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Canada

by Richard Ford

Library Journal Since winning the Pulitzer Prize for his 1995 novel, Independence Day, Ford has cultivated a reputation for writing lucid and compelling prose. Here, he lives up to that reputation. The story unfolds around 15-year-old Dell Parsons, whose world collapses when his parents are jailed for a bank robbery, his twin sister flees, and he is transported across the border by a family friend to an obscure town in Canada. With detailed descriptions of place, Ford connects Dell's feelings of abandonment with the equally desolate setting of a remote Canadian landscape. The novel is pervaded by a profound sense of loss-of connectedness, of familiarity, of family-set against a profound sense of discovery. By piecing together the random events in his life, Dell transcends the borders within himself to find a philosophy of life that is both fluid and cohesive. VERDICT Segmented into three parts, the narrative slowly builds into a gripping commentary on life's biggest question: Why are we here? Ford's latest work successfully expands our understanding of and sympathy for humankind.-Joshua Finnell, Denison Univ. Lib., Granville, OH (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly The first novel in six years from Pulitzer Prize winner (for Independence Day) Ford is a tragic rural farrago composed of two awkwardly joined halves. In the late 1950s, in Great Falls, Mont., teenage twins Dell and Berner Parson have different concerns: Berner's is whether to run away with her boyfriend; Dell's is chess and beekeeping. Their comically mismatched parents-rakish, smalltime schemer Bev and brooding, Jewish Neeva-have problems beyond a joyless union. Bev's stolen beef scheme goes awry, leaving him owing his Cree Indian accomplices. In desperation he robs a bank, roping his wife into the crime, and Dell, peering back much later, chronicles every aspect of the intricate but misguided plan, which left his parent incarcerated and he and Berner alone. Berner runs away, and Dell ends up in the care of a shady family friend at a hunting lodge in Canada, living an even more barren and lonely existence than he had in Great Falls. The book's first half has the makings of a succinct rural tragedy, but Dell's inquisition of the past is so deliberate that it eventually moves from poignant to played out. The Canadian section has a mythic strangeness, but adds little, as Dell remains a passive witness to the foolhardy actions of adults. A book from Ford is always an event and his prose is assured and textured, but the whole is not heavily significant. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list After 15-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank and are arrested, the trajectory of his life is forever altered. He and his twin sister, Berner, are left to forge their own futures while still reeling from the shock of their parents' desperate act. Berner, burning with resentment, takes off for the West Coast, while a family friend makes arrangements for Dell to hide in Canada. But what Dell discovers in Canada, while in the employ of a mysterious Harvard-educated American with a violent streak, is to take nothing for granted, for every pillar of the belief the world rests on may or may not be about to explode. Why Dell not only survives his traumatic adolescence but manages to thrive, while Berner, seemingly more worldly, succumbs to drink and a fractured existence is just one of the many questions Ford posits. In subdued, even flat, prose, Ford lays out the central mysteries of Dell's young life, and although the narrative voice here is neither as compelling nor as rich as that found in Ford's great Bascombe trilogy, devoted Ford fans will find that it resonates well beyond the page. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This highly anticipated novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Ford, his first in six years, will have a 200,000-copy first printing backed by a 15-city author tour.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal Since winning the Pulitzer Prize for his 1995 novel, Independence Day, Ford has cultivated a reputation for writing lucid and compelling prose. Here, he lives up to that reputation. The story unfolds around 15-year-old Dell Parsons, whose world collapses when his parents are jailed for a bank robbery, his twin sister flees, and he is transported across the border by a family friend to an obscure town in Canada. With detailed descriptions of place, Ford connects Dell's feelings of abandonment with the equally desolate setting of a remote Canadian landscape. The novel is pervaded by a profound sense of loss-of connectedness, of familiarity, of family-set against a profound sense of discovery. By piecing together the random events in his life, Dell transcends the borders within himself to find a philosophy of life that is both fluid and cohesive. VERDICT Segmented into three parts, the narrative slowly builds into a gripping commentary on life's biggest question: Why are we here? Ford's latest work successfully expands our understanding of and sympathy for humankind.-Joshua Finnell, Denison Univ. Lib., Granville, OH (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.