Straight Man
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Straight Man

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Expected delivery to the United States by Christmas Expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas

Description

William Henry Devereaux, Jr., spiritually suited to playing left field but forced by a bad hamstring to try first base, is the unlikely chairman of the English department at West Central Pennsylvania University. Over the course of a single convoluted week, he threatens to execute a goose, has his nose slashed by a feminist poet, discovers that his secretary writes better fiction than he does, suspects his wife of having an affair with his dean, and finally confronts his philandering elderly father, the one-time king of American Literary Theory, at an abandoned amusement park.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 129.54 x 203.2 x 22.86mm | 113.4g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Vintage Books
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0375701907
  • 9780375701900
  • 443,677

Flap copy

In this uproarious new novel, Richard Russo performs his characteristic high-wire walk between hilarity and heartbreak. Russo's protagonist is William Henry Devereaux, Jr., the reluctant chairman of the English department of a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt. Devereaux's reluctance is partly rooted in his character--he is a born anarchist-- and partly in the fact that his department is more savagely divided than the Balkans. In the course of a single week, Devereaux will have his nose mangled by an angry colleague, imagine his wife is having an affair with his dean, wonder if a curvaceous adjunct is trying to seduce him with peach pits, and threaten to execute a goose on local television. All this while coming to terms with his philandering father, the dereliction of his youthful promise, and the ominous failure of certain vital body functions. in short, Straight Man is classic Russo--side-splitting and true-to-life, witty, compassionate, and impossible to put down.show more

About Richard Russo

Richard Russo lives in coastal Maine with his wife and their two daughters. He has written five novels: Mohawk, The Risk Pool, Nobody's Fool, Straight Man, and Empire Falls, and a collection of stories, The Whore's Child.show more

Review quote

"The funniest serious novel I have read since--well, maybe since Portnoy's Complaint." -- Tom De Haven, The New York Times Book Review "There is a big, wry heart beating at the center of Russo's fiction." --The New Yorker "[Russo] skewers academic pretensions and infighting with mad abandon...in a clear and muscular prose that is a pleasaure to read....I had to stop often to guffaw, gasp, wheeze, and wipe away my tears." -- Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times "Bursting with humor and insight." --USA Todayshow more