Lay Of The Land It is fall, 2000 - and in every household and bar across the USA the likely outcome of the hi-jacked Presidential election is being hotly debated. Frank Bascombe, fifty-five, settled in his realty business in Sea-Clift, New Jersey, has arrived at a state of optimistic pragmatism that he calls the Permanent Period of life. Epic mistakes have already been made; dreams downsized, and Frank reflects that now at least there are fewer opportunities left in life to get things wrong. But the tranquility he had anticipated is not to be. Who could have guessed that his second wife Sally would walk out on their apparently happy marriage? Or that, after all these years, he would be spending Thanksgiving dinner with first wife Ann and their two children? That Ann might still, after all, feel for him what he has never quite stopped feeling for her? Life in the Permanent Period proves as ambivalent, precarious and full of possibility as life had ever been. In his third Frank Bascombe novel, after the bestselling The Sportswriter and Independence Day, Richard Ford contemplates the human character with wry precision and luminous prose. Graceful, expansive, filled with pathos but irresistibly funny, The Lay of the Land is a modern American masterpiece.
Let Me Be Frank With You: A Frank Bascombe Book Richard Ford returns with four deftly linked Christmas stories narrated by the iconic Frank Bascombe. Now sixty-eight, Frank resides again in the New Jersey suburb of Haddam, and has thrived - seemingly but not utterly - amidst the devastations of Hurricane Sandy. The desolations of Sandy, which left countless lives unmoored, are the perfect backdrop for Ford - and Bascombe. With a flawless comedic sensibility and unblinking intelligence, these stories range over the full complement of universal subjects: ageing, race, loss, faith, marriage, the real estate debacle - the tumult of the world we live in.