June 24, 2009

Straight Man by Richard Russo

At the BEA, this year, Pete Dexter said this is the best novel he’s ever read, so I had to read it, straight away. I’ve always liked Russo so Dexter’s comment spurred me to read it.

This book had me laughing out loud; with its combination of characters and their thoughts and fantasies. Russo is an easy, elegant writer. The book is beautifully plotted, and Russo makes you care about his character, Devereaux, and his fate. He also makes you laugh out loud. "Truth be told," Devereaux muses in the prologue, "I'm not an easy man. I can be an entertaining one, though it's been my experience that most people don't want to be entertained. They want to be comforted." Somehow Russo has managed both. It’s a book about the relationships in our jobs and families; it’s well worth the read.

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