Empire Falls

Empire Falls

Paperback

By (author) Richard Russo

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 194mm x 36mm | 381g
  • Publication date: 2 June 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099422271
  • ISBN 13: 9780099422273
  • Sales rank: 50,553

Product description

Empire Falls, Maine: once a thriving hub of industry, this small town nestles in a bend of the vast and winding Knox River, and has always been the empire of the wealthy Whiting family. Now the last Mrs Whiting presides like a black widow spider over its declining fortunes. She harbours a grudge against her employee Miles Groby, who runs the Whiting-owned Empire Grill, but hopes one day to own it himself. Miles, gentle and hopeless, has other problems: his wife has run off with his worst customer, he frets about his adored teenage daughter, and his drunken father sponges off everyone. As the novel builds to a shocking climax, Russo constantly surprises with characters who will disarm you, a plot with as many twists and falls as the Knox River itself, and an ending that will make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.

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Author information

Richard Russo won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for his fifth novel, Empire Falls. He is also the author of Mohawk, The Risk Pool, Nobody's Fool, Straight Man, Bridge of Sighs and That Old Cape Magic, as well as a collection of stories, The Whore's Child; and a memoir, On Helwig Street. His original screenplay is the basis for Rowan Atkinson's film Keeping Mum. He lives with his wife in Maine.

Review quote

"I loved Richard Russo's Pulitzer-winning Empire Falls, a moving, brilliantly imagined and intensely satisfying novel about the slow death of a small town: Russo's characters are as loveable and as exasperating as family" -- Nick Hornby "His natural grace as a storyteller is matched by his compassion for his characters" -- John Irving "Like Anne Tyler, Russo is interested in how people rub along; in kindness and responsibility; in cutting slack without being asked. In the Empire Grill he has created a place so involving that not only can you see and smell it, but you start to feel a bit left out of the gin rummy. Russo makes an enormous job of story-telling look effortless. He is, in all the best senses of the word, a natural" Sunday Times "Richard Russo can write like Edith Wharton leavened with a touch of David Lodge" Economist "Russo's command of his story is unerring... He satisfies every expectation without lapsing into predictability, and the last section of the book explodes with surprises...One of the best novelists around" New York Times

Back cover copy

'His natural grace as a storyteller is matched by his compassion for his characters' John Irving 'Like Anne Tyler, Russo is interested in how people rub along; in kindness and responsibility; in cutting slack without being asked. In the Empire Grill he has created a place so involving that not only can you see and smell it, but you start to feel a bit left out of the gin rummy' Sunday Times Empire Falls, Maine: once a thriving hub of industry, this small town nestles in a bend of the vast and winding Knox River, and has always been the empire of the wealthy Whiting family. Now the last Mrs Whiting presides like a black widow spider over its declining fortunes. She harbours a grudge against her employee Miles Groby, who runs the Whiting-owned Empire Grill, but hopes one day to own it himself. Miles, gentle and hopeless, has other problems: his wife has run off with his worst customer, he frets about his adored teenage daughter, and his drunken father sponges off everyone. As the novel builds to a shocking climax, Russo constantly surprises with characters who will disarm you, a plot with as many twists and falls as the Knox River itself, and an ending that will make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. 'Richard Russo can write like Edith Wharton leavened with a touch of David Lodge' Economist 'One of the best novelists around' New York Times 'This is a big novel with a full canvas of human passions. Russo, a humane and traditional teller of truths, sustains his story and his readers' Irish Times Also by Richard Russo: [jpegs of Bridge of Sighs; The Risk Pool; Nobody's Fool]

Flap copy

With Empire Falls" Richard Russo cements his reputation as one of America's most compelling and compassionate storytellers. Miles Roby has been slinging burgers at the Empire Grill for 20 years, a job that cost him his college education and much of his self-respect. What keeps him there? It could be his bright, sensitive daughter Tick, who needs all his help surviving the local high school. Or maybe it's Janine, Miles' soon-to-be ex-wife, who's taken up with a noxiously vain health-club proprietor. Or perhaps it's the imperious Francine Whiting, who owns everything in town-and seems to believe that "everything" includes Miles himself. In Empire Falls" Richard Russo delves deep into the blue-collar heart of America in a work that overflows with hilarity, heartache, and grace.