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.
© 1997 Richard Russo; (P) 2003 Random House, Inc.
"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 pleasure to read...I had to stop often to guffaw, gasp, wheeze and wipe away my tears." (Chicago Sun-Times)
"Russo can penetrate to the tender quick of ordinary, American lives." (Entertainment Weekly)
OMG, I've been struggling with this book for what seems like forever. I've been recommended to read it because I like David Lodge's novels about academics, and it is in no way like David Lodge. It's boring, the plot is weak, and the best chapter so far is the very beginning about the dog. Uff.
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...
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