Slate's Audio Book Club on Independence Day.

 Slate's Audio Book Club on Independence Day.

 Slate's Audio Book Club on Independence Day.

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March 29 2007 3:26 PM

The Audio Book Club on Richard Ford

Dissecting Independence Day.

To listen to the Slate Audio Book Club on Richard Ford's Independence Day, click the arrow on the player below.

Andy Bowers Andy Bowers

Andy Bowers, the creator and executive producer of Slate podcasts, is the co-founder and chief content officer of Panoply.

You can also download the audio file here, or click here to subscribe to the Slate Audio Book Club feed in iTunes.


In this edition of the Slate Audio Book Club, Stephen Metcalf, Katie Roiphe, and John Burnham Schwartz discuss Richard Ford's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1995 novel Independence Day. It's the second part of Ford's series of novels about sportswriter-turned-real estate agent Frank Bascombe. Since Ford published the third novel, The Lay of the Land, late last year (the first part is 1986's The Sportswriter), the book club members thought this was a great time to revisit Independence Day, which many consider Ford's best work.

And for those who want to start reading the next book club selection, it's a classic: The House of Mirthby Edith Wharton. Here's what book club member Steve Metcalf says about the choice:

The Book Clubbers chose The House of Mirth because, though we want to talk about Hermione Lee's new (and supposedly terrific) biography of Wharton, book club listeners couldn't be expected to read it through, at least not in great numbers. Instead, we decided to choose a Wharton novel and then supplement our discussion with bits from the Lee biography. We settled on House of Mirth, I think for several reasons: It's one of Wharton's three best (along with Age of Innocence and Custom of the Country); it's a very moving book, as I remember it; and it's so explicitly about themes that have re-emerged in this, our new Gilded Age.

We'll post the podcast for The House of Mirth on Thursday, May 10, 2007.