Independence Day by Richard Ford

Published: 1995

Genre: literary fiction

Length: 451 pages

Setting: New Jersey, 1990s

Interest: It’s a Pulitzer Prize winner, and the sequel to The Sportswriter.

Summary: Frank Boscombe is now a real estate agent (he started the job basically because someone told him he’d be good at it and he had no better prospects). He’s trying to sell a house to couple from Maine who can’t afford what they actually want, and so aren’t happy with any of the houses he’s showing them. He’s also taking his troubled son on a tour of the basketball and baseball Hall of Fames.

Final thoughts: Oh, so boring. I didn’t even finish. As with most literary fiction, not much happens, and your enjoyment is predicated on how much you like the author’s writing style. Richard Ford does nothing for me. I didn’t even realize this was a sequel to The Sportswriter until I looked up the book on Wikipedia to remind myself of the plot. It’s not a bad book. I just found that 150 pages into the book, I really could care less what happened to Boscombe or his family, so why should I slog through the 300 pages I had to go. There are too many books out there to make myself finish a book I’m not enjoying.

Awards won: the Pulitzer Prize and PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction in 1996

Reading challenges fulfilled: none, since I didn’t finish the book

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