Customer Reviews


15 Reviews
5 star:
 (12)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:
 (1)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A short story masterpiece
I can't believe there isn't a review for this collection of short stories already on this site. This is a fantastic collection from a writer more renowned for his novels.
The stories here pack a shorter more powerful punch and are just as enjoyable as Sportswriter and Independence Day.
In style they may be compared to Carver and Woolfe dealing in...
Published on 14 Dec 2005 by Shane F

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rock Springs - going nowhere
I found this dull. my first book by Richard Ford and I had read good reviews of his work...not this one; depressing stories all with similar characters and themes. Man on the road with girlfriend, having been abandoned by first wife/girlfriend and with his child in tow...dull.
Published 19 months ago by J. Peet


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A short story masterpiece, 14 Dec 2005
This review is from: Rock Springs (Paperback)
I can't believe there isn't a review for this collection of short stories already on this site. This is a fantastic collection from a writer more renowned for his novels.
The stories here pack a shorter more powerful punch and are just as enjoyable as Sportswriter and Independence Day.
In style they may be compared to Carver and Woolfe dealing in family dysfunction, addiction and crushed dreams. "Optimists" for example is a particularly shocking tale of accidental and not so accidental death.
Most of the sories are set in small town Montana or in one excellent story on a train heading there and beautifully evoke a small town feel.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough and certainly ranks up there with "Hunters in the snow" by Tobias Woolfe.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong and gentle picture of peoples lives in the margins., 31 May 2002
By A Customer
Richard Ford sets this beautiful collection of stories about people on the margins in a lonely landscape of motels, hunting lodges and stolen cars. The people in the stories grow out of the landscape of Montana, Wyoming and inland Washington state. It appears as marginal as the people in the stories, an enormous cold and escapeless place, especially reading it in the compactness of England. Some of the characters dream of escaping to Florida, or Hawaii. Some know people who have escaped there. Even physically having a ticket to this America does not allow them to move to its warm embrace. Although they lie in the same country, the endlessness and continuity of the stories in the landscape of train yards, cornfields, mines, one-street towns and trailer parks makes any links appear only as fantasies.
The people come from broken relationships, absent parents, parents who fight and drink and go to prison. People are often on the run, or in transit and, dreaming of being somewhere else. So much of their lives have been about exclusion. The stories linger in the mind and are a pleasure to read and think about afterwards, however. A glimpse of optimism regularly glints through. This may be fantasy and a dream, but it is not so completely. A stolen car is always remembered as stolen, but there are times when the character just lets himself forget that, and enjoy what he has; the thoughts of the possibilities that, if the car really were his, what life and identity could be had. Whilst the characters do not live through history in the stories - they are short, and last only a few days or hours - their histories are explicated during that time, and so much effort is made to move beyond that in both their physical surroundings and in their relationships. Deep respect, and hope is placed in, deeply flawed companions
Children in the stories are a great source of optimism, and seem resistant to their parents troubles. They continue to have a chance to recreate their world in a full way, at some time in the future. Rock Springs was to me memorable because of this. The dreamlike realism of the writing lends the stories gravitas, and the inner lives of people in a world not often thought about are minutely and thoughtfully explicated.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars That hard-scrabble existence..., 2 Dec 2010
By 
John P. Jones III (Albuquerque, NM, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rock Springs (Paperback)
Having just finished a standard tourist guide to Wyoming that rightly sings the praises of the uplifting value of the Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, et al., I thought it would be useful to read another, entirely different "guide book." I have read most of Richard Ford, including "Rock Springs", which I first read about 10 years ago, and found the re-read just as rewarding as the first time.

Ford simply SEES deeper into the anguish, and poverty of human existence than most of us, and then he has a magic ability to deftly capture his vision onto paper, carefully using a few phrases that capture the essence of the scene. In about half of these 10 short stories, one of the characters is going to, or returning from Deer Lodge Prison. In all, they are bitten by economic insecurity. The male-female interactions are almost always "heartless." It is virtually impossible to read these sad stories without thinking of the cliché, "lives of quiet desperation."

In some of his other books he does describe equally well other social strata, but in this one he manages to depict those living a very hard-scrabble existence. You have to wonder how he actually does it. None of his characters find their surroundings inspiring, or receive any solace from them. These are bare, bleak lives, so if you are on your way to the Grand Tetons, perhaps stopping in a shabby bar in Rock Springs, and looking around carefully, might provide an essential balance to the experience.

(Note: Review first published at Amazon, USA, on April 04, 2008)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Unvarnished Truth, 22 May 2002
By A Customer
Ford's short stories here are set in the West- far from the urban East of Frank Bascombe, his best-known character. But these ten stories are each peopled by indelible people who Ford seems less to have created than to have stumbled over. He follows them for a while, then lets them go. His realism brings with it an aching sadness along with the empathy it provokes. From heartbreak to humor, Ford's short srories are as powerful as his novels.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rock Springs - going nowhere, 18 Feb 2013
By 
J. Peet "Peetiepoos" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rock Springs (Kindle Edition)
I found this dull. my first book by Richard Ford and I had read good reviews of his work...not this one; depressing stories all with similar characters and themes. Man on the road with girlfriend, having been abandoned by first wife/girlfriend and with his child in tow...dull.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece........, 22 Jun 2011
This review is from: Rock Springs (Paperback)
Simply unbelievable . This is easily one of the best collection of short stories i've ever read , in fact i'll say it IS the best . It's certainly the one i return to most often . Ford has a unique ability , both here and in his classic novel "The Sportswriter" to capture the loneliness that lies at the heart of the human condition and it makes for compelling reading . Also , although all the stories are separate entities , it's a very cohesive collection , you can easily imagine that all the main characters here are the same person , albeit at different stages and situations in their life . I have no idea if this was the intention but , for me , that's how it comes across and it's no bad thing.
Since i'm here i shall take the chance to recommend some other great short story collections ;
Eleven Kinds Of Loneliness by Richard Yates
Beginners by Raymond Carver
Trailerpark by Russell Banks.
You can't really go wrong with that lot , all excellent.
But make sure you get "Rock Springs" first , a work of rare beauty..........
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Strength of spirit, 9 Sep 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rock Springs (Kindle Edition)
Amazing ways of finding the strengths of human spirit in the margins of society and in the depths of human difficulties. However self-inflicted their problems, the characters are shown with compassion. This does not cloud the clear-eyed evaluation of their weaknesses. Despite many of the characters seeming to be at the end of the road or making disastrous choices, the overall impression is positive.
The writing is superb, concise, but giving characters room to breathe
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Rock Springs, a great read, 22 Feb 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rock Springs (Kindle Edition)
Enjoyed these stories very much. I've almost finished reading everything by Richard Ford and will be sorry not to have more to read by him.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Very samey, 3 Dec 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rock Springs (Kindle Edition)
Having previously read Canada, this was very similar, in character and location.Not enough variation to keep you reading, but i finished it,dissapointed
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Famous Times, 11 Oct 2012
By 
M. Reynolds "Mike Reynolds" (Barnsley, South Yorkshire England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Rock Springs (Paperback)
A wonderful book of short stories. They are about real people in real situations, often on the outer edges of 'normal' society. The prose is magnificent and conveys the dreams, longings and memories of these people. Buy it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Rock Springs
Rock Springs by Richard Ford
£0.98
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews