The Sportswriter: Bascombe Trilogy (1)
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As a sportswriter, Frank Bascombe makes his living studying people--men, mostly--who live entirely within themselves. This is a condition that Frank himself aspires to. But at thirty-eight, he suffers from incurable dreaminess, occasional pounding of the heart, and the not-too-distant losses of a career, a son, and a marriage. In the course of the Easter week in which Ford's moving novel transpires, Bascombe will end up losing the remnants of his familiar life, though with his spirits soaring.
is tinged a stormy bottle green. The Chinese split-level maintains its ground in full view. Nothing has been thrown for a loop. I simply find myself staring across Arctic Spruce Drive at a chimney painted white, from which a gusty wind is drawing smoke at an angle perfectly perpendicular to the flue. All the draperies are closed. The grass out front is unspeakably green. You could putt on it and expect a good true roll to the cup. I admit I am surprised; that the picture Vicki would like to
twenty-nine years. What do you think?” “It has its plusses, Wade. Did you meet Lynette up here?” “I met her at a rock concert, and don’t ask me what I was doing there because I couldn’t tell you. This was in Atlantic City, three years ago. I’m not a joiner, and if you’re not a joiner you can end up in some pretty strange places proving to yourself how independent you are.” “I usually end up staying home reading. Though I get in my car sometimes and drive all day, too. It sounds like what
to go back tomorrow. I’m on business today.” “Okay, okay. Tell me why you think our golfing friend left you, Frank? Tell the truth. I can’t get it off my mind today, for some damn reason.” “I think she wanted her life put back in her own hands, Henry. There’s not much else to it.” “She always thought I ruined her life for men. It’s a hell of a thing to hear. I never ruined anybody’s life. And neither did you.” “I don’t really think she thinks that now.” “She told me she did last week! As
urgency, wouldn’t you?” X stares at the maids who are talking in a group of five, watching up the street where their rides will come from. Since our divorce she has developed the capability of complete distraction. She will be talking to you but be a thousand miles away. “You’re very adaptable,” she says airily. “I am. I know you don’t have a sleeping porch in your house, but you should try sleeping with all your windows open and your clothes on. When you wake up, you’re ready to go. I’ve been
than I was. She had come to Berkshire College that fall from Paris only to obtain a visa (she said), so she could find a rich American “industrialist,” marry him, then settle down in a rich suburb for a happy life. (She knew a pleasant, easy existence staunched almost any kind of unhappiness.) I never visited home again until the semester was over, and X never wrote me or even called. And what Selma and I did to amuse ourselves was stay inside my little faculty cottage lolling in bed, or else