Russo has two subjects: academe and the working class, and he is equally at home and wry about both. This one is about academe and it's about the funniest in that line since Lucky Jim. Actually it has Lucky Jim licked coming and going, but then LJ is kind of dated. But it's in that mold. Zany maverick prof pulls every stunt he can think of to get himself turfed but just when it seems he's finally done it...well, you'll have to read it. You won't be sorry. This is America's funniest good novelist since Bellow in his Augie March days.
Richard Russo is one of the best writers living today. He's funny; he's witty; and he's insightful. I'd recommend any of his books. But this audio book is really worth the time. It got me from Orlando to Boston. You won't be disappointed.
Having thoroughly enjoyed 'Empire Falls' and 'Nobody
s Fool' and reading the raving reviews here, I was sorely disappointed in this BORING stream of first person 'cleverness' about nothing of interest.
I have a feeling that maybe this genre may appeal to academic insiders and admittedly, I dumped it at about the 4 hour mark. Maybe it gets better but I'll take a pass as no character or plot developed for me within my tolerable listening span.
This is a book about nothing. And not in the hilarious Seinfeld way. More in the snail's pace soap opera way. I don't see how this book ever got published since there is no character development, no plot, no thematic consistency. The book demonstrates a facility with language yet paradoxically has nothing to say. It's no more than a bunch of shallow, gossipy academics living out their daily trivialites with an occasional good laugh thrown in. But David Sedaris??? Not even close.
I ordered this audiobook after reading all of the glowing reviews about how hilarious it is. I listened for about two hours, waiting to laugh. Then all of a sudden it hit me... I've been listening to this for two hours, waiting for it to get funny. This could only mean... It's not going to GET funny... It ISN'T funny. What did I miss?
I was perhaps expecting too much when I heard this author was like John Irving, but I was still quite disappointed. The book lacks character development. Instead of following the main character through life and watching him grow, we follow a grumpy man while he stays grumpy and doesn't really learn anything new about himself. The book has some entertaining moments, but overall is a bore.
With such a high rating, I was anticipating a really good read but was sorely disappointed. The book is, frankly, boring. The dialogue is clever and the author has an excellent command of the language and sentence structure. Not enough I am afraid...I found myself shutting off this book to listen to other choices. Just did not hold my attention.