Frank Bascombe, in the aftermath of his divorce and the ruin of his career, has entered an "Existence Period" - selling real estate in New Jersey and mastering the high-wire act of normalcy. But, over one Fourth of July weekend, Frank is called into sudden, bewildering engagement with life. Independence Day is a moving, peerlessly funny odyssey through America and through the layered consciousness of one of its most compelling literary incarnations, conducted by a novelist of extraordinary empathy and perception.
©1995 Richard Ford (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd
I had heard podcasters recommend Independence Day, but had always been put off by the lack of reviews on Audible. Wrong!
Richard Ford turns out to be an amazingly insightful and empathetic writer. I heard Roth say the other day that a novelist should write without fear or shame. This is what Ford does so very well. His characters express so acutely the dilemma of people who have had a couple of decades behind them, and now must face up to past regrets and failures while also working out how to deal with the rest of their lives.
I don't think I have heard Peter Marinker before, but his narration is perfect for this novel. He delightfully inhabits each character's voice, without actually doing voices, if you know what I mean. It is the merest inflection or tone that does the trick. I'll look out for his other performances from here on.
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