101 of 105 people found the following review helpful
Another classic by Russo,
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This review is from: Nobody's Fool (Paperback)
Richard Russo hasn't published very many books, but he is quickly becoming one of the great authors of today. In Nobody's Fool, he writes another excellent tale of small-town life, a setting he revisits in his masterpiece, Empire Falls.
The main character in Nobody's Fool is Donald Sullivan, known more commonly as Sully. Sully is something of a free spirit, rarely thinking beyond the moment; now that he's sixty, he's feeling the effects of his short-sightedness; he has many friends but few real relationships, even with his son and his off-and-on again lover. Indeed, the closest relationship he has is with his landlady.
It's hard to describe this novel in terms of plot, since this is more a book about characters than a regular story. Russo is not interested in the standard beginning-middle-end structure of a novel; instead this book is almost pure middle. Plenty happens, but as in real life, few things are neatly resolved.
Russo is a brilliant writer and makes all his characters multi-dimensional. There are no good guys or bad guys here; even Sully, a likeable enough fellow, has some definite flaws. The way all these characters interact - Sully, his landlady Miss Beryl, his friend/worshipper Rub, his foe/friend Carl and the dozen or so others - is what makes this book so much fun. There is humor here, but this is not a comic novel; instead, it is a novel that does not fit well into any category.
For those whose tastes run beyond strict genre fiction, this is definitely a reccomended read. It just one indication of what a great writer Russo is.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 30, 2009 12:22:48 PM PDT
Paul W. Loomis says:
The reviewer is right on. I have read few books that I have so thoroughly savored as this book and look forward to reading his other work. Oddly enough, it is not a page-turner, for plot is virtually non-existent. But what a writer he is and what true to life characters he presents---and delightful characters they are. I highly commend the book and agree totally with every word of this reviewer.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2013 11:20:26 AM PDT
Christine M Durkin says:
You nailed it Paul, as did the first reviewer who said "there are few Richard Russo books". I'm delighted to find there's a new one I've not yet had the indulgence of reading yet. For anyone who chooses any one of his novels and enjoys it; I assure you that you will love them all.
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