The Sportswriter and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Sportswriter Paperback – 4 Jul 1996


See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback, 4 Jul 1996
£311.16 £0.01

Trade In Promotion



Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (4 July 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099447096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099447092
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 12.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,063,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

'Richard Ford’s sportswriter is a rare bird in life and nearly extinct in fiction’ -- Tobias Wolfe

‘A devastating chronicle of contemporary alienation’ -- New York Times

‘Ford is a masterful writer’ -- Raymond Carver

‘Richard Ford is one of the best writers in America. Potentially the very best’ -- Gordon Burn

‘This remarkable elegiac novel contemplates the desperate sadness of life with a profound and humorous dignity. It is an original and admirable achievement’ -- Evening Standard

About the Author

Richard Ford was born in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1944. He has published five novels and two previous collections of stories. His novel Independence Day was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and, two weeks later, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the first time the same book had won both prizes.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dave Gilmour's cat on 15 Jun 2010
Format: Paperback
Don't be put off by the title: this isn't really a book about sport or sportswriting. It's one of the greatest first-person-narrator novels of all time. The first of Richard Ford's astonishing Frank Bascombe books, this is perhaps a slightly more conventional novel than its successors, Independence Day, The Lay Of The Land and Let Me Be Frank with You, but it's no less powerful. If you are a sensitive human being you will be able to read this and see the world through Frank's weary, downtrodden but somehow optimisic eyes. You will also feel you are less alone on the planet. It's funny, sad, poignant and uplifting stuff.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 1 Jun 2000
Format: Paperback
Frank Bascombe, a sportswriter for a national magazine, is struggling to come to terms with the death of his youngest son as well as a recent divorce.
Richard Ford's book is memorable for many reasons: it paints an entirely honest picture of grieving; it is written in sparse, vivid prose; it gets inside the head of Bascombe so well you feel you've know him all your life; and it is filled with anecdotes and stories that are believable, truthful and free from sentiment.
It is a somewhat depressing read, maybe, but Ford often finds humour in the most unlikely places, and the novel is rarely dull. The gentle, meandering storyline is filled out with scenes from Bascombe's life and the characters he meets along the way. Indeed, part of the magic of the novel is in watching his analytical mind try and get a grip on the absurdities and quirks that he encounters in people and situations. The driving force of the book concerns his seemingly aimless search for a 'place' in life and this is credibly and sympathetically portrayed.
"The Sportswriter" is a major, if downbeat, achievement.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Sep 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is not one for the faint hearted at all, telling the story of a man who seems intent on creating the most hopeless life possible for himself whilst at the same time retaining a layer of optimism that's almost absurd in it's honesty. Maybe it's because of the calm rational inner monologue in which the book is mostly written that made the main character seem so plausible to me but reading it, and agreeing with it, brought it home that I might end up like Frank. A scary, pivotal moment that made me try to do things differently in my life from that point in time onwards. This book is a brilliant read and in my opinion is streets ahead of it's sequel, the Pulitzer prize winning Independence Day.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr Gonzo on 12 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
It seemed somehow apt that I found my copy of THE SPORTSWRITER in a charity shop - the 1996 Harvill Panther edition with the monochrome cover and the stark typeface. Indeed, it was the cover that grabbed me - I had never heard of Richard Ford or Frank Bascombe; the second of whose adventures, INDEPENDENCE DAY, won the 1996 Pulitzer.

Narrative-wise, the premise is simple - Frank is a thirty-eight year-old man (the titular sportswriter) trying to make his way in the world in the wake of bereavement and, latterly, divorce. The book is essentially a first-person monologue - great chunks of which are internal ruminations and observations - framed by 'normal' events: a trip to Detroit with his new girlfriend, Easter Sunday lunch with her family, numb conversations with his ex-wife and maritime sojourns with the Divorced Men's Club. Frank struggles to find meaning in everyday mundanity, and soldiers on; trying to be positive and find reasons to go on.

That said, Frank is not given to melodrama - themes of death, aging, identity, success and failure are handled delicately, and his own failures (his marriage, his novel, the loss of his son) are dealt with internally and almost matter-of-factly. He craves neither attention nor sympathy, and the undercurrents of despair and melancholy that lace his words remain exactly that - perhaps partly because throughout the course of the book we seem to meet people who are worse off than he is.

Aside from interviewing a disabled former pro-ball star, Frank seems to perform precious little in the way of sportswriting, but that is the point.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By M. Harding on 7 Aug 2007
Format: Paperback
There's little about sport or the craft of the sportswriter in this book and my biggest challenge has been to convince women that they should read it. But if you are female, I recommend this book particularly, as I thought it a rare and revealing journey through a man's confusion about the loss of love and relationship.
The first time I read this book, I enjoyed it. I had just divorced and the main character's (Frank Bascombe) struggle to reconcile himself to his new state resonated for me.
Years later, in the throes of a happy and fulfilling relationship, I re-read `The Sportswriter' and found new pleasure in it. I think that Ford creates an uncomfortable character, infuriatingly self-reflective and inert at times. In this sense, Bascombe becomes an anti-hero, challenging the reader to examine his or her own condition.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Obelix on 7 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
'If you could meet a fictional character, who would it be? Stephen Dedalus, Emma Bovary, Nick Adams?'

My answer is always the same: Frank Bascombe. He is the narrator of this novel, and appears in two further instalments, the second of which, Independence Day, won the Pulitzer Prize.

Of these, this one is my enduring favourite. Tautly expressed and realistic, it also glows with that rare thing: genuine, unforced optimism.

It came at a markedly bleak time for Ford. He had given up fiction after poor sales for his first two books, and gone to work covering sports. The magazine folded: its successor failed to hire him. An infamous editor, much esteemed at the time, urged Ford 'to stick to writing about Montana'.

Fortunately, he overcame all these obstacles, and made his first big splash with the result. Not to be missed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback