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Let Me Be Frank with You by Richard Ford

Published on Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Let Me Be Frank with You by Richard Ford

Frank Bascomb is Back

In this story we are reintroduced to Ford’s character, Frank Bascomb, who has retired after many years of selling real estate in New Jersey.  Now, post-Hurricane Sandy, his own former beach house, has been blown off its foundation and is lying mangled on its side.  He meets up with his former client, to whom he sold the house, and surveys the damage.  What ensues is a meditation on life, memory, loss, aging, and death.

To this reader, Frank seems to have the mentality of a man from an older generation, but he is supposed to be only 69.  Nevertheless, Frank’s stream-of-consciousness narrative is compelling in its masculinity and benign view of humanity.  Frank is a mellowing older guy, who has jettisoned unnecessary stuff, like the beach house, and some of his more tiresome old friends.  Happily remarried, he still visits his ex-wife in her expensive retirement facility; still goes to see a dying friend.  Frank is philosophical, sometimes sentimental, mindful of the temporary nature of just about everything; he is sometimes funny, comfortable with topics like race, sex, relationships, and disappointments.   He is profound and perceptive, and I loved this book!  

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