eBook PDF / e-Pub Straight Man

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Title:Straight Man
Format Type:Ebook
Author:
Publisher:eBooks
ISBN:0375701907
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:391
Category:Fiction, Humor, Contemporary, Academia, Novels

Straight Man by Richard Russo

PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC Straight Man In this uproarious new novel Richard Russo performs his characteristic high wire walk between hilarity and heartbreak Russo s protagonist is William Henry Devereaux Jr 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 i Straight Man i is classic Russo side splitting and true to life witty compassionate and impossible to put down

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Nobody's Fool, Bridge of Sighs, That Old Cape Magic, Elsewhere, The Whore's Child and Other Stories, Empire Falls, Mohawk, Everybody's Fool (Sully, #2), The Risk Pool, Straight Man
Richard Russo s slyly funny and moving novel follows the unexpected operation of grace in a deadbeat town in upstate New York and in the life of one of its unluckiest citizens Sully who has been doing the wrong thing triumphantly for fifty years br br 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 sly and uproarious humor and a heart that embraces humanity s follies as well as its triumphs i Nobody s Fool i is storytelling at its most generous, Following i Bridge of Sighs i a national best seller hailed by i The Boston Globe i as an astounding achievement and a masterpiece Richard Russo gives us the story of a marriage and of all the other ties that bind from parents and in laws to children and the promises of youth br br Griffin has been tooling around for nearly a year with his father s ashes in the trunk but his mother is very much alive and not shy about calling on his cell phone She does so as he drives down to Cape Cod where he and his wife Joy will celebrate the marriage of their daughter Laura s best friend For Griffin this is akin to driving into the past since he took his childhood summer vacations here his parents respite from the hated Midwest And the Cape is where he and Joy honeymooned in the course of which they drafted the Great Truro Accord a plan for their lives together that s now thirty years old and has largely come true He d left screenwriting and Los Angeles behind for the sort of New England college his snobby academic parents had always aspired to in vain they d moved into an old house full of character and they d started a family Check check and check br br But be careful what you pray for especially if you manage to achieve it By the end of this perfectly lovely weekend the past has so thoroughly swamped the present that the future suddenly hangs in the balance And when a year later a far more important wedding takes place their beloved Laura s on the coast of Maine Griffin s chauffeuring two urns of ashes as he contends once more with Joy and her large unruly family and both he and she have brought dates along How in the world could this have happened br br i That Old Cape Magic i is a novel of deep introspection and every family feeling imaginable with a middle aged man confronting his parents and their failed marriage his own troubled one his daughter s new life and finally what it was he thought he wanted and what in fact he has The storytelling is flawless throughout moments of great comedy and even hilarity alternating with others of rueful understanding and heart stopping sadness and its ending is at once surprising uplifting and unlike anything this Pulitzer Prize winner has ever written br br br i From the Hardcover edition i, Richard Russo at the very top of his game now returns to North Bath in upstate New York and the characters who made Nobody s Fool a confident assured novel that sweeps the reader up according to the San Francisco Chronicle back then Simple as family love yet nearly as complicated Or as The Boston Globe put it a big rambunctious novel with endless riffs and unstoppable human hopefulness br br 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 br br Everybody s Fool is filled with humor heart hard times and people you can t help but love possibly because their various faults make them so stridently human This is classic Russo and a crowning achievement from one of the greatest storytellers of our time, Richard Russo from his first novel i Mohawk i to his most recent i Straight Man i has demonstrated a peerless affinity for the human tragicomedy and with this stunning new novel he extends even further his claims on the small town blue collar heart of the country br br Dexter County Maine and specifically the town of Empire Falls has seen better days and for decades in fact only a succession from bad to worse One by one its logging and textile enterprises have gone belly up and the once vast holdings of the Whiting clan presided over by the last scion s widow now mostly amount to decrepit real estate The working classes meanwhile continue to eke out whatever meager promise isn t already boarded up br br Miles Roby gazes over this ruined kingdom from the Empire Grill an opportunity of his youth that has become the albatross of his daily and future life Called back from college and set to work by family obligations his mother ailing his father a loose cannon Miles never left home again Even so his own obligations are manifold a pending divorce a troubled younger brother and not least a peculiar partnership in the failing grill with none other than Mrs Whiting All of these though are offset by his daughter Tick whom he guides gently and proudly through the tribulations of adolescence br br A decent man encircled by history and dreams by echoing churches and abandoned mills by the comforts and feuds provided by lifelong friends and neighbors Miles is also a patient knowing guide to the rich hardscrabble nature of Empire Falls fathers and sons and daughters living and dead rich and poor alike Shot through with the mysteries of generations and the shattering visitations of the nation at large it is a social novel of panoramic ambition yet at the same time achingly personal In the end Empire Falls reveals our worst and best instincts both our most appalling nightmares and our simplest hopes with all the vision grace and humanity of truly epic storytelling