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Publisher's Summary

In this slyly funny and moving novel, Richard Russo follows the unexpected operation of grace in a deadbeat, upstate New York town, and in the lives of the unluckiest of its citizens. Divorced from his own wife and carrying on halfheartedly with another man's, saddled with a bum knee and friends who make enemies redundant, sixty-year-old 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, Nobody's Fool is storytelling at its most generous. Don't miss this great novel of impressive literary finesse shot through with wit and compassion.
©1993 Richard Russo (P)2003 Random House, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Russo is a master craftsman....The blue-collar heartache at the center of [his] fiction has the sheen of Dickens but the epic levity of John Irving....Nobody's Fool is a big, rambunctious novel with endless riffs and unstoppable human hopefulness." (The Boston Globe) "...confident, assured novel sweeps the reader up in the daily life of its characters." (San Francisco Chronicle) "A delight." (Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Marsha on 04-27-05

Wonderful Book Fabulous Narrator

What is it like to be a 60-year Old man who has always avoided responsibility? Sully is that person in the book Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo. A person who everybody loves and hates, to varying degrees, and who deserves both, Sully finds that all of those responsibilities come to haunt him, along with thoughts of his abusive father, who Sully is slowly becoming as he spirals from the fear of responsibility, from the pain of his wrecked body, and from a reliance on alcohol and pain killers.

For a man who has always avoided responsibility, it is a difficult time. He is needed by his son Peter, who he has never shown any interest in, his ex-wife Vera, who hates him, and a grandson who he can't help loving. There are also the needs of his best friend Rub, his elderly landlady, his long-time girlfriend and her family,and various other characters who walk through his life and who he helps, even while doling out servings of his acid-tongued wit indiscriminately, unsparingly, and to great and horrible effect.

The narrator of this book displays amazing skill. There are many characters, all well written, in this book, and he brings life to all of them, adding to the author's fine description.

A lot happens in this book, but it is not written on a grand scale. It is a story of one man, and one town and by the end you love and hate them both, and wish that the story would go on forever.

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22 of 22 people found this review helpful

By Kate on 10-08-03

Russo is a master at blending humor and pathos

This is a book about quirky characters and the intertwining of their lives in a small town. You just know these are real people. Don't expect lots of action here but if you love a writer who is a real craftsman with words, one who clearly loves his characters and makes you love them too then this book is for you. Funny, sad, warm and enchanting. I'll listen to it over and over.

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21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Shirley on 11-15-08

Wonderful, masterful and wholly convincing

Wow, this book was absolutely wonderful! It's long, and so it took me an hour or so to get into it, but once it took hold it drew me right in, and by the time I started on the third part I was already regretting the fact that it was eventually going to end.

I've not read any of Richard Russo's books before, but I was blown away by his ability to create entirely sympathetic characters that I soon found myself caring about deeply. The dialogue sparkles, and I can't imagine a better reader for this particular title than Ron McLarty (whom I'd also not encountered before).

I've listened to a lot of books from Audible over the last few years, but this (along with Ender's Game) is right up there with the best I've ever heard. I've already downloaded 2 more of Richard Russo's books, and I hope they'll provide more of the same.

When this recording ended I felt almost bereaved, and that's a feeling I don't often experience at the end of a book these days. Richard Russo is a master of transforming the imagined minutiae of small-town life into something that takes you by the heart and simply doesn't let go. If you enjoy taking a peep into how other people live then rush over to the downloads page and grab it right now.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

By Sharon on 09-12-09

A wonderful, charming, book..

I downloaded this one with trepidation, as the description was so far removed from what I would normally buy. But I decided - take a chance, it's really long, so excellent value! I am SO pleased I did. The story does not have a plot per se, but the characterisation and dialogue are just wonderful. I feel like I know the protagonist and his circle of acquaintances intimately, and they are all beautifully drawn. Thoroughly recommended.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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