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Canada by [Ford, Richard]
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Canada Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

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Length: 529 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description


A vast, magnificent canvas. This is one of the first great novels of the 21st century (John Banville Sunday Telegraph)

Astonishing ... Reviewers will be quick to proclaim that Richard Ford has written a great American novel, another masterpiece, and he most emphatically has. Canada is his finest work to date ... A powerfully human and profound novel that makes one sigh, shudder and weep. Here is greatness. No doubt about it (Eileen Battersby, Irish Times)

Ford is possessed of a writer's greatest gifts ... Pure vocal grace, quiet humor, precise and calm observation ... Ford's language is of the cracked, open spaces and their corresponding places within (Lorrie Moore, New Yorker)

The emotional power of Richard Ford's Canada arises from a sense of grief and loss embedded in the writing, and the imaginative sweep of the book, which enters the spirit of a sensitive, vulnerable and intelligent teenage boy and by implication enters the spirit of America itself (Colm Toibin Guardian, Books of the Year)

By far the novel of the year: everything that can be good and great and true in fiction is expressed with an unnervingly eloquent humanity in this devastating masterwork ... Ford's art draws its strength from his relaxed, rhythmic prose and his astute observations of human nature (Irish Times Book of the Year)

I like the weight and the heft of Canada by Richard Ford. It is written with a quiet, hypnotic brilliance that almost had me weeping with envy. I particularly like the opening lines, which take you by the throat and drag you through the narrative (Sue Townsend Guardian, Books of the Year)

His most elegiac and profound book yet ... Marilynne Robinson (without the theology) and Cormac McCarthy (without the gore) (Washington Post)

One of the wonderful things about Richard Ford is that he can make people who do outlandish things, such as rob banks, seem almost normal ... Ford is superb at suspense ... This is a book about dysfunctional lives in a North America that existed half a century ago - it sometimes has the feel of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood. What a backdrop - you feel as if anything might happen here ... This is a story about adolescence, about crime, about broken families, and about trying to escape. It's very engaging, and in the end, quite sad (William Leith, Evening Standard)

A real king returns ... a story, and a vision, as sweeping as its landscapes (Boyd Tonkin, Independent)

His books will save you


A scrupulously rendered coming-of-age story (Anthony Cummins, Sunday Telegraph)

The strength of the book is Ford's examination of flawed fatherhood, of the failures that push Dell into an uneasy maturity, one that allows him to achieve what remains the modest but profound goal of Ford's fiction: simply, to make a life ... his coda is as precise and measured as anything he has conjured before. The end, like a piece of origami, could fold right into the beginning of Ford's greatest novel, The Sportswriter. The sombre and gorgeous final two thirds of Canada rest next to Ford's best fiction (Craig Taylor, The Times)

A true master of the modern American novel (Independent)

Exceptional American novel ... Breathtaking ... its unique shape disconcerts and enchants the reader equally (Phillip Hensher Spectator)

Richard Ford's arresting new novel is - on one level - an intriguing variation on this American Childhood Gets Derailed theme ... as this highly original voice begins to take hold, you find yourself drawn into Ford's uneasy, ever-skewed, narrative world. It's a world which speaks volumes about the reclusiveness and violence at the heart of the American experience - which, like the solitary terrain, engulfs those who try to find a sense of self or meaning amid its hard-scrabble vacuity. Audacious in its narrative technique (observes Ford's frequent use of short chapters, his varied pacing, the way he never rushes any plot points, and allows the story to unfold in its own enigmatic way), Canada both grips and haunts (Douglas Kennedy, Independent)

As opening lines go, they're corkers. The rest of the novel is quieter than you'd imagine but it amply fulfils their promise ... The result is prose so sonorous in its melancholy insightfulness that you'll want to linger over each sentence. Meanwhile, the story itself - a tale of what happens when uncrossable lines are crossed - will have you turning its pages ever faster (Daily Mail)

Although its subjects are disarray and bewilderment, there is barely a dishevelled sentence in this awesomely calm book ... Canada is soaked in a subtle sadness, then, born of the foreknowledge of error and loss, and reading it isn't always easy. But we persist despite ourselves, because of the beckoning fluency of Ford's prose and the painful sharpness of his insights ... Ford has always been a clarifier, slowly making lucid the lines of the everyday. Canada is perhaps his most transparent novel yet: shorn of tricks, sparse and expansive as the plains on which it is set ... By looking "straight at things", Ford has written another novel about the fine lines that separate the humdrum and the calamitous, and about those schisms of existence that can be anticipated only in retrospect (Sunday Times)

***** A superb stand-alone novel from Richard Ford (Metro)

Ford really excels in his virtuoso command of narrative suspense ... each part of Canada is superb in its own way ... [Ford is] a serious artist (New York Review of Books)

The most fulfilling read of the year

(Guardian Readers' Books of the Year)

Book Description

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford's masterpiece
A New York Times Notable Book 2012

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1935 KB
  • Print Length: 529 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (22 May 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B0CU2CI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,144 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Better reviewers than I have given chapter and verse on this book. I can only tell you that I have come late in life to Richard Ford and feel as if I have struck oil.

Canada has made a greater impression on me than probably any book since We Need to Talk About Kevin, and yet they are so different. Canada doesn't shock; indeed I find it hard to explain what it does do other than to tell would-be readers that it has a hynoptic quality that means you never want it to end, even as you sit up nights devouring each page. The writing style is modest, the plot minimal, some of the characters a tad fantastic, but the sum is so much more than the total of the parts. I love this book, I love Richard Ford and I love the thought that I now have his entire back catalogue to look forward to. Life is sweet.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The best thing about this book was the many other (and better) things it reminded me of. With Canada as a character, I couldn't resist having a little Neil Young internal soundtrack ("Everybody Knows This is Nowhere" seemed appropriate). Did this book make me think of Canada? The mid Western States? What is this? Country noir? Northern gothic? Tom Sawyer goes Big Sky? Hard to tell.

For a writer supposedly influenced by the 20th Century greats, it somewhat misses the point of "show don't tell". Hemingway's ice berg is more of a floating cube; there's little below the surface. There's a rather long, dull section about dealing in stolen meat - which is exactly as sexy as that sounds.

Sadly, the main character is called Dell Parsons, which is the name you would come up with if you were trying to think of a double denim clad 70s country singer. Or I would, anyway. (I can visualise The Very Best of Del Parsons album, reduced to clear, in the bargain bin; Del sporting a red kerchief, a ten gallon hat, and a rictus grin of slight desperation).

So I got past that. And dug in. It's rather humourless, self important and pointlessly portentous. All this impending doom would have an impact if something actually happened. Even a bank robbery lacks drama, and it takes a very special gift to do that. Ford seems to be attempting a series of emotional words sketches, Raymond Carver style. Carver was the Edward Hopper of modern literature, saying so much from the often seemingly mundane. This is just rather mundane. There's not even the sound and fury signifying nothing. Or the hollowed out psychogeography of a Jim Thompson or a William Gay. There's just, little going on.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This beautifully written novel from American author Richard Ford has a very striking opening paragraph. He is confident enough that his exemplary story telling will keep the reader on board that his narrator reveals at this early stage that his parents are going to commit a robbery, and that murders will subsequently take place. This gives an unusual sensation of knowing that these events will occur, and grimly waiting for them to unfold.

The narrator is Dell, who is recounting events back when he was fifteen years old. His family are living ordinary humdrum lives in a small city in Montana in 1960. His father has recently left the air force and is something of a loser, dabbling in selling black market meat. His mother is doing her best, despite a lingering unhappiness with her lot, and the notion that she could and should have done much better for herself, to grit her teeth and get on with caring for her family. Dell is close to his twin sister Berner, but the earlier onset of her adolescence is pulling her away into a different world from his. Their family, imperfect though it is as their parents' dissatisfaction with each other seeps into daily life, is shattered by a single event.

Ford is a master at creating a claustrophobic and tense atmosphere, vivid with description and empty with the tedium of the family's lives at the same time. It is reminiscent of Anne Tyler at her brilliant best. He captures perfectly how the twins must have felt in that domestic setting: 'Being a child under those circumstances was mostly waiting - for them to do something, or to be older - which seemed a long way away.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Dell Parsons, a school teacher at the end of a long career,thinks back to 1960 when he was 15 and living in Great Falls, Montana,his parents robbed a bank and his life was changed utterly...

Richard Ford is at the top of his game. He has woven an extraordinary and emotionally draining novel about growing up,full of compellingly strange but real characters and absorbing incident, and written in a plain but vivid style in which a strong atmosphere of menace is evoked from telling detail.Ford creates a whole world for the reader - the wheat fields of Montana, the geese-filled Canadian skies, run down hotels and families split apart. Told in three distinct parts, yet completely integrated, the book is both clever and moving. And there is something optimistic there too perhaps.

Highly recommended- and for £4.99 a real bargain.
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