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Richard Russo Novels

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I just finished Everybody's Fool, Richard Russo's years later sequel to Nobody's Fool." It is a tremendous work, really funny and yet genuine and profound. Probably the best novel I've read in a couple of years. It can be read without reading the predecessor, but I'd recommend reading both, in the order in which they were written.

I've also read three other books by Russo, Empire Falls, Straight Man and Bridge of Sighs.. They're all really funny and very good. Empire Falls, which won the Pulitzer Prize, was my favorite of all of them until now, but I'd now put Everybody's Fool in a flat-footed tie.

Russo's novels are set in small towns that are past their primes and feature the people who choose to stay there. I've never lived in a place like that, but reading his work, I feel like I know exactly what it would be like. If you've never read him, do yourself a favor and try him.

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I just finished Trajectory, which is a cellection of four Russo short stories, one of which is more like a novella.    They're all really well done and leave you wanting more.    

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On vacation this week, I read That Old Cape Magic, written by Russo about ten years ago.    It’s not considered one of his better novels, but I really enjoyed it.    It’s about a guy whose parents used to take him to Cape Cod every summer, and he is returning there to attend a wedding.    Through that vehicle he looks back at his parents and their relationship with him and  each other, and his own relationship with his wife and her family, whose dynamics are very different.    It’s a short novel and well told.   

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