peteg's blog - noise - books - 2020 05 27 RichardFord SorryForYourTrouble

Richard Ford: Sorry for Your Trouble.

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Kindle. A collection of shorts. I should have realised what Rand Richards Cooper meant by "trenchant and at times thrillingly downbeat realism": it's code for an extended meditation on the fine distinctions in feeling that people don't make any more. I was instead sold by his pull quote: "He had thought about her every single day. Though he’d thought about many other things as often. To be thinking about something didn’t mean what people said it meant." Ford sticks to where he knows: Ireland and the Irish diaspora, New Orleans, NYC, Maine, the generic Midwest, Paris, the professional classes, first world problems. His shifts in time within these stories are technically virtuosic, but also lead to excess repetition that kills things deader than dead.