Rock Springs is author Richard Ford's 1987 collection of short stories dealing with the effect of dysfunctional families (moms and dads) on the young male narrators. It has ten stories: "Rock Springs," "Great Falls," "Sweet Hearts," "Children," "Going to the Dogs," "Empire," "Winterkill," "Optimists," "Fireworks," and "Communist." It is set in America, in the West and focuses intently on the people that live there and the effect that landscape has on them. It is 235 pages and was published by the Atlantic Monthly Press.
Upon release, Rock Springs was met with rousing critical acclaim. On Amazon, it holds a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars (58 reviews). On book review aggregation site Goodreads.com, it holds a strikingly similar rating of 4.06 out of 5 stars (4,259 reviews). Speaking positively of the book, the New York Times wrote, "The stories of ''Rock Springs'' are extremely concentrated, so a reader who pays attention not only wants to turn pages but to prolong them, experience the supple, ironic, expanding and contracting medium Mr. Ford compounds from everyday speech." Writes acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates: "Beautifully imagined and crafted stories, by turns heartrending and wickedly funny; and just plain wicked. Richard Ford is a born storyteller with an inimitable lyric voice, and Rock Springs is the very poetry of realism." The short story "Communist" was nominated for the Best American Short Story in 1986.