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Though Hank tries to apply William of Occam's rational approach (choose simplicity) to each increasingly absurd situation, and even has a dog named after the philosopher, he does seem to cause most of his own enormous difficulties. Not least when he grabs a goose and threatens to off a duck (sic) a day until he gets his budget. The fact that he is also wearing a fake nose and glasses and doing so in front of a TV camera complicates matters even further. Hank tries to explain to one class that comedy and tragedy don't go together, but finds the argument "runs contrary to their experience. Indeed it may run contrary to my own." It runs decidedly against Richard Russo's approach in Straight Man, and the result is a hilarious and touching novel. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Probably the funniest book I've ever read. I don't laugh out loud much when I'm reading, but this book had me tearing up with laughter at points (and attracting a lot of odd looks... Read morePublished 15 hours ago by Sarah
Well written, laughed out loud, some very thought provoking themes. This book was recommended to me. Didn't know the author, but will read him againPublished 2 days ago by Margie Florida
This book was not interesting at all. I felt as though it was poorly written. It is not an attention-grabbing piece of fiction. Very disappointed.Published 4 days ago by dmseifer
Wonderful read for someone in academia (like myself). Russo does an excellent job of poking fun at college departments.Published 10 days ago by Ben
I laughed out loud reading this book, many times. If academia is of interest, it is even funnier. I often try to pick my favorite sentence out of the book I am reading, in this one... Read morePublished 13 days ago by J. K. Berry
How do you do it? I loved this book. Thank you RichardRusso. You did it again.
Dickens was mentioned. ... Read more
Richard Russo's novel, Straight Man, was gifted to me by my dear cousin Angelene after a visit in which I lamented over how most comic novels don't measure up to the hyperbolic... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Jack Vian
Richard Russo is a brilliant writer but he tends to go to dark and scary places in a lot of his novels and it makes me terribly uncomfortable. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Cold Feet
Reminds me of David Lodge's writing. Teasing, ironic, and absolutely authentic to core academic experience. A pleasure to read. All.Published 27 days ago by Julia