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Here, in Let Me Be Frank with You, Ford returns with four deftly linked stories narrated by the iconic Bascombe. Now 68, and again ensconced in the well-defended New Jersey suburb of Haddam, Bascombe has thrived - seemingly if not utterly - in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy's devastation. As in all of the Bascombe books, Ford's guiding spirit is the old comic's maxim that promises if nothing's funny, nothing's truly serious. The desolation of Sandy, which rendered houses, shorelines, and countless lives unmoored and flattened, could scarcely be more serious as the grist for fiction. Yet it is the perfect backdrop and touchstone for Ford - and Bascombe. With a flawless comedic sensibility and unblinking intelligence, these stories range over the full complement of American subjects: aging, race, loss, faith, marriage, redemption, the real-estate crash - the tumult of the world we live in.
Through Bascombe - wry, profane, touching, wise, and often inappropriate - we engage in the aspirations and sorrows, longings, achievements, and failings of American life in the morning of the new century.
Whether you've been a Bascombe insider since The Sportswriter or are encountering Ford's unforgettable inventions newly here, Let Me Be Frank with You is a moving, wondrous, extremely funny odyssey, showcasing the maturity and brilliance of a great writer working at the top of his talents.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Tricia - Audible on 06-10-15
A Loveable Curmudeon
This is Richard Ford's fourth book featuring Frank Bascombe, who was first introduced in his Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, The Sportswriter. The novel is set in NJ during the days before Christmas 2012, after Hurricane Sandy and the re-election of Barack Obama. Frank is older now, slowing down and paring back. He is a man of a certain age and in this series of four novellas – each featuring someone from his past who shows up out of the blue – his thoughts turn to family, friendship, love, and politics. Frank's distinct voice shines through Ford's precise language, and despite his not-so-delicate outer disposition, we get an inside view of the mind of a man whose experience and wisdom speak to carrying on in the face of disaster, and to simply carrying on.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
By Earnest on 11-20-14
Laconic but oh so serious
Would you consider the audio edition of Let Me Be Frank with You to be better than the print version?
The actor's intonation helps contextualise the human being represented. Very useful for a non American.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Let Me Be Frank with You?
There are many cameo moments. Sometimes an " aside," such as the " fear of falling" passage, grabs you and totally immerses you in " Frank's" life.
What does Richard Poe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Poe's gentle pace, not strident accent and tone of bemusement and pain are rendered most authentically.
If you could rename Let Me Be Frank with You, what would you call it?
It's perfect as it is, isn't it?
Any additional comments?
Read this if you are approaching or have already reached your next, but last phase.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful