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Extended Audio Sample Independence Day Audiobook, by Richard Ford Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,896 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Ford Narrator: Richard Poe Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Bascombe Series Release Date: June 1995 ISBN: 9781440723926
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Hailed as a major American novel, Independence Day is a relentlessly thoughtful, heart-wrenching, yet hilarious portrait of an ordinary American man. Wickedly realistic details and dialog entice you to see modern life filtered through the first-person narrator’s complex and evolving consciousness. Apparently directionless since his divorce, Frank Bascombe migrates from one noncommittal relationship to another. He freely indulges his tendencies to self absorption, over-intellectualization, and neurotic ambivalence. But all of that changes one fateful Fourth of July weekend, when, armed with the Declaration of Independence, he embarks on a mission to save his troubled teenaged son. Author of The Sportswriter, Richard Ford has won wide recognition as one of our most talented living novelists. Richard Poe’s deep, resonant voice augments his powerful characterizations and puts you on intimate terms with one of the most unforgettable characters in American fiction. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With a mastery second to none, Richard Ford has created, and continues to develop in Independence Day, a character we know as well as we know our next-door neighbors. Frank Bascombe has earned himself a place beside Willy Loman and Harry Angstrom in our literary landscape, but he has done so with a wry wit and fin de siècle wisdom that is very much his own.”

    New York Times

  • “Each flash of magical dialogue, every rumination a wild surprise…Independence Day is a confirmation of a talent as strong and varied as American fiction has to offer.”

    New York Review of Books

  • “Ford writes with terrific subtlety, deftly capturing unspoken sentiments. Independence Day is a vivid celebration not just of the textures of daily life, but also of the epiphanies that punctuate the most ordinary moments.”

    People

  • Independence Day is a bold, clear-eyed, ambitious, original, and wickedly funny take on American life…This is a major American novel.”

    Washington Times

  • “In Frank Bascombe, Ford has created one of the most complex and memorable characters of our time, and the novel itself is a nuanced, often hilarious portrayal of contemporary American life.”

    Paris Review

  • “It is Richard Ford’s great gift as a novelist that makes the details matter. Independence Day is a fully realized portrait of modern American life as filtered through the mind and heart of a unique yet typical American man.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “An often poetic, sometimes searing, sometimes hilarious account…Ford achieves astonishing effects on almost every page: atmospheric moments that recall James Agee, a sense of community as strong as those of the great Victorians and an almost Thurburesque grasp of the inanities and silent cruelties between people who are close…Ford makes his work glow.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • Winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of the 1996 PEN/Faulkner Award
  • A 1995 National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan Francisco | 2/19/2014

    " I first saw this book during one of my religion classes in college. My seatmate, who is now a good friend of mine, brought it with him. I asked him if a certain movie was adapted from the book, and he firmly answered "no". This was also the first time I got interested with books that have won the Pulitzer. Now Ford is, no doubt, a good writer. I love every minute Bascombe spent with his son. I can feel the tension between them, and Bascombe's want to make it work, the relationship. It saddened me because as far as I could remember, during his "sportwriter" days, they had a connection. Then a death in the family sort of changed everything. Plus the divorce. When I think about the book, what would always comes to mind was the last scene, when Bascombe received a call from someone he wasn't sure who. The other party didn't talk and was making weird noises. He talked to the person still, telling the other party he was all right. That broke my heart for reasons still unclear to me, even to this day. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristin | 2/18/2014

    " This was a well written novel about a middle aged man trying to recover from a divorce. The prose was written in the same style as he currently lives his life- very slow, pedantic (?) as he slogs through, noticing and describing details thoroughouly and in a way that's spot on, but that comes across in a choppy manner. It mimics the character's life, but will be a hard, sloggy read for many. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ahf | 2/14/2014

    " Pulitzer prize winning novel for book club. A detailed view of 3 days in a realtor's life. Why is he so insufferable as an individual? Lack of personal responsibility. Hard to read about his so called intimate relationships. Easier for his more inmpersonal ones. A person who is equally involved with strangers and loved ones... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jill | 2/14/2014

    " No one writes prose like Richard Ford! Anyone who could make a bleak suburban mid-life crisis completely enthralling is truly a writer's writer. Every chapter, every paragraph, very sentence stood out as its own particular piece of writing. Loved this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rich Brown | 1/31/2014

    " PLEH. I slogged through The Sportswriter a couple of years ago, in preparation for this Pulitzer-winning dreck? There will be no more-vapid, more-self-absorbed generation of writers than the Babbitt-Rabbit-Bascombe generation. (Because our generation is so much more vapid than theirs, no one can bother to write the novelization. Dancing with the Survivor Island Idols is on, y'know. Writing is for losers. Duh.) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth | 1/26/2014

    " Could this guy (or author?) be more maudlin? Ugh. I made it through Sportswriter, but I had to close this one early. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy | 1/24/2014

    " Not sure that I particularly care for the incredibly detailed writing style... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 1/16/2014

    " Great sequel to The Sportswriter, this book is one of my classic all-time favorites. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jamila Raja | 1/16/2014

    " Independence Day was a decent read. It went across all the aspects of an 'American' novel. Unfortunately, the writing style was what turned me off. Richard Ford seems to ramble a lot, so it took me a bit to process everything he was trying to explain. Other than that it was good weekend read type book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sherry | 1/11/2014

    " Pulitzer Prize and Pen Faulkner winner. I am not sure why. Follow man over 4th of July weekend with his son. Lots of self pity. Want to give him a kick. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 1/10/2014

    " A few days with Frank, a few years after The Sportswriter. Things haven't gotten easier and he's still an interesting guy. Sad, too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J. Shepard | 1/1/2014

    " This book belongs with Delillo in terms of being about time and place and the characterization thereof, rather than humanity- the tone was deeply engaging. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 12/18/2013

    " well written but a little too long "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 12/13/2013

    " Has one of the best opening lines I've ever read: "In Haddam, summer floats over tree-softened streets like a sweet lotion balm from a careless, languorous god, and the world falls in tune with its own mysterious anthems." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Claudia | 12/8/2013

    " I can't believe I didn't like richard ford in my first try - women with men. Must have been the genre. I absolutely love his frank bascombe! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carter | 5/24/2013

    " middle age male ennui. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michele | 2/16/2013

    " so many self absorbed people "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scout | 2/8/2013

    " I'd say 3.5. This is a Pulitzer Prize winner. I can see that because Ford is not just telling Frank Bascombe's story; he's also commenting on life in America at the time. Still, I found Frank to be an unsympathetic character. He seems once-removed from everything that happens in his life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill | 1/9/2013

    " Right to the top ten list. Second in a series of three...looking forward to the last one. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bridge | 12/7/2012

    " Perhaps I will return to this someday but after the first hundred pages or so I still found it incredibly difficult to identify with and "get into"... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 6/27/2012

    " This was the second of his trilogy, As I get older I may appreciate him more "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 S. | 6/11/2012

    " I like Richard Ford's writing more than I want to. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 JJ | 12/5/2011

    " desert-island read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonas Eriksson | 11/24/2011

    " This is really one of my favorite books, it's moving, personal, and wonderfully written. I don't think you have to LIKE the main character Frank Bascombe to enjoy this book and be interested in his life. Or maybe you do? I'm confused. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simon A. Smith | 11/3/2011

    " There are some good parts and a few exciting moments, but overall it's just too unnecessarily tedious and boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Glover | 10/20/2011

    " I started off really enjoying this book but then tired of the authors ramblings and couldn't wait to get to the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hurston | 6/10/2011

    " An interesting male perspective of a person who is trying to make sense out of life. It's not my favorite book ever, but I thought it was a good read. It's been a few years, and when I think of it I still remember a disillusioned, emotional glumness from the main character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dwanna | 5/4/2011

    " Loving the prose and the main character's concept of the "Existence Phase" of middle age. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mardell | 4/11/2011

    " Author writes long, long sentences which can make this a tedious read. If you can get over that, it is a very insightful read on East Coast life in the late 1980's, etc. and one man's journey through mid-life crisis. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 1/20/2011

    " Great sequel to The Sportswriter, this book is one of my classic all-time favorites. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Leora | 1/13/2011

    " Worse than The Sportswriter. Quit yer whining. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 1/9/2011

    " Really depressing subject matter but very well written. I am certain that there are lots of people who this book will really speak to but I wasn't one of them. Id did, however appreciate the skill with which it was written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carlo Andrea | 1/8/2011

    " è la continuazione di "Sportswriter" che i era piaciuto molto.
    in questo libro la storia mi ha preso mooto meno e mi è sembrata anche un po' stracchiata.
    vale comunque la pena leggerli entrambi per seguire l'evoluzione interiore del protagonista. "

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About the Author
Author Richard Ford

Richard Ford is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of the New York Times bestselling novel Canada, as well as The Bascombe Novels and the story collections A Multitude of Sins and Rock Springs. Published in more than twenty-five countries, his books have won many prestigious international awards and been widely anthologized.

About the Narrator

Richard Poe has worked extensively in movies, television, and on Broadway. He is best known for his portrayal of Gul Evek in three different Star Trek series: Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Star Trek: Voyager. He is a well-known and prolific audiobook narration who has won twelve AudioFile Earphones Awards.