Most losers are self-made men

Theo Tait

  • BuyCanada by Richard Ford
    Bloomsbury, 420 pp, £18.99, June 2012, ISBN 978 0 7475 9860 2

The first two sentences of Richard Ford’s seventh novel have the ring of permanence about them: ‘First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later.’ They encapsulate not just Canada’s events, but its mood and style, the balance of sensational goings-on with a ruminative, rueful delivery. They surprise, like much of Ford’s prose, with the powerful effects that can be wrung from plain language. And their promise is borne out by the mesmerising story that follows.

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