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A New York Times 2016 Notable Book An immediate national best seller and instant classic from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls. Richard Russo returns to North Bath—“a town where dishonesty abounds, everyone misapprehends everyone else and half the citizens are half-crazy” (The New York Times)—and the characters who made Nobody’s Fool a beloved choice of book clubs everywhere. Everybody’s Fool is classic Russo, filled with humor, heart, hard times, and people you can’t help but love, possibly because their various faults make them so human. Everybody’s Fool picks up roughly a decade since we were last with Miss Beryl and Sully on New Year's Eve 1984. The irresistible Sully, who in the intervening years has come by some unexpected good fortune, is staring down a VA cardiologist’s estimate that he has only a year or two left, and it’s hard work trying to keep this news from the most important people in his life: Ruth, the married woman he carried on with for years . . . the ultra-hapless Rub Squeers, who worries that he and Sully aren’t still best friends . . . Sully’s son and grandson, for whom he was mostly an absentee figure (and now a regretful one). We also enjoy the company of Doug Raymer, the chief of police who’s obsessing primarily over the identity of the man his wife might’ve been about to run off with, before dying in a freak accident . . . Bath’s mayor, the former academic Gus Moynihan, whose wife problems are, if anything, even more pressing . . . and then there’s Carl Roebuck, whose lifelong run of failing upward might now come to ruin. And finally, there’s Charice Bond—a light at the end of the tunnel that is Chief Raymer’s office—as well as her brother, Jerome, who might well be the train barreling into the station. A crowning achievement—“like hopping on the last empty barstool surrounded by old friends” (Entertainment Weekly)—from one of the greatest storytellers of our time.
Richard Russo's new novel takes place in the decaying American town of North Bath over the course of a very busy weekend, ten years after the events of Nobody's Fool. Donald 'Sully' Sullivan is trying to ignore his cardiologist's estimate that he has only a year or two left. Ruth, his long-time lover, is still married to Zach and running Hattie's lunch counter, though she's increasingly distracted by her former son-in-law, fresh out of prison and intent on making trouble. Police chief Doug Raymer is obsessing over the identity of the man his wife might have been about to run off with before she died in a freak accident, while local wiseguy Carl Roebuck might finally be running out of luck. Add a funeral, an escaped cobra, a collapsed building and a lot of beer to the equation and you have a novel which is a pure pleasure to read - genuinely funny, enormously heartfelt and imbued with the warmth and wisdom that are Richard Russo's stock in trade.
Richard Russo's new novel takes place in the decaying American town of North Bath over the course of a very busy weekend, ten years after the events of Nobody's Fool. Donald 'Sully' Sullivan is trying to ignore his cardiologist's estimate that he has only a year or two left. Ruth, his long-time lover, is increasingly distracted by her former son-in-law, fresh out of prison and intent on making trouble. Police chief Doug Raymer is tormented by the improbable death of his wife, while local wiseguy Carl Roebuck might finally be running out of luck. Filled with humour, heart and hard-luck characters you can't help but love, Everybody's Fool is a crowning achievement from one of the great storytellers of our time.
Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo | Summary & Analysis Preview: Everybody’s Fool, a novel by Richard Russo, is set in the fictional town of North Bath in upstate New York. There, over the course of one weekend, a crew of local eccentrics juggle long-standing grudges, acute crises, and surreal weather events to the best of their limited abilities. Along the way, readers learn about their troubled pasts. At Hilldale Cemetery, Douglas Raymer, chief of police, arrives late for the interment of a local judge. The service is long, and between the heat and his emotional distress, Raymer’s feeling poorly. The setting is stirring up feelings about his late wife, Becka, who died in a freak accident the previous year. Raymer carries an object in his pocket: a garage-door opener that was found in Becka’s car. He thinks he can use it to track down the mystery man Becka had been seeing behind his back before she died. Suddenly, the ground quakes… PLEASE NOTE: This is summary and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. Inside this Instaread Summary of Everybody's Fool: Summary of the Book Important People Character Analysis Analysis of the Themes and Author’s Style About the Author With Instaread, you can get the key takeaways, summary and analysis of a book in 15 minutes. We read every chapter, identify the key takeaways and analyze them for your convenience.
This slyly funny, moving novel about a blue-collar town in upstate New York—and in the life of Sully, of one of its unluckiest citizens, who has been doing the wrong thing triumphantly for fifty years—is a classic American story. Divorced from his own wife and carrying on halfheartedly with another man's, saddled with a bum knee and friends who make enemies redundant, Sully now has one new problem to cope with: a long-estranged son who is in imminent danger of following in his father's footsteps. With its uproarious humor and a heart that embraces humanity's follies as well as its triumphs, Nobody's Fool, from Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Richard Russo, is storytelling at its most generous. Nobody’s Fool was made into a movie starring Paul Newman, Bruce Willis, Jessica Tandy, and Melody Griffith.
Frances Freeborn Pauley, a white woman who grew up in the segregated South, has devoted most of her ninety-four years to the battle against discrimination and prejudice. A champion of civil rights and racial justice and an advocate for the poor and disenfranchised, Pauley's tenacity as an activist and the length of her career are remarkable. She is also a consummate storyteller; for decades, she has shared her words with activists, students, and scholars who have found their way to her door. Kathryn L. Nasstrom uses rich oral history material, recorded by herself and others, to present Frances Pauley in her own words. Pauley's life has encompassed much of the last century of extraordinary social change in the South, a life touching and touched by famous figures from southern politics and the civil rights movement. Highlights of Pauley's career in the public eye include a friendship with Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, encounters with several of Georgia's civil-rights-era governors, and a meeting with Eleanor Roosevelt. A skillful political organizer, Pauley was involved in decades of community mobilization, repeated efforts to educate politicians and the public about the origins and nature of poverty, and lobbying for unpopular causes. "People are born into a certain way of living," she says. "It takes a jolt to get out of it. It doesn't really mean that they're all that mean and bad, but it takes a jolt to make them see that maybe they could make a change." In a deft blend of biography and memoir, Nasstrom explains Pauley's historical significance and places her story in the context of developments in Georgia politics and the civil rights movement. Even as it contributes to the political history of Georgia and the South, affording insight of unusual depth on familiar issues and events, the book preserves one woman's story in the still largely undocumented history of southern women's social and political activism in the twentieth century. Pauley's experiences serve as a window on the lives of all those women and men who, town by town and state by state, made momentous change not only possible but also inescapable.
Hilarious and true-to-life, witty, compassionate, and impossible to put down, Straight Man follows Hank Devereaux through one very bad week in this novel from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo. William Henry Devereaux, Jr., is the reluctant chairman of the English department of a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt. Devereaux's reluctance is partly rooted in his character--he is a born anarchist--and partly in the fact that his department is more savagely divided than the Balkans. In the course of a single week, Devereaux will have his nose mangled by an angry colleague, imagine his wife is having an affair with his dean, wonder if a curvaceous adjunct is trying to seduce him with peach pits, and threaten to execute a goose on local television. All this while coming to terms with his philandering father, the dereliction of his youthful promise, and the ominous failure of certain vital body functions. In short, Straight Man is classic Russo—side-splitting, poignant, compassionate, and unforgettable.
"It turns out that Russo the nonfiction writer is a lot like Russo the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. He is affably disagreeable, wry, idiosyncratic, vulnerably bighearted, a craftsman of lubricated sentences."—Jay Fielden, New York Times Book Review A master of the novel, short story, and memoir, the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Everybody's Fool now gives us his very first collection of personal essays, ranging throughout writing and reading and living. In these nine essays, Richard Russo provides insight into his life as a writer, teacher, friend, and reader. From a commencement speech he gave at Colby College, to the story of how an oddly placed toilet made him reevaluate the purpose of humor in art and life, to a comprehensive analysis of Mark Twain's value, to his harrowing journey accompanying a dear friend as she pursued gender-reassignment surgery, The Destiny Thief reflects the broad interests and experiences of one of America's most beloved authors. Warm, funny, wise, and poignant, the essays included here traverse Russo's writing life, expanding our understanding of who he is and how his singular, incredibly generous mind works. An utter joy to read, they give deep insight into the creative process from the prospective of one of our greatest writers.
This work is the author's memoir of his life, his parents, and the upstate New York town they all struggled variously to escape. Anyone familiar with the author's fiction will recognize Gloversville, New York, once famous for producing that eponymous product and anything else made of leather. This is where the author grew up, the only son of an aspirant mother and a good-time, second-fiddle father who were born into this close-knit community. But by the time of his childhood in the 1950s, prosperity was inexorably being replaced by poverty and illness (often tannery-related), everyone barely scraping by under a very low horizon. A world elsewhere was the dream his mother instilled in Rick, and strived for herself, and their subsequent adventures and tribulations, recounted here, only to prove lifelong, as would Gloversville's fearsome grasp on them both.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize “Russo writes with a warm, vibrant humanity.... A stirring mix of poignancy, drama and comedy.” —The Washington Post Welcome to Empire Falls, a blue-collar town full of abandoned mills whose citizens surround themselves with the comforts and feuds provided by lifelong friends and neighbors and who find humor and hope in the most unlikely places, in this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Richard Russo. Miles Roby has been slinging burgers at the Empire Grill for 20 years, a job that cost him his college education and much of his self-respect. What keeps him there? It could be his bright, sensitive daughter Tick, who needs all his help surviving the local high school. Or maybe it’s Janine, Miles’ soon-to-be ex-wife, who’s taken up with a noxiously vain health-club proprietor. Or perhaps it’s the imperious Francine Whiting, who owns everything in town–and seems to believe that “everything” includes Miles himself. In Empire Falls Richard Russo delves deep into the blue-collar heart of America in a work that overflows with hilarity, heartache, and grace.