Nobody's Fool

Nobody's Fool

Paperback

By (author) Richard Russo

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Paperback $12.92
  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 560 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 198mm x 36mm | 431g
  • Publication date: 2 June 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099574918
  • ISBN 13: 9780099574910
  • Sales rank: 247,511

Product description

It is Thanksgiving in North Bank and Sully, old Miss Beryl's feckless lodger, does not have much to be thankful for. His arthritic knee is acting up and so is his truck; his ex-wife is at the end of her tether; his mistress is giving him the cold shoulder; and the grinning ghost of his father won't leave him alone. The future looks bleak when Sully's son Peter, a morose college professor, returns, offering Sully a chance to address a lifetime of neglected responsibilities and threatening his carefree existence.

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Author information

Richard Russo won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his fifth novel Empire Falls (made into a TV series starring Paul Newman, Ed Harris, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Helen Hunt). He is also the author of Mohawk, The Risk Pool, Nobody's Fool, Straight Man and Bridge of Sighs, as well as a collection of stories, The Whore's Child. His original screenplay is the basis for Rowan Atkinson's film Keeping Mum, with Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas. He has collaborated with Robert Brenton on the screenplays for Nobody's Fool (filmed with Paul Newman) and Twilight. He lives with his wife in Maine and in Boston.

Review quote

"A rude, comic, harsh, galloping story of four generations of small-town losers, the best literary portrait of the backwater burg since Main Street" -- Annie Proulx "Perhaps if it was pointed out that here was a US writer who stood somewhere between Anne Tyler at her darkest and Russell Banks, with an occasional hint of Richard Ford at his least bleak, perhaps Russo would become as widely read as he deserves to be" Irish Times "Nobody's Fool is big, funny and richly human, a garrulous book that buttonholes you in the first few pages and does not let you go... In Sully, Russo has created a character you cannot resist" Financial Times "Russo lifts a generous slice of middle America in all its flavours... Nobody's Fool is a great-hearted, unforgettable comedy in the best tradition of John Irving and Anne Tyler" Vogue "This is a novel of charm and wit, akin to the works of Alice Hoffman, Anne Tyler and Garrison Keillor" Time Out

Editorial reviews

Set in upstate New York like its predecessors (Mohawk, 1986; The Risk Pool, 1988), Russo's third is a slice of small-town life: thick slice, big cast, much bustle, but no storyline, no climax, no epiphanies. It is Donald Sullivan, known as Sully, who is "nobody's fool" (both meanings apply). The 60-year-old handyman, who has lived all his life in the Adirondacks town of New Bath, has relied on his ability to roll with the punches to see him through a harsh childhood (dominated by his brutal father, Big Jim), a brief marriage to the demanding Vera, and other adversities, some the result of his own "stupid streaks." During the midwinter weeks in 1984 that are the novel's span, the fun-loving but self-destructive Sully's latest stupid streak will end his long relationship with his mistress Ruth, a married woman, and jeopardize his tenancy (Sully lives in the home of his retired eighth-grade teacher, Miss Beryl, a spry, good-hearted octogenarian); he will also deck a cop and spend time in jail. More positively, he will become partially reconciled with his son Peter, whose own marriage has just fallen apart. As we follow Sully from his various workplaces to his hangouts (Hattie's diner, the bar, the OTB) and listen to the endless joshing between him and his sidekick Rub, a loyal half-wit, his equally loyal lawyer Wirf, and his tomcatting boss Carl Roebuck, we realize that Russo's novel is about the compensations of male camaraderie for the unsuccessful husband, father, and lover. Russo does small-town life as well as anyone, but his latest is too much of a good thing. He leaves the impression of a writer who has reached a plateau but is unwilling or unable to move on. (Kirkus Reviews)

Back cover copy

'Russo lifts a generous slice of middle America in all its flavours... Nobody's Fool is a great-hearted, unforgettable comedy in the best tradition of John Irving and Anne Tyler' Vogue It is Thanksgiving in North Bank and Sully, old Miss Beryl's feckless lodger, does not have much to be thankful for. His arthritic knee is acting up and so is his truck; his ex-wife is at the end of her tether, his mistress is giving him the cold shoulder, and the grinning ghost of his father won't leave him alone. The future looks bleak when Sully's son Peter, a morose college professor, returns, offering Sully a chance to address a lifetime of neglected responsibilities and threatening his carefree existence. 'Perhaps if it was pointed out that here was a US writer who stood somewhere between Anne Tyler at her darkest and Russell Banks, with an occasional hint of Richard Ford at his least bleak, perhaps Russo would become as widely read as he deserves to be' Irish Times 'Nobody's Fool is big, funny and richly human, a garrulous book that buttonholes you in the first few pages and does not let you go... In Sully, Russo has created a character you cannot resist' Financial Times 'The laughs come easily in Richard Russo's feel-good novel' Independent Also by Richard Russo: [jpegs of Empire Falls, The Risk Pool, That Old Cape Magic]

Flap copy

In his slyly funny and moving new novel, the author of The Risk Pool follows the unexpected operation of grace in a deadbeat, upstate New York town--and in the lives of the unluckiest of its citizens. Soon to be a major motion picture starring Paul Newman, Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, and Jessica Tandy. Author reading tour. "From the Trade Paperback edition.