Customer Review

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Masterful, epic novel with some plot issues, 16 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canada (Hardcover)
Richard Ford is a master of the written word, this is clear. But...perhaps I need a story that is more plot-driven than Canada. Beutiful language, imagery, and characterisation just aren't always enough. This is why I gave this book 4 stars not 5, so we are talking about a difference of opinion on what a novel should look like.

Perhaps part of the problem with Canada for me was the way the author would tell what happened first, then tell us how it happened. I would much rather find out the story the other way around.

In Part One we meet a desperate family in desperate circumstances. The story is told from the point of view of the teenage son, Dell. The book starts with this sentence, 'First I'll tell you about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders , which happened later.' It's a brilliant opening, and had this been the only time Ford had told the reader the outcome before the story, it would have been fine with me.

The novel is a hefty one and is divided into two parts. I enjoyed Part One, of the family in both emotional and financial turmoil in 1960's America. It has a tragically seductive quality about it. While you know the dreadful thing is going to happen, you still wish it would not have the monumental consequences it does. But even here, time and time again, Ford lets us know what the character's fates are going be well before the narrator gets to tell the story.

Part Two, where Dell is taken to Canada, was more depressing and difficult for me to read. I couldn't really understand where the story was going. The awful circumstances of Dell's life, where he was alone, unprotected and uncared for at such and early age (I think he was fifteen), and so soon after his parents demise, just seemed too dreadful to contemplate. As I read on, all I could be was afraid for Dell. There seemed no hope for his future.

Canada is really a family saga, a terribly sad and tragic one, but I fear probably quite realistic one too. I guess this was the author's aim; to make the narrative look as if it was told by a non-professional author.

Perhaps I need my fiction to look like fiction and to have more happiness, and less realism?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.6 out of 5 stars (139 customer reviews)
5 star:
 (47)
4 star:
 (32)
3 star:
 (29)
2 star:
 (19)
1 star:
 (12)
 
 
 
Used & New from: £0.01
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 24,663