[PDF / Epub] ☉ Rock Springs ❤ Richard Ford – Horse-zine.co.uk


Rock Springs quotes Rock Springs, litcharts Rock Springs, symbolism Rock Springs, summary shmoop Rock Springs, Rock Springs d24267f4 In These Ten Stories, Ford Mines Literary Gold From The Wind Scrubbed Landscape Of The American West And From The Guarded Hopes And Gnawing Loneliness Of The People Who Live There Rock Springs Is A Masterpiece Of Taut Narration, Cleanly Chiseled Prose, And Empathy So Generous That It Feels Like A Kind Of Grace


10 thoughts on “Rock Springs

  1. says:

    Richard Ford with Raymond CarverThis collection of ten short stories published as part of the 1980s Vintage Contemporaries series is Richard Ford at his best Certainly, Ford would go on to write a string of first rate novels, but for my money these short stories are some of the finest American realist fiction I ve come across I had a blast doing a brief write up of three of the ten below Rock SpringsEarl tells us first off how he s headed down from Montana to Florida where he could hook up with old friend who wouldn t turn him into the police There s this issue Earl has with a number of bad checks which could mean serious prison time Anyway, sitting in the front seat next to Earl is Edna, a woman he s been living with for the past eight months since she needed a man around to keep her crazy ex husband Danny from breaking into her house to steal things, Danny being real needy since he took the kids In the back seat is Earl s little girl Cheryl along with her little dog, Duke Halfway down through Wyoming, Earl is hit with a stroke of bad luck the oil light starts flashing on the dash of the car he stole We read, I d gotten us a good car, a cranberry Mercedes I d stolen out of an ophthalmologist s lot in Whitefish, Montana I stole it because I thought it would be comfortable over a long haul, because I thought it got good mileage, which it didn t, and because I d never had a good car in my life, just old Chevy junkers and used trucks back from when I was a kid swamping citrus with Cubans Sidebar Along with a few other American fiction writers from the 1970s and 1980s such as Larry Brown and Raymond Carver with their lower middle class characters, Richard Ford has been labeled a dirty realist This collection of stories, Rock Springs serves as a prime reason Also, if the tenor of this story reminds you of the Coen brothers, films like Fargo or The Big Lebowski, there s a good reason both Ford and the famous filmmakers feature down and out offbeat characters who frequently live outside the law as they deal with oddball happenings and events There s plenty color as the story continues, including Edna recounting her tragic tale of what happened to a spider monkey she once brought home after winning the monkey in a game of dice and Earl stopping to make a call in the mobile home of a big Black woman caring for her brain damaged grandson, a home that s part of a mobile home community next to an honest to goodness gold mine Oh, Earl, a gold mine so close, yet so far away I can assure you, this story is an honest to goodness Richard Ford gold nugget Going To the Dogs My wife had just gone out West with a groom from the local dog track, and I was waiting around the house for things to clear up, thinking about catching the train to Florida to change my luck I already had my ticket in my wallet So begins this story that is vintage oddball matter of fact, as I was reading I was imagining how easily the unfolding events could be filmed by the Coen brothers The narrator then goes on to tell how it is the day before Thanksgiving and hunting season with hunters and their old Chevys and pickups parked along the street below Our narrator, a man named Lloyd, hears a knock and opens his front door standing on the frozen grass are two fat women, dressed like hunters, along with a dead deer The two fat women want to give Gainsborough, the owner of the house, a deer steak Lloyd tells them Gainsborough isn t here, he s in England He invites the fat women in for some coffee and then the fun begins, including a lively sweet sour discussion about tracking dear and a comic roll in bed with one of the fat women, Bonnie, who insists on calling him Curly instead of Lloyd With its quirky dialogues and off center descriptions, this story highlights how Richard Ford s writing displays a careful concern for subtlety, nuance and the rhythms of language A superb example of the Writer s craft CommunistA moving tale told by our forty one year old narrator, reflecting back on a vivid memory, a day when he was sixteen and taken on a hunting trip by a Vietnam vet turned communist, a man named Glen Baxter At the time Glen was seeing his attractive thirty two year old widowed mother, who also came along on the hunt, although she spent most of the time in the car they drove to wetlands where there were thousands of snow geese out on a lake.Rich atmosphere in this Richard Ford story, as when we read I put down my gun and on my hands and knees crawled up the earthwork through the wheatgrass and thistle, until I could see down to the lake and see the geese And they were there, like a white bandage laid on the water, wide and long and continuous, a white expanse of snow geese, seventy yards before me, on the bank, but stretching far onto the lake, which was large itself a half mile across, with thick tules on the far side and wide plums father and the blue mountain behind them Not only the sights, smells and sounds but also the unfolding drama between narrator, mother and Glen Baxter prompts us as readers to appreciate how this day made such an enormous impact.


  2. says:

    Hunting, fishing, drinking too much, avoiding going to jail, grudgingly going to jail, thinking up get rich schemes, abandoning them when they flop, committing or discovering adultery, witnessing accidents, witnessing murders, dealing with being unemployed when your wife s successful ex comes to town, being a child and knowing one day you ll be one of those sad adults, being an adult looking back on that life changing incident that made you grow up, realizing you re basically alone.Welcome to Richard Ford country, folks Montana roads and interstates Lots of motels Pick up trucks Some gorgeous endings All written in a low key yet poetic voice that feels authentic and as comfortable as a faded pair of blue jeans Imagine if Carver, Hemingway and Tobias Wolff drank too much beer and then got into a pissing competition.


  3. says:

    Rocky Mountain Highs Flock of Snow Geese Now he walks in quiet solitude, the forest and the streams, seeking grace in every step he takes.His sight is turned inside himself, to try and understandthe serenity of a clear blue mountain lake Rocky Mountain High, Denver Taylor, 1972This splendid collection of short stories reminds me why I love realist short stories of unique characters in gorgeous faraway settings I d never experience but for the magic of literature.In picturesque prose precisely crafting signal situations, Richard Ford explores turbulence in relationships and the human restive consciousness, made all the evident against his halcyon landscapes, from the wide ranges of Wyoming to the highlands of Montana Each story one of resolution or revelation, eliciting an enduring empathy.One story, called The Communist, paints possibly the most brilliant scenery I ve read in all literature I cannot do it justice Above is the closest picture I could find to a large part of the scene.The best set of short stories I ve read in a long time Maybe ever.


  4. says:

    Este volume cont m dez bonitas hist rias, nas quais o narrador sempre do sexo masculino variando as idades entre a inf ncia, adolesc ncia e idade adulta Em todos os contos senti uma ternura imensa destes homens pela fam lia pela mulher, pelo pai e pela m e a qual, muitas vezes, abandona marido e filho para ir em busca desonhos Homens carentes e solit rios que querem dar e receber amor Rock SpringsEarla mulher abandonou o e filha Ele junta se com Edna, rouba um carro e v o procurar futuro numa terra onde h uma mina de ouro Mas h pessoas para quem nada na vida f cilGreat FallsJackieum menino que nunca compreendeu a l gica dos acontecimentos que levaram separa o dos pais Talvez pela incapacidade que n o nos deixa compreender que a vida pode ser l mpida e singela que faz com que a nossa exist ncia seja uma esp cie de fronteira entre dois nadas que faz de n s nem mais nem menos do que animais que se cruzam desconfiados, rancorosos, desconhecendo a toler ncia e a paix o NamoradosRusseldivorciado, vive com a filha e com a namorada Arlene, cujo ex marido vai ser preso Uma hist ria sobre os sentimentos de amizade e de generosidade que continuam a existir entre um casal mesmo ap s a separa o e de ci me e de amor e de medo da solid o Eu sabia o que era o amor Era n o nos causarmos problemas um ao outro Era n o deixar uma mulher para ir atr s de outra Era n o me meter em sarilhos E era nunca estar s Isso nunca Isso nunca Crian asGeorgeClaude e Lucy Tr s adolescentes que numa tarde vivem um tri ngulo amoroso ramos amigos No entanto, quando crescemos, aquilo que nos aconteceu enquanto jovens deixa de ter import ncia Sei disso agora, embora o n o soubesse na altura Sem ChetaLloydum homem sem cheta, sem sorte e sem mulher que lhe fugiu com outro Anima se quando recebe a visita de duas corpulentas ca adoras, uma delas especialmente meiga Mas quando um homem n o tem sorte at o que parece bom s uma amostra da pouca sorte que me esperava Imp rioSimsum bom homem, casado com Marge Para ele a morte mais horr vel seria morrer de chatice Durante uma viagem de comboio, enquanto a mulher dormia, tem uma aventura com uma passageira Esta coisa pode dar cabo de ti, pensou ele, esta coisa de nada pode ser fatal O Veado MortoLestere o amigo Troy, que anda numa cadeira de rodas, conhecem Nola num bar e v o os tr s fazer uma pescaria Troy pesca um veado mortoOptimistasFranktem 15 anos quando numa noite um acontecimento inesperado alterou toda a sua vida familiar FoguetesEddieest desempregado e o sustento da casa vem do trabalho da mulher Lois Uma hist ria de amor maravilhosa e com um final sublime O ComunistaLestem dezasseis anos rf o de pai e vive com a m e, uma mulher que procurava algu m que nos protegesse a ambos, mas n o deu resultado Penso que o problema era ela ter tido de enfrentar a vida cedo de mais. Embora hist rias diferentes de pessoas distintas com mais defeitos que qualidades , t m em comum vidas quase sempre dominadas pela perda ou risco de perder os suportes afectivos necess rios ao equil brio de um ser humano Todas me comoveram e fizeram sentir um grande carinho pelas personagens.


  5. says:

    The best and most succinct thing I can say about this collection is that almost all of these stories could be adapted by the Coen brothers If that sounds like something you d be into then I can almost guarantee you ll like Rock Springs.Elsewise These stories can feel repetitive in the middle of the collection Sweethearts and Winterkill have such identical set ups that if someone else had written one of them instead of Richard Ford, he could sue them for plagiarism A woman in Winterkill says an almost identical line as a woman in Empire certainly deliberate, also not going to help combat criticisms of sexism and if you want to chuckle to yourself a little, you should read each story s opening paragraph in succession There should be a Richard Ford opening paragraph writing contest on GoodReads This collection could have been better if he instead worked the material into a few novellas But the final three stories Optimists , Fireworks , and Communist are the best, and ultimately won me over.I also have to disagree with whichever critical blurb on my edition praised Ford s diversity of voice, or breadth of compassion, or suchlike There was some stretching, but I would have been far impressed with his writing ability and social imagination if, for example, Sweethearts had been seen through Troy s POV, or Going to the Dogs through Bonnie s and or Phyllis s, etc.


  6. says:

    Every time I read this collection I enjoy it than the last and become even impressed with Ford s ability to get so deep without seeming to His beginnings are subtle, and his endings crackle with meaning The middle of his stories oscillate between quiet moments that explode like depth charges with their silence, and tense action threatening to undo the characters Rock Springs is remarkable for its tone, the way that Ford captured the language of the first person narrator s sense of himself, but still let the reader see that the narrator was worse than he thought he was The ending is brilliant, the way it winds up rather than down to a series of questions that are left hanging there for the reader Great Falls begins with this first paragraph This is not a happy story I warn you Are you hooked or what There s so much in this story that is good tone, details, precisely focused scenes, that climactic scene where the father has the gun under Woody s chin, the hopelessness of the scene with the mother, and the questions at the end, again without answers This time a shadow of meaning follows the questions, but it is not an epiphany and it seems clear that this meaning is really in no way a result of the events the story recounts it is something the narrator accumulated along the way, it s the something that allowed him to tell us this story Sweethearts is a story I admire for what it tries to do put into words a situation that might defy expression It s a story that might have been better if it had tried to do less, maybe give it the Carver treatment It s like Ford was struggling hard to make the reader understand why this event is so significant, and thus he brings in all these details and dialogue to try to make us see the full import Ultimately, though, I think those efforts work against him There s too much going on Better perhaps to have picked less to show and left for the reader to fill in Children is a complex story full of anger and tension and threats, yet it is the quiet moments that crush When Lucy takes the beer and the hotdog and the transistor radio out of the paper bag and says I ve accumulated this much so far Wow And the best thing is that Ford doesn t stop the flow of narrative, doesn t let the narrator reflect, or even notice the importance of that image he leaves it for the reader to discover A little bit later Lucy says Batteries are my next assignment Yikes, it s like being in a grain silo that s slowly filling up The way he plays the characters off each other in this story is fantastic I like that George is observing and understanding so much, understanding things he isn t aware of, while at the same time feeling that everything is a mystery, that he understands nothing The ending is a nice touch Claude has become quiet, so full of himself, yet clearly diminished In this story, as with all of the stories in this collection, Ford has thought deeply about his characters, journeyed inside to imagine what life must mean, and feel like, for them The things the characters worry about and question or don t seem their own, they don t appear to be disguised author s questions which of course they are Going to the Dogs seems the weakest, by far, in this collection Nothing deep here, just an ironic twist as the guy going to stiff his landlord gets robbed, after being setup by the two women hunters There is some humor in the situation, which is atypical for the stories in this collection Empire is a novella, or at least a very long story It doesn t culminate in any change for Vic, which is odd because I think the story gets it s energy from the expectation that something is going to happen, something that will change Vic But, even when he sees himself in the mirror, An Adulterer s face, a face to turn away from, he doesn t seem affected beyond the moment, and there is no sense that he will be affected It s a hard to story to figure, with its juxtaposition of transitory feeling and loss There s a mood that permeates when we are just with Vic, and that mood is clashing with the mood of the framing scenes with Marge I m not exactly sure how Ford wants us to feel about these characters The ending paragraph is stunningly nihilistic Winterkill is a sleeper of a story It starts out not moving anywhere fast and then ends in a crescendo Like Empire, it has the juxtaposition of transitory feeling and loss as a driver for it s meaning And like many of Ford s stories, a day in the life of the characters takes on much deeper meaning because of how the narrator thinks and feels about what happens Without that perspective nothing in the story is dramatic, the drama comes from how the narrator reveals what s at stake The ending is one of Ford s best the narrator slipping away so as not to see, or be seen he knows what s at stake Optimists has the same structure as Great Falls, Children, Communist, and even Jealousy from Women With Men and the novel Wildlife an early 40 s male narrator reflecting back on a teenage experience that he now realizes changed the course of his life In all of these stories the narrator has so much authority That authority comes partly from the accuracy of the details, and the mastery of tone, but it owes a lot to the matter of factness of the narration Momentous events acknowledged A history of hard times traceable, now, to those events Yet, not a trace of self pity As the narrator of Empire commenting on the army women, and imagining the lives they must have fled to choose a career of military life says something to run away from Bad luck, really Or as the mother in Optimists says Maybe that s what this is Just a coincidence As for the story itself, the only scene that I had hard time with was the ending scene The disconnection the length of time since they d last seen each other between mother and son seemed too great based on the information Ford has provided in the story There is a subtle hint that Frank may have blamed his mother for what happened to his father and their life and she is at least concerned that Frank did not think that she was in love with the man his father killed It s a powerful ending scene, but strikes a slightly sour note on the believability scale Although I m not willing to say it would be a better story if we had explanation for why they hadn t seen each other Fireworks is a story I didn t really appreciate until this reading More life has passed me by so perhaps I can appreciate it now Or maybe it was because I was having a similar day as the narrator when I read it One of those days when your whole life and all its consequences seems to be in your head One of those days when something otherwise inconsequential makes you aware of the choices you ve made One of those days where you look at where you re at and realize it s a place you never imagined yourself Ford captures that state of mind perfectly in this story Again, without self pity I think that is the key to what makes these narrators work and perhaps what seems to fail in The Womanizer and Occidentals from Women With Men those narrators wallow in self pity The ending is pitch perfect Not a life changing moment, but a rescuing moment just the same, the kind of moment we need of in literature Not to be saved forever but saved for today, saved for right now, saved for just this instant If you forced me to choose and this would be a tough choice Communist, the collection s concluding story, might just be my favorite The geese are transcendent Equally riveting is the way that the mother continues to taunt Glen about the wounded goose until he shoots it And then that climactic moment when Les wants to hit Glen hard in the face and see him on the ground bleeding and crying and pleading for me to stop That s a great honest moment The ending scene with the mother is probably the best of the stories that end this way Great Falls and Optimists are the others Again, another honest moment The transition Ford makes with the first sentence of the last paragraph so simply and so quickly brings back the frame just in time to break your heart As I said, this is one of my favorite short story collections These are stories that I can read over and over, and the I do so, the impressed I become with the subtlety of Ford s art in these stories They have the appearance of being one thing, often because of the narrative voice he establishes Many of the stories begin with an older narrator reflecting on something that happened in his youth That sets up the expectation that the story is going to be about something the narrator learned, or has now come to understand about that long ago experience That setup is usually fulfilled But the reason the stories have so much power is that there is this sense that much has happened than the narrator lets on or is even aware of himself After years of repeated reading I m beginning to see that the hidden power is in the other characters, sometimes the minor, bit players, and what happens to them, or how questions about what they might be feeling, haunt us The narrator s experience is a kind of ruse The narrator s story is satisfying these might be good stories even if that s all that was there But what makes these stories resonate is the subtle currents that are on the periphery of the narrator s experience Things that happen to other characters and that the narrator describes in passing, while missing their significance, but that Ford clearly intends the reader not to miss How difficult a writing task is that


  7. says:

    Richard Ford writes stories somewhat like Raymond Carver, only with of an edge Set mostly in the towns and rural areas of Montana, his stories are about characters who have survived against the odds busted marriages, unemployment, jail terms, and a kind of bleak aimlessness Some struggle to hold onto an identity that will maintain their self respect and some sense of security, but it s often slipping away as life s lessons leave them typically empty handed.In the title story, a man with a small daughter hopes to start a new life with a new girlfriend and a stolen Mercedes In another story, a boy watches his parents marriage come unglued as a young man only a few years older drives off into the night with the boy s mother Two boys skip school to spend the day with a girl who has run away from home and has spent the previous night in a motel with the married father of one of them A young man is escorted by his former wife and her new husband to the police, where he reluctantly turns himself in after robbing a convenience store A game of canasta is interrupted in a young boy s home when his father punches another man in the chest and kills him A man in a wheelchair goes fishing and discovers that his line is snared in the carcass of a deer In another story, a biker has a vanity plate on his Harley with the word LOSER.Children and teenagers figure in many of Ford s stories They are witnesses to the disintegrating lives of the adults who try awkwardly and often unsuccessfully to care for them All in their innocence or their growing awareness of the world seem destined to lives of loneliness and confusion like their parents Who they are becomes no than a thin boundary between bad luck and diminished dreams, muted by the temporary relief of alcohol, sex, and either a groundless optimism or a fatalistic surrender to futility.This is an interesting book to read along with Mary Clearman Blue s All But the Waltz, which describes the tough survivors among Montana homesteaders who were confronted by unimaginable bad luck during the 1920s and 1930s and found the resources within themselves to persevere Only a generation or two later, Ford s characters seem made of lesser stuff, as though circumstances have reduced a pioneering spirit to exhaustion.Ford is a terrific storyteller These are wonderfully written stories that for the most part let characters speak for themselves as they puzzle over the meaning of what s happening to them A sexual tension pervades many of the stories, along with a poignancy that allows characters to preserve a degree of dignity, even as they behave foolishly.


  8. says:

    Two words gold mine Two loved this.My absolute favorite was Sweethearts, followed close by Communist and the titular Rock Springs.


  9. says:

    A lot of writers who do the brutal, spare stuff are not keen on explaining everything a character is thinking, even exactly what a character doesn t understand, or odd things the character might fear Richard Ford doesn t avoid those tricky emotions here Since these stories are all first person, the narrator will always go into detail about what they believe are important moments It becomes most intense when a character is confused Troy moved his hand around on the deer, then looked at me again in a painful way What is it he said A deer, I said You caught a dead deer Troy looked back at the little deer for a moment, and stared as if he did not know what to say about it And sitting on the wet sand, in the foggy night, he all at once looked scary to me, as though it was him who had washed up there and was finished I don t see it, he said and sat there That fragment might not be a good example Moments that aren t so unusual become evil or darkly funny, like in Raymond Carver It s the same territory They were friends apparently I ve been reading some of Carver s friends since I ran out of his writing to read Tobias Wolff, Ford, and maybe Andre Dubus I like this stuff, this book especially reminds me of Death in The Woods by Sherwood Anderson.Somehow I got a signed first edition of this off of for 2 cents and 3.99 sh.


  10. says:

    Dieci racconti che non ci presentano l America che conosciamo o che spesso immaginiamo, l America luminosa e indaffarata, gli americani sorridenti e soddisfatti degli obiettivi raggiunti Questa l America desolata e fredda del Montana, la provincia, gli americani sono quelli dei sogni infranti, dalla vita che non sentono loro e verso la quale si sentono impotenti, che vivono loro malgrado Racconti che parlano di solitudine, che a volte cammina vicina ad altre senza per fondersi mai, parla di abbandoni, di mancanza di progettualit , di mancanza di futuro, di ragazzini abbandonati al loro destino, di uomini sconfitti costretti a percorrere la strada della vita fino alla fine perch , nel rettilineo in mezzo al nulla, non si incontrano possibilit di deviazioni Lo stile scarno, tagliente, nessun abbellimento per addolcire anche solo un po le storie, ma valorizza piccoli dettagli che definiscono l insieme della vicenda e che riescono a creare quella sospensione che precede il punto di svolta della storia a cui l autore vuole che dedichiamo tutta la nostra attenzione.


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