Top critical review
Too slow and not enough of a story for me, may be the ticket for you
on September 4, 2013
The biggest problem from my perspective is that this novel is not really about anything that I can see. The opening story of the parents who rob a bank is certainly gripping enough to get you through the first half, although the pacing is almost drearily slow. Nonetheless, Richard Ford is an accomplished stylist, and the little telling touches he puts into place certainly make this a readable and even enjoyable novel.
The final half is less enjoyable and less convincing, which means that having worked your way through the first part, your work only gets harder as the story progresses. The murder that is mentioned in the first line finally happens towards the end, but has nowhere near the emotional impact and interest of the bank robbery in the first half.
In summary, Richard Ford gets some points for style, but that doesn't quite cover for the lack of story and the lack of real emotional interest in the outcome.