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Nobody's Fool Audiobook

Nobody's Fool

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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 (1333 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.2 (897 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.5 (897 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    timekeeper 06-14-16
    timekeeper 06-14-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Sully unfolds"

    Sully is a unique and universal character. he rings true, you have to keep watching.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie Cuozzo Poestenkill, NY USA 06-11-16
    Marie Cuozzo Poestenkill, NY USA 06-11-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    62
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    "Sully is a friend you never want to lose"

    This is one of my most favorite books of all time. It's one of the few books I've read more than once. Laugh out loud moments, touching moments and many realistic moments for someone who lived in a small down and out kind of town.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    deb 06-05-16
    deb 06-05-16 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very good story"

    This book is set in the eighties and outlines some pretty hilarious characters. I enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Sweeney 05-26-16
    S. Sweeney 05-26-16

    readinginbed

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Deeply perceptive and engaging; golden dialogue"
    Would you listen to Nobody's Fool again? Why?

    Absolutely--though I may not have time, because I'll be listening to other Russo books, as fast as they're added to the Audible library.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Nobody's Fool?

    As others have noted (or complained), this is literary fiction, not a Patterson or Cussler pot-boiler. There's no "arc" or cliffhangers or precipices. A "memorable moment" would be more a "memorable relationship," and Sully's affectionate interactions with his landlady (who was decades earlier his 8th grade teacher) is a primary indicator of who we're dealing with here. You have to love the repeated, retaliatory thefts of the snowblower, too, if you're needing to specify a "moment." Also, the scene in which the "escaped" Hattie is, in her dementia, walking down the middle of the road in robe and slippers, talking to herself, is especially poignant.


    Which character – as performed by Ron McLarty – was your favorite?

    The dialogue given to Sully created his character so insightfully and enjoyably crafted that I couldn't wait to hear what he'd say next. The cascade of man-to-man insults between characters mirrored the same kinds of banter I've heard in a lifetime of working around guys like this. More than any other character, Sully's next move was what I was most acutely tuned in to.


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

    I started the book on a long road trip, and had two hours left when I got back home. I was very tempted--though I was pulling a heavily loaded trailer--to just drive on another hour and then return home, so that I could finish the book. Yes, of course, I could just iPod the balance, but my point is, I didn't want to interrupt the experience.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Jones 05-16-16
    E. Jones 05-16-16
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    37
    2
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    Story
    "Slow story development, good if you stay with it"

    Starred so slow that I almost gave up several times. Good character details and storytelling with time. Author obviously paid very close attention to details of each character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Betty Bard 04-09-16
    Betty Bard 04-09-16 Member Since 2013
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    4
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    "nobody's fool"

    McLarty made this book. I will give it 5 stars. As they say I laughed, I cried. I'm sorry the next book isn't narrated by McLarty. It sounds just like where I grew up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Moncton, NB, Canada 03-31-16
    Laura Moncton, NB, Canada 03-31-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A man's book...."

    First of all, the narrator was AMAZING! He brought the book ALIVE with his ability to make you "see" all the characters in a scene. He made each character sound different and even did a great job on women's voices. Kudos to Ron McLarty!

    Now for the book: For the first half,I kept feeling like quitting. It is so much a "man's" story that I couldn't relate. From a woman's point of view, the men's mismanagement of their lives, both practical and emotional, just grated on my nerves. Their idiotic abuse of their health (hard-drinking, smoking, not sleeping, taking painkillers etc), their stubbornness, their incomprehension of the women in their lives, their gambling, their cheating, etc., - it was all so foreign to me that I despaired of ever "getting into" the book. Furthermore, the town itself was depressing - the poverty, the unemployment, the falling-down buildings, the decay... It made me feel sad and hopeless.

    However, I persisted, and, like other readers, I became fond of the characters and loved them in their flawed beauty. I went along for a reluctant ride, and like the residents of the town, kept wishing for an escape, some hope, maybe a salvation...

    Finally, the journey neared its end, and I was hoping for a revelation to put everything into perspective, but that never happened. The ending is as low-key as it gets! The book seemingly could have stopped anywhere at all and had the same effect. Things never wrapped up! You get the feeling that all these crazy people will keep doing what they're doing - just like the rest of us! They are chained to their treadmill of life.

    That said, I recognize the beauty and the genius of the writing. It is truly a work of great literature, and I will definitely be "reading" this author again. (Straight Man is my next choice from him.). This was a book of substance, a dissection of life, and the kind of book that always fascinates me - a delicious voyerism

    I must also mention the humour in the book. There were several scenes that made me giggle. There was a kind of Larry David humour to the drunken interactions in the bar, or Sully's gentle handling of the "old ladies" in the story. I can see why this book was made into a movie - which I would like to watch, if I can find it!

    If I had it to do over again, I still would, but there was effort involved in forcing myself to finish. Maybe that's what great literature is - requiring an effort to expand your knowledge of the breadth of human emotion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa 08-08-15
    Teresa 08-08-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Highly recommend"

    This has been a wonderful listening experiencing. The story and the characters were captivating. Can't say enough good things about this novel and my only regret is that it has ended. Humor is difficult to write but but Mr. Russo is a master. One of the best novels I've ever read. Lived it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcia 10-08-14
    Marcia 10-08-14
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    "I REALLY WANTED TO LIKE IT!"

    I really had great expectations for this book. Years ago read Empire Falls and loved it. I have listened to other books narrated by (and written by) this narrator, and he's great. I love getting into a long novel about small town life, interesting characters, and I had great hopes when I started listening to this one, especially after reading the stellar reviews. Unfortunately, I'm now giving up, with only four hours left to go . . . I keep trying to stick with it, but I just can't do it. The characters are static, the plot is just not interesting . . . the gruff voice the narrator uses for Sully, the main character, while authentic, is grating to listen to for so many hours. Sully has a lot of dialog! I just can't get excited about listening to old men (and I'm in their age group) talking to each other at work, at the cafe, at the bar, in the car, in the truck, etc. etc. etc. etc. I keep hoping Sully's relationship with his landlady, with his son, with his grandson, with his co-workers, etc. etc., will CHANGE, and maybe this will happen in the final four hours of the book, but I realize that I just can't bring myself to listen to four more hours. I'm disappointed, but being honest. I'm sorry, Sully!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eliza 03-12-13
    Eliza 03-12-13

    Eliza

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent Book (Skip the movie)"
    Would you listen to Nobody's Fool again? Why?

    Yes, twice already!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Nobody's Fool?

    Sully and Will.


    Which character – as performed by Ron McLarty – was your favorite?

    Sully, of course, but Mrs Beryl was essential to the story. Loved her!!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Sorry, but I thought the film was a waste of my time. Maybe if I had not read the book I would have enjoyed it, However, the film only touched on this story. I was looking forward to the film. Paul Newman was the perfect choice for the Sully character. But it was only a teaser. If you have seen the movie, don't think you have "read the book". Not by a long shot!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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