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The Sportswriter Audiobook
The Sportswriter
Written by: 
Richard Ford
Narrated by: 
Richard Poe
 >   > 
The Sportswriter Audiobook

The Sportswriter: Frank Bascombe, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

Richard Ford won the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for his modern classic Independence Day.

In this first volume of his Frank Bascombe trilogy, Bascombe is a sportswriter attempting to cope with his failed marriage and the death of his son. Unable to establish true connections with people, Bascombe drifts into and out of various relationships, but retains an introspective eye that allows him to transcend life's obstacles.

©1988 Richard Ford; (P)2007 Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

"Powerful....So pliant and persuasive that we are instantly drawn into his story." (The New York Times)
"Among the best realist American writers today." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (167 )
5 star
 (46)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.6 (118 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.1 (114 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (24)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    chris las vegas, NV, United States 03-22-08
    chris las vegas, NV, United States 03-22-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "wonderful"

    This is one of the best audiobooks I have purchased. For one, the narration is perfect. My only exposure to Richard Ford was short stories. I liked this book very much and I can say I don't know any other writer who writes like him. He slows down to lay out the history and his philosophy on every character and event. It's like watching someone crack a hardboiled egg and pull off a tiny shell fragment at a time.

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ned 02-04-15
    Ned 02-04-15 Member Since 2007
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    "Listen to the last 15 minutes"

    Tedious day by day story. Will try another Richard Ford book to see if there is more to them. Only OK.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oma Canada 03-04-13
    Oma Canada 03-04-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bold writing: Strong on Character, not Story"
    What made the experience of listening to The Sportswriter the most enjoyable?

    The author is a bold, clear writer with an ability to paint a great portrait. The narrator was well suited to the task.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something with more of a story.


    What about Richard Poe’s performance did you like?

    I thought he seemed genuine.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    I found it hard to understand both as a woman and as a person who values conflict resolution. While the character is strong, the internal conflict slides away into what? A person who seems to drift through his life, with seemingly little consciousness of the potential for transcendence. Frustrating.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-15-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring"

    Sorry, I gave this an hour or two and found nothing of interest. It was like listening to the guy next door go into detail about where he bought his socks. Who cares?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Quintana 05-02-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A well-written account of a guy meandering..."

    ... through life. The characters feel real. The events feel real. And that's the problem. The protagonist just failed to engage me. The problem is the length of this book. It's far too long. As a two hour novella, I think it would've succeeded. When you take writing classes, you're told that the protagonist's goal has to be clear. And the goal has to matter. There are countless instances where this doesn't have to be the case but those two rules absolutely apply here. What does Frank Bascombe want? I guess it's to continue working the job he loves and find love. No spoilers here, but I didn't care whether he got either.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 03-07-16
    CHET YARBROUGH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA, United States 03-07-16 Member Since 2015

    Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WANDERING THROUGH LIFE"

    Selecting books from book lists like Random House’s Modern Library is not a full proof method for making good choices. The decision to listen to “The Sportswriter” came from one of those lists.

    The initial impression of "The Sportswriter" is that it is a story about wandering through life. But as it progresses, the listener begins to realize that Richard Ford is writing about men and how some view life.

    This is not a story that makes one proud to be a man but it offers insight to why the cliché “men are from Mars” has some truth. Ford’s main character is a guy’s guy named Frank Bascombe. He is a traveling sports writer and a divorcée of his own making, a fool that fails to understand what is important in life. After his marriage break up, he is cast adrift to find the next best thing which never turns into anything important.

    The irony of a guy’s guy skill to seduce is that it leads to a lonely and empty life. In Ford’s story, “The Sportswriter”, Bascombe drifts through life from relationship to relationship to nowhere. He never comes to grips with what is wrong with his life. He drifts to Retirementville, Florida to think about the next best thing. That is how the story ends. It is a rather depressing exploration of how vacuous life can be.

    This is a book that gives a concrete explanation of what some men are looking for in life. When listening to The Sportswriter, you may find someone you know; hopefully not you.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John United States 11-14-15
    John United States 11-14-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Excellent. Spot on narration."

    Does a rather average, ho-hum life offer insight and a glimpse of truth? Richard Ford answers that question here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carrie jacobson Wachapreague, VA, USA 05-12-15
    carrie jacobson Wachapreague, VA, USA 05-12-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely Nothing Happens"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I have no idea. I can't imagine anyone liking this book.


    Has The Sportswriter turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Other books by this author, for sure. The book is so stagnant, it's impossible to tell what genre it might be.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He was OK.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The actual writing was OK. Sentence structure, grammar, ideas here and there were fine - they were just pointless, in the end.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a fairly long book. I listened for more than two hours, hoping that something - anything - would happen. Then I kept listening, because I simply could not imagine that the book would continue with nothing happen. After investing six or seven hours in it, I just gave up. I will never buy, listen to, or read another book by this author.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Brighton, MI, USA 06-10-08
    Greg Brighton, MI, USA 06-10-08
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    "The best part of The Sportswriter"

    The best part was that it finally ended. I kept telling myself that it would eventually become good, or at least interesting. But alas, it just finally ended. I can't believe there's two more books with this lead character. I can believe I won't be listening to them. BTW, nice job by the narrator though.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard cuyahoga falls, OH, USA 06-05-08
    Richard cuyahoga falls, OH, USA 06-05-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Plodding, overwrought, self-indulgent"

    There are many moments during this 14-plus-hour listen when I found myself wanting to slap the protagonist, the author, the narrator or all three. Richard Ford must hate trees.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful

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