It’s such a goofy title. Let Me Be Frank With You is the latest installment in the odyssey of Frank Bascombe, the New Jersey Everyman Richard Ford introduced almost thirty years ago in his novel, The Sportswriter. Two more Frank Bascombe novels followed and now this: a brilliant collection of four interconnected short stories of about sixty pages each called Let Me Be Frank With You, in which Ford is indeed “being Frank” Bascombe with us once again, as well as being “frank” about all sorts of touchy topics in America such as race, politics, the economy, old age, and the oblivion that awaits us all. …
There’s a big reason why Frank’s internal and external landscapes seem particularly bleak in the four stories in this new collection: they all take place in the early winter of 2012, soon after Hurricane Sandy slammed into the Jersey Shore. The cover of Let Me Be Frank With You features a photo of that mangled roller coaster in Seaside Heights that was washed out into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the most iconic image of Sandy’s wrath and it’s also an iconic image for Ford’s achievement throughout his Frank Bascombe books—books that chart the whole roller coaster ride of life.
-Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air book critic
The full review:
Superstorm Sandy Inspires Bleak, Poetic Landscapes In ‘Let Me Be Frank’
Photograph by Stephen Wilkes