, a woman wailing from the cemetery on Easter morn, a member of a group of Frank's aquaintances takes a wrong turn, shows up at Frank's place and gives him a kiss, somehow gives the authorities the idea he and Frank might be romantically involved before killing himself; But I lose "Holy Week events" thread here, though Frank does find some kind of re-birth at the end. Easy and enjoyable to read; just not sure what it was for. Odd.Os.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    Underwhelming. Maybe when it was published, it spoke to people about that time. Although well-written, Ford's protagonist is just not compelling enough to make for a great novel. I guess there's supposed to be something happening to Frank's soul, since it takes place over the Easter weekend, but the events don't seem to support that. I don't think I've ever come across a character so ready with a grin. Since this is the first in a trilogy about this character, I am reluctant to revisit him. The last paragraph or two did resonate with me, but I had to wait 374 pages for that.
  • Calificación: 2 de 5 estrellas
    2/5
    Something kept me reading this book but I don't really know what. I rarely don't finish a book, but there was nothing here that made me look forward to getting back to it when I had the time to read. There are a few good sections, and there are plenty of philosophical musings, some of them interesting, but often the narrator's thoughts did not tie to what he was experiencing at the time.
  • Calificación: 4 de 5 estrellas
    4/5
    The first of a trilogy--the introduction to Frank Bascombe, a sportswriter. The story takes place over one Easter weekend. A masterful glimpse into ordinary life. Ford truly captures his characters, which seem to live beyond the page. An homage to ordinariness that makes it seem as if the ordinary life is perfectly worth living.
  • Calificación: 3 de 5 estrellas
    3/5
    I unintentionally did myself a favour by adopting a strange order to my reading of Richard Ford's acclaimed Frank Bascombe trilogy - which was 2, 3, 1 - or Independence Day, Lay of the Land, The Sportswriter. Had a read the series as 1, 2, 3, I would have stopped at 1 - and therein missed two books I thoroughly enjoyed. I still cannot quite put my finger on why in the Sportswriter, Bascombe didn't catch my imagination (or my sympathy) the way he did in the later books, but I struggled to complete this book. The Sportswriter introduces the format of the trilogy - a real time description of a man's life over an eventful holiday weekend - in this case Easter. This book seems more fill of flashbacks than the others. Having not started his illustrious real estate career, Bascombe is a sportswriter, seemingly, though not explicitly, living in regret of his unfinished novel and we learn much about his years as a writer. He regrets his divorce, though he precipitated it through years of sleeping around. He flashbacks to his conquests. Unlike later books, his children are bit, and undeveloped players in the story, and portrayed as flawless. The things I enjoy the most about the later books - the description of the isolation from his children, the real estate scenes - are missed and replaced, seemingly, with his musing about women and sex. In contrast to the later books, Bascombe comes off as very unsympathetic to women. I was annoyed by the choice to call his ex wife "X" throughout the book; I disliked the Vicki character; and wasn't that moved by his sexual exploits. In short, Bascombe needs to grow up and mature before he is worth reading about.If you have read the other Bascombe books, this one should be read only for the context of some the characters (Vicki's father Wade, the divorced men's club) that play a role in the later books. If you are looking for a good read with insight into the American psyche - try Independence Day and the Lay of the Land.