Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Lay of the Land

I've finished Richard Ford's Lay of the Land, my third Winter Book Challenge book. It, like its predecessor, The Sportswriter and Independence Day is a rambling, Updikish, stream of conscience view into the inner workings of a man - supposedly a flawed "everyman" type or perhaps just an "everyman." I, however, have only met a few men who were so introspective. I enjoyed submersing myself in the language which, though Richard Ford minimizes its influence, has a touch of the South, albeit with a Jersey accent. Though much self reckoning occurs, there is little plot. Most of the book is spent in transit, which I guess is the point - the movement from one level of self realization to the next. To properly enjoy this book you need to know Frank Bascombe's history and prior scrutinizations. Read all three books.

Next, The Known World by Edward P. Jones.


zilla said...

I will order all three books. The South with a Jersey accent is right up my alley. Plotless introspection is the story of my life. Ha!

You've earned an easy beach read, woman. Shall I FedEx the copy of "The Very Verile Viking" EmAy gave me for Christmas? It's sure to be a scream!

wisteria said...

You will love the first two. The Lay of the Land is a weaker book somehow. I can't really say how without giving away what little plot there is. Let me know if you like them.

Send the beach reads, though I have never sunk so low as The Very Verile Viking seems to take that genre. Perhaps I am judging the book by the cover(I do love good cover graphics) or an ill conceived name.