A Multitude of Sins

A Multitude of Sins

by Richard Ford

One of the most celebrated and unflinching chroniclers of modern life now explores, in this masterful collection of short stories, the grand theme of intimacy, love, and their failures.With remarkable insight and honesty, Richard Ford examines liaisons in and out and to the sides of marriage.

An illicit visit to the Grand Canyon reveals a vastness even more profound.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Short Stories
  • Rating: 3.74
  • Pages: 304
  • Publish Date: February 4th 2003 by Vintage
  • Isbn10: 037572656X
  • Isbn13: 9780375726569

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Characters who may or may not involve the reader, but all surrounded by lovely writing. One of the stories, Charity, stood out for its relaxed ambling (in Maine) of a going-in-different-directions couple, who are looking at "life-by-forecast". As I stated, lovely writing, and although I couldn't get behind most of the characters, they still kept me interested throughout.

It nested for the last few months in my backpack, only seeing the light of day when I was on a long bus ride, or when I knew had a good enough stretch of time to really sit back and soak in one of it's stories - to appreciate the subtle nuances of Ford's writing. If you liked Ford's story collection, Rock Springs, his best collection in my opinion, and you're looking for more of the same great writing, you can't go wrong with A Multitude of Sins...

A Multitude of Sins isn't my favorite thing Ford has written (his novel Independence Day is one of the greatest works of fiction ever conceived and you should read it immediately if you haven't already) but not because it isn't masterful. It's kind of a collection for writers; worth picking up to admire its craftsmanship, though if you don't care about such matters and just want to read for pleasure, you might want to look elsewhere. I read this one aloud to my girlfriend because I wanted to show her why I love Ford and it made us both gasp a little at the end, not because it has a surprise twist or anything but because you just feel its dazzling energy so acutely, like seeing a clear night sky in the middle of an open field. It follows an adulterous couple of real estate agents (Ford loves the world of real estate for some reasonI think because it's such a reflection of American values) cheating on their respective spouses while at a sales convention. Ford seems to be having fun here and it's refreshing and delightful after the miserable, yet beautifully written, slog of the stories preceding it.

Richard Ford is one of my favorite writers, and this collection of short stories are some of his best.

In Sachen Komposition und Perspektivwechsel ist die Sammlung nicht einmal schlecht aufgestellt, auf eine Story (Wiedersehen) in der ein Ehebrecher, der längst zu neuen Ufern unterwegs ist, zufällig den existenziell getroffenen Gatten einer ziemlich lächerlichen Verflossenen trifft, folgt mit Welpe die Tragikomödie eines kinderlosen Anwaltsehepaars aus der Sicht eines Mannes, dessen Frau ihn einst mit dem Senior-Partner seiner Kanzlei betrogen hat. In der Weihnachtsgeschichte spekuliert eine kinderlose Filmanwältin darüber, wie sie ihrer im Entzug befindlichen Schwester, für die immer der dickste Schwanz das einzige Entscheidungskriterium war, die Kinder abnehmen kann, deren Vater wiederum auf seine scharfe Schwägerin spitz ist und mit seiner durchaus beeindruckenden Latte auf der nächtlichen Loipe zum Zug kommen will. Es ist schwer herauszufinden, wie man etwas beenden soll, das nie richtig begonnen hat, mit dieser Einsicht verabschiedet die weibliche HP von Revier ihren Ex-Lover aus dessen Perspektive die Geschichte erzählt wird und trifft damit mein Problem mit diesen handlungsarm und pointenfrei dahin plätschernden Geschichten auf den Punkt. Sein erster Erzählband Rock Springs soll zwar stärker sein, ich bin gern dazu bereit das zu glauben, aber nicht dazu bereit, mich noch einmal derart runterziehen zu lassen, diese Literatur führt einen nicht durch Tiefen und entwickelt dabei auch eine befreiende Wirkung oder vermittelt einen Erkenntnisgewinn, sie macht einfach nur krank.

"A Multitude of Sins", a collection of short stories by Richard Ford.

But this book is themed around infidelity, which just didn't work for me. He is a writer of characters more than stories. For me, I wanted something to happen - not a Ford thing.

Before reading this collection of short stories, and after reading the back cover summary, I thought each story would be pretty formulaic: one person cheats, the other finds out, anger and devastation follow.

I've known people who can quote whole paragraphs from the collection verbatim (usually from the story 'Fireworks', for some reason).