Richard’s writes long sentences that are very effective. They keep the rhythm. I think if he’d chosen to use more periods a lot of the imagery would be lost. It would also probably be harder to read all the way through.
I also thought it was good and interesting the way that Richard’s left out most dialogue. The characters speak a few times but there aren’t quotation marks. It is driven by the narration.
There is an abundance of imagery found in the long sentences. I particularly like the descriptions of the father. The “smoke smelling pants” and all the “goddamn its” and the description of the father crawling into a cave with a bear make a clear image of a rough and tumble, blue collar father. I also really like the description he provides of the doctor in one terribly long sentence, which is again, rich with imagery. From the first four words we know he’s a pilot. “Flawless liftoffs from Florida tarmac.” This is almost poetic with the iambic pentameter and “Flawless and Florida” go well together. Then we get “warm pulpy orange juice,” which is a fantastic image for me. I can almost taste it as I read it.