OK, this is Mary's husband.
This is the second time I've listened to this book in the last 3.5 years, and it's fabulous -- I laugh uncontrollably. It probably helps if you're an ex-University rat, but the narrator is wonderful -- dry, ironic, with perfect timing. I love Richard Russo's work but I wish they had used Sam Freed for his other books.
Right up there with Lucky Jim as one of my favorite books.
Absolutely! I already have!
Russo's ability to depict the humorous aspects of the ordinary lives of these small town academicians.
A matter-of-fact reading that underscores and enhances the wry, witty, prose of Russo.
No. Each has its merits. I had actually read Straight Man in print when it was first published. And I enjoyed it again in audio. I suspect that I catch more bits when it is read to me, as I tend to skim a bit when reading myself. Russo is good with language and can set up some funny situations, so being forced to hear all of the words does not hurt.
I'm in academia. Much of this hit a nerve - or a funny bone.
To me, if the narrator is good, I don't notice I'm being read to. I just hear the story. So I'd say he did a good job.
hmm? other than Devereaux? How 'bout the duck?
I'm generally a Russo fan. This is probably my favorite.
I have listened at least 10 times...simply hilarious!
Russell finding Hank in the parking lot in his pee-stained chinos trying to escape to home...the interchange between them had me laughing out loud, very loudly!
Sam Freed was the best choice of performers. His voice was perfect and he will always be "Hank" to me.
I loved Occam. He became a real dog to me, and every moment he was included in the story made me want another dog.
Richard Russo is among my favorite authors and Straight Man is my favorite of all his books. I listen at least once each year and often more than that. Every time I listen to it I catch something I had either missed before or forgotten.
I will definitely listen to this book again. The narrator is outstanding. He performs rather than reads the books and his performance enhances the story.
Hank was my favorite because of his wit and his laid-back outlook on life. I always fall in love with the lead character in all of Richard Russo's books.
I was laughing out loud in my car in when Hank was crouched in the ceiling of the conference room covered in dirt and wet pants eavesdropping on his peers discussing whether or not to allow his to retain his chair of the English department. Hilarious!@!!!
Noooooo. I wanted it to go on forever. I didn't want it to end.
See headline ^^^^^^^.The deadpan, dead-on narration. The wonderful character development. The turn of phrase (and there are many) that still makes me laugh out loud spontaneously.
Occam. The dog, not the man. I'm not a groiner by nature, but I can play that role...
I'm always looking for that well written gem.
It is true to life. The characters are real. The world is immersive and in the end, meaningful.
The Rabbit series by John Updike. A great examination of a twentieth century male.
Spot on. Absolutely no distractions. Perfect for this book. He actually sounded just like one of my English professors.
I would say the main character because so much of the book is about him. But I have to go with the campus CEO, Dicky Pope. He only appears in one chapter but Russo nails him so perfectly as
Russo is too damn good. After I listen or re-listen to any of his books, I can't enjoy my next read. It's as if I've sipped a fine wine and then have been handed a Grain Belt. It leaves a sour taste. Richard Russo has my permission to write a story that never ends - he can pick any character and examine life as it happens through their eyes, endlessly. I would happily follow where ever he wants to go. Thank you Mr Russo.
Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.
Straight Man is really a 2.5 star book, but a good cup of coffee has made me feel generous in rounding. I was looking for something that was laugh out loud funny, and there were several occasions that I did just that, but not enough to make this a worthwhile read. Overall, the book struck me as more sad than humorous. William Henry Devereaux Jr. is the chairman of a small Pennsylvania state college English department. He doesn't take anything seriously, and the book evolves into a series of stories, conversations, ridiculous situations, and Hank's thoughts while the caricature characters worry about budget cuts and hit each other. Hank prattles on about Occam's razor and the status of his urinary tract far too much for me. I'm not in a position to judge whether this accurately reflects the personalities, interactions, and craziness of a college English department, but too much struck me as far-fetched and absurd. I will have to try some other authors (Jane Smiley, David Lodge) in search of good academic humor.