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Publisher's Summary

Hailed as a major American novel, Independence Day is a relentlessly thoughtful, heart-wrenching, yet hilarious portrait of an ordinary American man. Wickedly realistic details and dialog entice you to see modern life filtered through the first-person narrator's complex and evolving consciousness. Apparently directionless since his divorce, Frank Bascombe migrates from one non-committal relationship to another. He freely indulges his tendencies to self absorption, over-intellectualization, and neurotic ambivalence. But all of that changes one fateful Fourth of July weekend, when, armed with the Declaration of Independence, he embarks on a mission to save his troubled teenaged son.
©1995 Richard Ford; (P)1998 RECORDED BOOKS

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    76
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Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Great Book - Great Narrator

Another great book from Richard Ford. Every one in the Frank Bascombe series is excellent. I don't understand how every review is not 4-5 stars. If I'm not mistaken it won the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN-Faulkner Award. Richard Poe's narration is excellent too.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding narrator

This is the kind of reading voice that makes audiobooks a uniquely pleasurable and enriching art form. A great piece of writing enhanced by an exceptional reader.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable and thought provoking but too long

After reading "Canada" I downloaded this book. This was very different in style. I did enjoy it but found it repetitive and overly long.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

A Typical Man's Typical Weekend, Flecked with Moments of True Beauty

Read this book if you want to understand how middle-aged, introspective, divorced men find beauty and the will to go on despite the common man's worty and mundane existence. Do not read this book if you're not willing to tolerate the narrative passing through as many hours as the recording is long (or nearly). I loved every minute of it. The voice and language are works of true artistry and the narrator is incredible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Props to the reader for sticking with this book

Excellent writing of Frank's unfortunately dreary, consistently depressing inner monologue. My main issue, however, is that the writer seems to be attributing one voice or at least one speaking style to many of the characters. Couldn't have been much competition for the Pulitzer that year. I don't see what it made it worthy.

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Terrible

This is the most mindblowing piece of drivel I ever tried to listen to. Save yourself the experience. I guarantee it won't be a good one.

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Everyman

I loved the ability to capture a common man and bring him through his typical American life in such an articulate and emotional manner. I would never dream of spending pages on seemingly endless monotonous activity with such a riveting style. I had trouble taking breaks from the flow of the narrative and narrator. Superb.

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Horrible.

Painfully pointless. The protaganist hates everything. everyone. No one is happy or kind or smart or worthwhile. If you are contemplating suicide, don't read this. I thought this was supposed to be funny. Maybe if you're a masochist!

  • Overall
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outstanding

the author is a master of character development and insights into human nature. highly recommended

  • Overall

Empahsis on SELF

Self-absorption; self examination. I finally stopped listening to this at the middle of the third section as it made me so depressed. If this is "real life-like" we are all doomed!! I think the human race is better than this, but I may be wrong according to this book's reviews.

6 of 12 people found this review helpful