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Publisher's Summary

Richard Russo, at the very top of his game, now returns to North Bath in upstate New York and the characters who made Nobody's Fool (1993) a "confident, assured novel" according to the San Francisco Chronicle back then. "Simple as family love, yet nearly as complicated." Or, as The Boston Globe put it, "a big, rambunctious novel with endless riffs and unstoppable human hopefulness".

The irresistible Sully, who in the intervening years has come by some unexpected good fortune, is staring down a VA cardiologist's estimate that he has only a year or two left, and it's hard work trying to keep this news from the most important people in his life: Ruth, the married woman he carried on with for years...the ultra-hapless Rub Squeers, who worries that he and Sully aren't still best friends...Sully's son and grandson, for whom he was mostly an absentee figure (and now a regretful one). We also enjoy the company of Doug Raymer, the chief of police who's obsessing primarily over the identity of the man his wife might've been about to run off with before dying in a freak accident...Bath's mayor, the former academic Gus Moynihan, whose wife problems are, if anything, even more pressing...and then there's Carl Roebuck, whose lifelong run of failing upward might now come to ruin. And finally there's Charice Bond - a light at the end of the tunnel that is Chief Raymer's office - as well as her brother, Jerome, who might well be the train barreling into the station.

Everybody's Fool is filled with humor, heart, hard times, and people you can't help but love, possibly because their various faults make them so stridently human. This is classic Russo - and a crowning achievement from one of the greatest storytellers of our time.

©2016 Richard Russo (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Mark Bramhall’s gorgeous narration of this deeply satisfying novel makes me wonder what it would be like for a great symphonic conductor to play all the instruments himself. Bramhall is superbly skilled and has a beautiful voice with amazing range, but what astonishes here is his humanity, not to mention sense of humor, as he brings Russo's entire town of North Bath, New York, to madcap life." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant, hilarious, long-awaited sequel!

Any additional comments?

I love Richard Russo's books, and my long-time favorite has been Nobody's Fool. When this sequel recently appeared in Audible's new fiction, I preordered it and started listening the moment it arrived. The motley crew is back, and it's been great fun following their escapades through Russo's exquisite prose. Mark Bramhall does a very fine job with the narration too. I highly recommend both books and would start with the first one. (To Mr Russo - thank you, and please write more often!)

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perhap's Russo's best book

If you could sum up Everybody's Fool in three words, what would they be?

I could not. Far too rich.

What did you like best about this story?

The captured interplay of personalities, and of a place, and its people, experiencing both personal and environmental change, and its extremely sly sense of humor. Oh, and the book sounds wonderful, and the dialog is memorable. As are some of its conclusions, and all of its characters.

What does Mark Bramhall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He does a decent job of reading, and the book is meant to be read out loud. In that sense, like all of Russo, it's a prose poem.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I didn't get to, but it's the kind of book I would want with me, along with a pair sound-dampening headphones, on a long overnight international flight.

Any additional comments?

It's part of a group of books that I will read or listen to many times. It has already spurred me to go listen to Russo's earlier novels, even if I have read or listened to them before.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • Waltham, MA, United States
  • 07-17-16

slow start but strong ending

Twenty five years ago, I read Nobody's Fool, and recently listened to the audiobook. This sequel was helped and hurt by the fact that it is a continuation of one of my all-time favorite novels. It was helped by the fact that I totally cared about so many characters from book one. It was hurt by the very high bar it had to live up to. Everybody's Fool, like its prequel, meanders through the lives of many characters in this small town in rural New York state. It covers their past and present, with the many interconnections. The main character in this novel is not Sully. It is Doug Raymer, the stupid police officer who pulled a gun on Sully in the previous book. Raymer is neither a sympathetic nor funny character, and I was so disappointed to have him at the center of this sequel. Other minor characters from before became major ones here. For the first half of this book, I was missing Sully, Mrs. Peoples, and Rub, the lovable characters at the center of Nobody's Fool. I did not care so much about the new set of people. There was enough about of old friends that I stayed with the novel, and in the second half, I finally started caring about the new characters, making the second half of the novel really good to me. At its best, in the second half, it never gets to the level of the prequel, but I still really enjoyed it. I'm not sure if this would stand on its own, but I'm glad that I listened to it shortly after Nobody's Fool. Together they gave me about 40 hours of entertainment. The first half of this was a 3 star story, with the second half a solid 5 star one to me.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Missed Richard Russo!

He's that rarest of authors- one who commands every emotion in everything he writes. Though not as laugh out loud funny as Nobody's Fool, this telling of the same characters lives now farther down the stretch makes up for it in depth & richness in characters. Getting older diminishes the laughs a bit in real life, & this held true in this excellent novel. But when the laughs did come, often at unexpected moments, I found myself bursting out regardless of where I was:). Mark Bramhall was an excellent choice as narrator, doing all characters to perfection.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Janice
  • Sugar Land, TX, United States
  • 01-24-17

Everybody is foolish now and then

This sequel to “Nobody’s Fool” has taken that story and moved 10 years down the road, continuing the examination of the citizens of Bath, New York. Lovers of the original will need to adjust to a shift in POV and emphasis away from Sully, although he remains a very strong presence.

Where in the original, Sully was Nobody’s Fool - living life on his own terms, scoffing at those who would change him - in the sequel, Doug Raymer is Everybody’s Fool, living with his finger perpetually in the air, testing the winds of others’ approval (or more likely disapproval). All of the familiar characters are here: Sully, Ruth, Rub, and Carl. There are new characters as well. But the main focus is on Raymer, the fool who 10 years ago discharged his gun at Sully for driving on the sidewalk. He is now Chief of Police, and somewhat less moronic about his police duties, but clearly struggling with self-doubt and insecurities about everything he does. The question is whether he can pull his life together and become the kind of man he always wished he could be.

Covering the events of only a few days, these characters all find themselves having to ponder the consequences of living flawed lives, making flawed decisions and living with the fallout. There is Russo’s usual dry ironic humor and a bit of silliness as Raymer gets caught in a couple of absurd situations. But there is an abundance of warmth and humanity as these small town neighbors come to understand and feel compassion for each other in spite of their pasts. Very character driven, Russo succeeds in bringing the cast to life and drawing the reader into the community. Read very well by Mark Bramhall, well recommended, but also recommend reading “Nobody’s Fool” first.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Harper
  • Wildwood, FL United States
  • 06-10-16

Russo has done it again!

What a great book. Russo just takes you and drops you into the little town to people-watch and eavesdrop to your heart's content. Loved the story, loved the characters. Just an excellent book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

electric and mundane and funny

The male characters honestly reflect the wide variety of how men view and struggle with their relationships to the women in their life; from brutal violence to an obsession with sex to fear to honor and even love.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Unenviable task

Pathetic reading of a highly anticipated sequel. Sully is a rascal. He and our other favorite characters are lost in this reading. Painful. Mr. McLarty, you are missed.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very satisfying follow up to Nobody's Fool

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, It picks up the characters of Nobody's Fool but makes them fresh and interesting.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Everybody's Fool?

The cemetery fiasco.

Which character – as performed by Mark Bramhall – was your favorite?

I'm a total sucker for Sully, perhaps because I see Paul Newman's face when i imagine him.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. Better in smaller bites.

Any additional comments?

Russo closes the loop on loose ends, but also finds time to dig deep into the different characters, some of whom are incredibly awful, but very believable.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Paula
  • Overland Park, KS USA
  • 12-18-16

Ugh! So disappointed!

Be forewarned. This is like listening to paint drying. Or listening to (not watching) reruns of Seinfeld but all the funny stuff has been edited out. Or listening to a boring voice reading of Wikipedia listing of all of Russo's previous characters.

Russo may be a great author, but either he missed the boat on this one or I did. The first 5-6 hours of this tedious book barely mention Sully, who was such a great character in "Nobody's Fool" -- a book I enjoyed both as a listen and as a movie. It starts with the Judge's funeral, then Rub's life story, then Ramond's (the chief of police) life story, then on to one character after another that were part and parcel of NF. But really!!!

Just mark me disappointed. I had hoped for something much different, much better, and much more engaging. I got hours and hours of nothing special, if not downright awful.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful