Be Mine: A Frank Bascombe Novel
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About the Author
Richard Ford is the author of The Sportswriter and Independence Day. He is winner of the Prix Femina in France, the 2019 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, and the Princess of Asturias Award in Spain. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller Canada. His story collections include the bestseller Let Me Be Frank with You, Rock Springs, and A Multitude of Sins. He lives in Boothbay, Maine, with his wife, Kristina Ford.
"Frank Bascombe receives the send-off he deserves in this fifth book of the series, following Let Me Be Frank With You (2014)...It's a novel about the ambiguities of love and happiness. Frank remains a funny guy, both ha-ha funny and a little odd, but Ford couldn't be more serious about his craft, his precision, his attention to detail, his need to say exactly what he means. If this is also Ford's curtain call, he has done himself proud." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Ford masterfully captures the strained dynamic of two men attempting to articulate emotions...Ford's prose attains a rare combination of exquisite beauty powered by dialogue that has the casual familiarity of a jocular Everyman gifted with a winning, sly wit. Be Mine ultimately charts the journey of the human condition and the strivings, failings, and resiliency of the human heart. A fitting finale to the landmark Bascombe saga, this ranks among Ford's best."
-- Booklist (starred review)
"If the Bascombe novels endure it will be partly because they serve as such comprehensive documents of the hopes and hypocrisies of the age. But it will also be because of the wonderful voice that Mr. Ford has fashioned for them--jokey, melancholic, dreamy, disagreeable and doggedly hopeful.... They are also works of tremendous craft and arrangement, full of tantalizing patterns and recurrences. In this balance of meaning and meaninglessness there has always been enough mystery to keep Frank occupied for a lifetime." -- Wall Street Journal
"Ford is among the elite American writers of the past half-century." -- Dwight Garner, New York Times
"The startling and poignant conclusion unites father and son through love and grief as they learn to "give life its full due."
-- The New Yorker
"Ford has a loud and faithful following among writers on both sides of the Atlantic....Every sentence is considered, yet many look like they're about to fall apart in their devious careening. Something similar can be said of the meandering Bascombe books, too: Their course, like Frank's, is uncompassed by design. Every detour offers an opportunity to ponder....The astonishing core of Be Mine is the barbed, tender, despairing bond between father and son." -- Adam Begley, The Atlantic
"[P]lenty of heart and wry humor."
-- AARP Magazine
"In true Updikean fashion, Frank gives the mundane its beautiful due, and his narrative -- which meanders as his life has -- goes back and forward, from here to there and round again, resulting in a book to sit back and wallow in, driven by characters as much as by plot.... It's the challenge of a writer's life to know how to end a magnificent series of books like this....In the end, what Be Mine reminds us of is what our instincts always knew: that what will survive of us is love." -- Financial Times
Realism, in these books, is an act of worship, but not complacent worship. John Banville once called Ford "a relaxed existentialist". It's true. His is a realism shorn of metaphysical certainties - a 20th-century realism. Ford's world is contingent, frightening, beautiful, comically manifold. -- The Guardian