SORRY FOR YOUR TROUBLE is Richard Ford’s latest collection of stories and you wont be sorry for the trouble he has gone to to create this pure and indispensable and thrilling call that brings us to read and listen to stories in the first place.
With his tell tale well quarried words supervised by narrative increments and nuance that are superlative in their invisible seam simplicity, Ford has afforded readers with nine captivating stories that have, more or less, an Irish flavour or connection.
Opening with a nifty narrative called Nothing To Declare, Ford contrarily declares his genius and suppresses any doubt that he has lost his gift of arresting prose, unexpected events and choices.
If writing and reading is in fact the social act of a solitary person, the marriage of solitary and social is consummated and celebrated in SORRY FOR YOUR TROUBLE, with stories that leave us sometimes baffled, amazed, bewildered, stunned and rendered speechless.
These stories sweep in like sweet medication for solitude, a balm for sorrows, the slings and arrows of existence, and the joys of living. Each and every adventure in SORRY FOR YOUR TROUBLE make up a source book of compulsory emotions, the failings and regrets of the past, the hopes and faith in the future.
In each of these handsomely crafted stories, there’s clear and present commentary on what has come, yet bravely does not look away from what is coming.
“No matter how patented life’s course seems when you are leading it day to day, everything could always have been much different” thinks the reminiscing character from the story Displaced.
Displacement is another theme running through SORRY FOR YOUR TROUBLE, displacement usually caused by marriage breakdown or widowhood.
Jonathan, the protagonist of Second Language, the final story in the collection, cites the word skein.
“It’s a skein, isn’t it?…Getting married, being not married, getting married again, getting now un-married. All of it. It’s all a skein. There’s probably no reason to concentrate too hard on any single part of it. You need to see the whole thing to understand it. And of course we cant yet.”
And so it is that SORRY FOR YOUR TROUBLE is a skein, lengths of yarn loosely coiled and knotted, with exquisite twists and frays.
SORRY FOR YOUR TROUBLE by Richard Ford is published by Bloomsbury.