Tancred Newbury

The Gramps Shuffle

Let Me Be Frank with You


Bloomsbury 238pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Richard Ford once confessed to John Updike that had Updike not shown that a multi-volume, decades-spanning suburban saga centred on an American everyman could be written, Ford’s own, hugely feted Bascombe series – of which Let Me Be Frank with You is the fourth and arguably best instalment – would never have materialised. Like the Rabbit books to which Ford was referring, the Bascombe series has been updated every ten years or so, ever since The Sportswriter (1986) first introduced us to distracted divorcé and novelist-turned-sportswriter Frank Bascombe, struggling over the Easter weekend of 1983 to rouse himself from the disconnected state of ‘dreaminess’ he had fallen into following the loss of his nine-year-old son to Reye syndrome. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Tarantino's latest film is 'a fairy tale about Hollywood, where fantasy is an industrial product and the boulevards… ,
    • 'I don’t think we’re here on Earth to be Happy. I think we’re here on Earth to help God. I am a messianic writer'.… ,
    • 'Darley’s book is not a mad dash through this most compelling and complex of English counties. Nor is it another ti… ,
    • 'Moser’s book offers such a gripping account of a profoundly damaged human being, trapped in a cycle of repetition,… ,
    • 'Ideas that I’d thought were set down in full continue to smoulder ... this book is only a snapshot of some larger… ,
    • 'Full of invention which, at its most pedestrian, is eminently Victorian, and at its most unrestrained wildly imagi… ,
    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,