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 (1993) a "confident, assured novel" 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".
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.
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.
"Mark Bramhall’s gorgeous narration of this deeply satisfying novel makes me wonder what it would be like for a great symphonic conductor to play all the instruments himself. Bramhall is superbly skilled and has a beautiful voice with amazing range, but what astonishes here is his humanity, not to mention sense of humor, as he brings Russo's entire town of North Bath, New York, to madcap life." (AudioFile)
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Brilliant, hilarious, long-awaited sequel!
I love Richard Russo's books, and my long-time favorite has been Nobody's Fool. When this sequel recently appeared in Audible's new fiction, I preordered it and started listening the moment it arrived. The motley crew is back, and it's been great fun following their escapades through Russo's exquisite prose. Mark Bramhall does a very fine job with the narration too. I highly recommend both books and would start with the first one. (To Mr Russo - thank you, and please write more often!)
- Karen Weisneck
Perhap's Russo's best book
I could not. Far too rich.
The captured interplay of personalities, and of a place, and its people, experiencing both personal and environmental change, and its extremely sly sense of humor. Oh, and the book sounds wonderful, and the dialog is memorable. As are some of its conclusions, and all of its characters.
He does a decent job of reading, and the book is meant to be read out loud. In that sense, like all of Russo, it's a prose poem.
I didn't get to, but it's the kind of book I would want with me, along with a pair sound-dampening headphones, on a long overnight international flight.
It's part of a group of books that I will read or listen to many times. It has already spurred me to go listen to Russo's earlier novels, even if I have read or listened to them before.
- tim "rilke11"