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Canada

Richard Ford

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

"First, I'll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later."

Then fifteen-year-old Dell Parsons' parents rob a bank, his sense of normal life is forever altered. In an instant, this private cataclysm drives his life into before and after, a threshold that can never be uncrossed.

His parents' arrest and imprisonment mean a threatening and uncertain future for Dell and his twin sister, Berner. Willful and burning with resentment, Berner flees their home in Montana, abandoning her brother and her life. But Dell is not completely alone. A family friend intervenes, spiriting him across the Canadian border, in hopes of delivering him to a better life. There, afloat on the prairie of Saskatchewan, Dell is taken in by Arthur Remlinger, an enigmatic and charismatic American whose cool reserve masks a dark and violent nature.

Undone by the calamity of his parents' robbery and arrest, Dell struggles under the vast prairie sky to remake himself and define the adults he thought he knew. But his search for grace and peace only moves him nearer to a harrowing and murderous collision with Remlinger, an elemental force of darkness.

A true masterwork of haunting and spectacular vision from one of our greatest writers, Canada is a profound novel of boundaries traversed, innocence lost and reconciled, and the mysterious and consoling bonds of family. Told in spare, elegant prose, both resonant and luminous, it is destined to become a classic.

Publishers Weekly Review

Mar 05, 2012 – The first novel in six years from Pulitzer Prize winner (for Independence Day) Ford is a tragic rural farrago composed of two awkwardly joined halves. In the late 1950s, in Great Falls, Mont., teenage twins Dell and Berner Parson have different concerns: Berner’s is whether to run away with her boyfriend; Dell’s is chess and beekeeping. Their comically mismatched parents—rakish, smalltime schemer Bev and brooding, Jewish Neeva—have problems beyond a joyless union. Bev’s stolen beef scheme goes awry, leaving him owing his Cree Indian accomplices. In desperation he robs a bank, roping his wife into the crime, and Dell, peering back much later, chronicles every aspect of the intricate but misguided plan, which left his parent incarcerated and he and Berner alone. Berner runs away, and Dell ends up in the care of a shady family friend at a hunting lodge in Canada, living an even more barren and lonely existence than he had in Great Falls. The book’s first half has the makings of a succinct rural tragedy, but Dell’s inquisition of the past is so deliberate that it eventually moves from poignant to played out. The Canadian section has a mythic strangeness, but adds little, as Dell remains a passive witness to the foolhardy actions of adults. A book from Ford is always an event and his prose is assured and textured, but the whole is not heavily significant.

Customer Reviews

A Review

First I'll tell you about the problem I had with this book from the very beginning, and then about the other problems that came later. But if you don't understand that first problem, the big problem, then nothing else will make much sense.
It starts with the first sentence, really. It's a great sentence, followed by many more great sentences. But they seem to me like sentences a fifteen year old boy might write. They do not sound like sentences a sixty-six year old man would write. At least, not one who spent forty years as a high school English teacher, like the character who is supposed to be telling the story.
So that's the first problem, the big problem that I could never really leave behind. At least, not in the way that most of the characters in the novel leave their problems behind. Like when they cross a border and leave their problems on the other side so they don't have to deal with them again. (They just have new problems.) But that's one of my problems with this book - I told you I had more. I don't know people who behave like these people, who can just walk away, who don't become angry when they are abused, who don't act out, strike back or do something to somebody when somebody hurts them. Especially not fifteen year old kids. These characters don't seem real to me. Oh some do I guess, but those are the ones whose problems came with them across the border and still follow them around.
Here's another problem (the last one I'm going to talk about). Nothing happens. For a long time anyway, at least in the first part until Richard Ford finally get to the bank robbery. Which he says he's going to tell us about in the first sentence but doesn't really, until a very long time after that.
You should know that I really liked the second part of the book. A lot more stuff happens quicker than it did before.
And that's all I have to say about it.

Canada

Intriguing... amazing detail that painted many pictures in the mind.

Definitely a "thinking" book...but also a work that requires empathy on the part of the reader.

Also, this is a "re-reader." Worthy of more than one experience.

Readers need not be in a hurry, because this novel is one that bears reflection during its journey.

A Great American Novel

Stunning, lyrical, finely wrought, and ultimately heartbreaking. This is truly one of the best novels of this or any other year. Evokes the best of Cormac McCarthy's Border Trilogy in its depth of setting, mood and characters.

Canada
View In iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: May 22, 2012
  • Publisher: Ecco
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 432 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings

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