Richard Ford and Frank Bascombe

by Paul Burmeister

It's been at least 25 years since I read the fiction of Richard Ford. Last month I found a bargain-priced copy of Let Me Be Frank With You (2014) and am just about finished with it. Previously in these posts, I've highlighted great paragraphs; Ford's book is littered with great paragraphs.
The excerpt quoted here, in fragments, is an example of his keen and witty realism. He puts together sentences and episodes that achieve more than the sum of their parts.

On another occasion, when I noticed Sally staring at me in the undisguisedly estimating way she's lately adopted, she said—wrinkling her nose as if she smelled something bad—"Sweetheart, have you ever thought of writing a memoir? Your life's had a pretty interesting trajectory, if you ask me."
This is not true at all. . . .
"Not really," I said in reply to the memoir-trajectory suggestion. I was at that moment on my knees, tightening a threaded drain-collar under the kitchen sink,  where the coupling had leaked and rotted the floorboards. . . .