Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.98 shipping
+ Free Shipping
Trajectory: Stories Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 2, 2017
Inspire a love of reading with Prime Book Box for Kids
Discover delightful children's books with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers new books every 1, 2, or 3 months — new customers receive 15% off your first box. Learn more.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“[Trajectory is] so rich and flavorsome that the temptation is to devour it all at once. I can’t in good conscience advise otherwise.” —Laura Collins-Hughes, The Boston Globe
“Russo develops these stories with smooth assurance, allowing readers to discover layers of meaning in his perfectly calibrated narration.” —Publishers Weekly
“Russo rarely wastes a word, interweaving details and dialogue into master classes on storytelling.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Russo’s [characters] are sharply in view, and like opera singers performing quintets or sestets, they are all vital contributors. Equally significantly, their problems spring from their personalities, and the resolutions are heart-warming because they do indeed feel like real possibilities. . . . All four stories are challenging because they raise questions about why we live our lives the way we do, and if that’s all right.”—Claire Hopley, The Washington Times
“Russo has fashioned tales compact enough to make an immediate impression (and to read in a single sitting), but rich [in] believable characters, graceful plotting and pointed dialogue.”—Peter Tonguette, The Columbus Dispatch
“Entertaining and compellingly provocative. . . . vibrant narratives with distinctive characters.”—Robert Allen Papinchak, New York Journal of Books
- Item Weight : 12.8 ounces
- Hardcover : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1101947721
- ISBN-13 : 978-1101947722
- Product Dimensions : 5.9 x 0.94 x 8.5 inches
- Publisher : Knopf; First Edition (May 2, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #187,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Two of these stories deal with the relationship between brothers. In “Voice,” Nate, a retired college professor, is on a group tour of Venice with his brother Julian. Their mother was killed in a fire, a tragedy which provides subtext for their fractious relationship. Of the two women in the group, Evelyn does not appear attractive at first but later in the story Nate realizes that she actually looks pretty nice. The other woman is Renee and she connects with Julian. Julian is all “surface charm” but Nate is “solid stuff.” The story flips back and forth from the present in Venice to the past when Nate was teaching and wondering what to do about a student named Opal Mauntz. (Where does Russo get these names?) Opal writes brilliant essays but acts very strange in class; sits alone, faces the other way and doesn’t speak.
In the story called “Intervention” Ray has a brother nicknamed Vinnie who brags a lot about his contacts. “You want Red Sox tickets? Call me.” Ray and Vinnie had an uncle named Jack (their father’s brother) and he was a “fixer.” Jack was always touting various kinds of investments. “Can’t go wrong with this one. Have to get into it early so you don’t miss out.” Ray and his wife Paula have a small garage with two cars that barely fit and the garage door often gets stuck. Ray is in real estate and is trying to sell a house owned by a woman named Nicki. She’s a hoarder and the house’s interior is a mess. Ray gets help from Vinnie to clean out the house to make it look better. Ray has an appointment in Boston for a medical exam. He has a tumor and is afraid of losing control, “another bare assed man being told what to do by others,” but he’s resigned to having surgery.
The last story called “Milton and Marcus” is told by a first person narrator who writes movie screenplays and sounds a lot like Richard Russo. (He did collaborate with Paul Newman several times.) There’s plenty of Hollywood gossip in this tale centered on a big screen personality called William “Regular Bill” Nolan who lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Really? Right away I saw that we were reading about “Ordinary Bob” Redford who hangs his Stetson in Sundance, Utah. Midway through the story, Nolan tells a long tale about having a sudden hankering for the perfect margarita. With a woman friend in tow, Nolan embarked on a journey from Jackson Hole to Santa Fe, NM where he decamped at a well known watering hole for that perfect margarita. As a twenty-two year resident of The City Different, I knew exactly that he was referring to Maria’s, a restaurant that my wife and I have visited many times. Robert Redford was a frequent visitor to Maria’s but I never had the good luck to be there on the same evening. And yes, Maria does make the perfect margarita.
"Voice" is a slight reworking (or maybe just straight re-publishing) of his earlier story "Nate In Venice". Nate, another academic has left teaching after a traumatic experience and his trying to reconnect with the world in general, and his obnoxious brother in particular.
"Intervention" shows the relationship of two couples - one of whom needs surgery but is not facing it. It captures a terrific moment that goes a long way to show why long-term relationships can work: "He and Paula had been married for close to thirty years, thanks in large part to a mutual willingness to let an arched eyebrow do the heavy lifting of soliloquy." [p 136]. As a person married over 40 years I can say that perfectly captures a part of married life.
"Milton and Marcus" shows a film writer trying to reconnect with his career while his wife is sick. As one relationship - writing - may be picking up; the other may be ending.
This short but beautiful collection of stories is Russo in a nutshell, capturing people in their innermost thoughts as they work their way through the world - either successfully or not. The world just never stops: "Hanging up, I felt worse for Cassie than myself. Because this brutal world simply will not spare you - even when you're young - knowledge of the work in the apple." [p 242]
Two of Russo’s incredible strengths as a writer are: first, that he writes so compellingly about relationships between men. In many of his past novels the often contentious father-son relationship has been explored in depth; in “Trajectory” we have several sets of brothers who have relationships that vary from close to acrimonious. Russo’s second strength, is his ability to write dialogue that we can “hear” vividly; dialogue that just seems “right”…as well as witty and sardonic. No wonder than his works have been made into movies and TV mini-series!
I’m not going to detail the plots of these stories, others have done so, and frankly I just unwrapped the book from its Amazon mailer and started reading; I was thoroughly charmed as I believe all Russo lovers will be.