Wildlife

( 9 )

Overview

The New York Times calls best-selling author Prather an 'American Kahlil Gibran.' Here Prather helps us to find our spiritual center with this modern-day book of proverbs.

Ford's short, bittersweet fourth novel details how family strife is nature's way and "again proves Ford to be a gifted chronicler." Publishers Weekly

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Wildlife

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Overview

The New York Times calls best-selling author Prather an 'American Kahlil Gibran.' Here Prather helps us to find our spiritual center with this modern-day book of proverbs.

Ford's short, bittersweet fourth novel details how family strife is nature's way and "again proves Ford to be a gifted chronicler." Publishers Weekly

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Editorial Reviews

Sheila Ballantyne
The narrative structure of ''Wildlife'' most closely resembles that of a memoir, yet it lacks a memoir's breadth and scope. Most of the events take place within a three-day period....Although the story is refreshingly direct, Mr. Ford's writing here seems loose, even skimpy, when compared to the densely elegant prose of his earlier works....''Wildlife'' is a thin book rather than a rich one. It is shot through with nuance and minute observation involving four people who have moved from other places to this particular place. Yet these people seem to have no friends; they are present only to one another. Despite the Big Sky setting, this is a decidedly claustrophobic story. Its scenes are rendered almost exclusively inside bedrooms and kitchens and cars, often at night....For all the drama - fires, betrayals, confrontations - the events in ''Wildlife'' are curiously undramatic....The reader is left with the distinct impression - and the hope - that this story has no true end, that it will continue to flow from its author's imagination in infinite variation, its ever-widening circles adding to its dimension with each retelling. In time, it may even assume the weight of myth. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in Montana, this precisely structured novel owes much to the style and subjects of Ford's praised short-story collection, Rock Springs . For a few days during the fall of 1960, 16-year-old Joe confronts his parents' frailties when his father loses his job and takes off to fight forest fires near the Canadian border while his mother begins an affair with an older man. Looking back on a not-so-simple love triangle from the perspective of adulthood, yet recalling his emotions as a sensitive, confused teenager, Joe's first-person narrative beautifully reveals the melancholy and pain of the spectacle he observed and was compelled to involve himself in--grown-ups who behave like children, children who are forced to act like adults--and displays Ford's remarkable ability to capture distinctive voices. While the complex relationships within families are a common theme in his work--along with the self-destructiveness of those whose lives and loves have gone bad, and the pressing need to live without illusions--his short, bittersweet fourth novel details how family strife is ``nature's way,'' and again proves Ford to be a gifted chronicler of the down-and-out. (June)
Library Journal
Narrated by son Joe, a teenager at the time of the events, this well-written tale takes place in 1960 Montana. Wealthy businessman Warren Miller plays golf with teaching pro Jerry Brinson at a private Great Falls country club. When Jerry loses his job at the club, Miller starts taking swimming lessons from Jerry's wife, Jeanette, at the YWCA. Jerry and Jeanette, a handsome, athletic couple in their late 30s, are both headed for midlife troubles. Seeking to prove his manhood, Jerry joins a firefighting crew battling a blaze in the nearby mountains. Left behind, Jeanette falls into bed with an eager Warren Miller. By the author of A Piece of My Heart (LJ 12/1/76), The Sportswriter , and Rock Springs, this excellent short novel, while gently and reflectively told, is ultimately a devastating account of one family's destruction. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/1/90.-- James B . Hemesath, Adams State Coll. Lib., Alamosa, Col.
Kirkus Reviews
Another attempt in the self-help genre to reduce the spiritual life to a few simple precepts and to eliminate from it all deep paradox, doubt, and question. In 1970, Prather, a Methodist minister, wrote a bestselling book of personal reflections, Notes to Myself. Since then, he has published a dozen works of popular religious psychology, including this, his latest, which patterns itself after its predecessor. Short, untitled paragraphs, separated by pairs and triplets of leafy graphics, succeed one another, grouped informally around unannounced themes: marriage, children, parents, time, death, fear, prayer. The central exhortation is to inner peace and a sense of unity with all things. The author might have achieved a humbler, less portentous tone if he had acknowledged the lineage of his ideas, for example, in 19th-century romanticism, which, in some of its expressions, believed along with Prather (and, for that matter, the Wizard of Oz) that everything we need to be we already are, if we could but see it. Prather wants to smooth a path that is, by nature, rocky. Nondenominational seekers of the spiritual depths will do better with the grandfather work of this genre, Aldous Huxley's The Perennial Philosophy.
From the Publisher
"Powerful and haunting." — Boston Globe

"Full of prose that makes the reader shiver...a rich and readable story, a genuine narrative.... It leaves a sense of hope, a conviction that life is worth living." — Chicago Sun-Times

"One of his generation's most eloquent voices." — Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"A Babe Ruth of novelists.... One of the finest curators of the great American living museum." — Washington Post Book World

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802144591
  • Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/26/2010
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 681,410
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Ford
Richard Ford is the author of two story collections and five novels.

Biography

Richard Ford lived with his parents in Jackson, Mississippi, until he was eight years old, at which time his father suffered a near-fatal heart attack. After that, he shuttled back and forth between his parents' home in Jackson and Little Rock, Arkansas, where his maternal grandparents managed a hotel. Ford describes his childhood as happy and contented -- at least until he was 16, when his father died and the young man began to seriously think about his future.

Although he attended Michigan State University with the vague intention of going into hotel management, Ford soon switched over to literature. After graduation, he married his college sweetheart, Kristina Hensley, but was having trouble settling on a career direction. He applied for several jobs (including the police and the CIA!) and even started law school. It was only after none of these panned out that he begin to consider writing for a living. On the advice of a former teacher, he applied to graduate school and was accepted into the University of California at Irvine, where he came under the happy, unexpected tutelage of Oakley Hall and E. L. Doctorow.

He began work on his first novel, the story of two drifters whose lives intersect on a desolate island in the Mississippi River. An excerpt appeared in The Paris Review, and the book was accepted for publication. In 1976, A Piece of My Heart was released to good reviews, but Ford bristled at being pigeonholed by critics as a regional writer. "I'm a Southerner, God knows," Ford said in an interview with the literary journal Ploughshares, "but I always wanted my books to exist outside the limits of so-called Southern writing."

In the early '80s, Ford's wife (who holds a Ph.D. in urban planning) was teaching at NYU, and the couple was living in Princeton, New Jersey. Disillusioned with novel writing, Ford took a job with the glossy New York magazine Inside Sports, but in 1982 the magazine folded, leaving him unemployed again. Tentatively he returned to fiction with the glimmer of a story idea based loosely on his most recent experiences. Several years in the making, The Sportswriter introduced Frank Bascombe, a middle-aged writer from suburban New Jersey who forsakes his promising literary career to pen articles for a glossy New York magazine. Published in 1986, the novel was named one of Time magazine's five best books of the year and was nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award.

Ford claims that he never intended to write a trilogy around Frank Bascombe. But, in between other literary projects (including an acclaimed 1987 short story collection, Rock Springs), he found himself inexorably drawn back into the life of his melancholic protagonist. In 1995, the superb sequel, Independence Day, won both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Then, in 2006, Ford concluded the saga with The Lay of the Land, a bittersweet set piece nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award.

Although Ford modestly maintained that the only reason he won the Pulitzer Prize was that Philip Roth had not written a novel that year, in fact his angst-ridden suburban Everyman Frank Bascombe ranks alongside Roth's Nathan Zuckerman (or, for that matter, John Updike's Rabbit Angstrom) as one of American literature's most unforgettable, richly drawn characters. For a man who stumbled into writing with very little forethought or design, Richard Ford has indeed come far.

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    1. Date of Birth:
      February 16, 1944
    2. Place of Birth:
      Jackson, Mississippi
    1. Education:
      B.A., Michigan State University, 1966; M.F.A., University of California, Irvine, 1970

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(8)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 8 of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2014

    Actual reviews anyone?

    What is up with all the clan cat stuff guys? I mean, im a. highschool girl and I get why some people enjoy the books, but this LARP stuff is a little weird. I would like a review, not the latest fantasy cat gossip. Has anyone actually read the book? Any input would be appreciated! :)
    Thnx,
    -Autumn

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013

    G

    &sun

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    BlizzardHeart and MidnightWhisper

    MidnightWhisper: Here she is. "she-cat pads out of the shadows, with BlizzardHeart in front of her, her ten foot claws leaving trails of blood dripping from BlizzardHeart's throat." BlizzardHeart: Please! Help me! MidnightWhisper: Be quiet! "she runs her claws across BlizzardHeart's neck, causing more blood to flow"

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    Blizzard's Bite (FrostBite)

    It seems like this clan will die out. Not very many warriors are there. I am FrostBite, A to of the Dark Forest. "Snow starts falling as the tom pads out of the shadows. His pure white pelt seems to draw in every snowflake around him, making his pelt whiter. His silver eyes have malice and hatred reflected in them. Wings of black blood burst from his back. Ten foot claws shine in the light of the claw-moon." And when this clan does die out, we Dark Forest cats will claim this territory. And theres nothing you can do to stop it. And without your precious medicine cat BlizzardHeart who has the power to bring cats back from StarClan, your clanmates will die of the wounds that only she can heal.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    Skyjay

    Leavs the clan

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    Furystreak to Skyjay

    Are u a shecat?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2012

    Blackpaaw

    Oo boy new kits!!(or soon to be)

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

    Foxstar

    Hello

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 8 of 9 Customer Reviews

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