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Extended Audio Sample Independence Day, 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 Po Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Bascombe Series Release Date:
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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!


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.”


  • 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 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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