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Nobody's Fool | [Richard Russo]

Nobody's Fool

Divorced from his own wife and carrying on halfheartedly with another man's, saddled with a bum knee and friends who make enemies redundant, Sully now has one new problem to cope with: a long-estranged son who is in imminent danger of following in his father's footsteps. With its sly and uproarious humor and a heart that embraces humanity's follies as well as its triumphs, Nobody's Fool is storytelling at its most generous.
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Publisher's Summary

In this slyly funny and moving novel, Richard Russo follows the unexpected operation of grace in a deadbeat, upstate New York town, and in the lives of the unluckiest of its citizens. Divorced from his own wife and carrying on halfheartedly with another man's, saddled with a bum knee and friends who make enemies redundant, sixty-year-old Sully now has one new problem to cope with: a long-estranged son who is in imminent danger of following in his father's footsteps. With its sly and uproarious humor and a heart that embraces humanity's follies as well as its triumphs, Nobody's Fool is storytelling at its most generous. Don't miss this great novel of impressive literary finesse shot through with wit and compassion.

© 1993 Richard Russo; (P) 2003 Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Russo is a master craftsman....The blue-collar heartache at the center of [his] fiction has the sheen of Dickens but the epic levity of John Irving....Nobody's Fool is a big, rambunctious novel with endless riffs and unstoppable human hopefulness." (The Boston Globe)
"...confident, assured novel sweeps the reader up in the daily life of its characters." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"A delight." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (570 )
5 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.1 (197 )
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Story
4.4 (194 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Sherry L. Wright Flower Mound, TX United States 02-19-04
    Sherry L. Wright Flower Mound, TX United States 02-19-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    147
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    335
    49
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    10
    Overall
    "not so great....."

    Very tedious. Was hard to keep interested - I got through this audio one book back and could not remember a thing about the book???? Not a good sign....

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon SouthamptonBermuda 01-27-04
    Sharon SouthamptonBermuda 01-27-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    167
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Nobody's Fool"

    I've never laughed so hard. The charactors are so incredibly believable. I feel as though I know them all

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Everett New York, NY, USA 11-12-03
    Everett New York, NY, USA 11-12-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Not a gripping novel"

    Having read Empire Falls, I had high expectations for Nobody's Fool, an earlier novel by Russo. This novel about smalltown life in upstate New York focuses on Donald Sullivan (Sully), a wisecracking, sarcastic, ne'er-do-well, but benevolent handyman who (at age 60) still has a tendency to drink too much and get into fights. Russo's writing is clever, and a few of the other characters in the book are nicely developed. Overall, however, I found this book to be plodding. Too little happened, both in terms of plot and in terms of any change in Sully's character. I did finish the book, but I sometimes wondered whether it was worth it. The narration, incidentally, was excellent.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jos United States 09-30-03
    Jos United States 09-30-03 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    "Not that great..."

    I have to admit I didn't finish this. I gave up after about 4 hours, none of which I enjoyed. While Empire Falls was really great, this book just plodded along, I wasn't interested in any of the characters and not much was happening. I wouldn't recommend it. The narrator though was excellent

    8 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sundogs3 Hendersonville, NC 12-19-04
    Sundogs3 Hendersonville, NC 12-19-04 Member Since 2002

    Diane

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    411
    1
    Overall
    "Very enjoyable"

    Try it, you'll like it. It's entertaining. You can laugh at the characters and the story, or you can put yourself in their shoes and laugh (or cry) with them. Very well done.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shirley Risingsun, OH, United States 02-11-04
    Shirley Risingsun, OH, United States 02-11-04 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    261
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Highly recommended"

    Great book, really enjoyed it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Marie Honolulu, HI United States 11-18-06
    S. Marie Honolulu, HI United States 11-18-06 Listener Since 2003

    S. Marie

    HELPFUL VOTES
    300
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    86
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
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    Overall
    "Ponderous & depressing"

    Like other reviewers, I loved Empire Falls so entered this one with high hopes. I was able to finish it, but it was not an enjoyable experience. The writing was excellent, but the story is a meandering stream headed nowhere.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cherri Maidens, VA, United States 06-15-08
    Cherri Maidens, VA, United States 06-15-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    18
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Only a fool"

    Ugh, I can't believe the hours I spent reading this horrible book. I listened although the language and characters were vulgar, thinking there must be some point, some redeeming value to this piece of work. But, to no avail. This book was a complete waste of my time, and my money. Oh well, no one twisted my arm to buy it, but I urge you not to make the same mistake. I yearned for the ending, and when it came, it was so anticlimactic that I didn't know it had arrived.

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
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