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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1986 in the Vintage Contemporaries paperback series - and reissued now in audiobook - Richard Russo’s Mohawk remains today as it was described then: A first novel with all the assurance of a mature writer at the peak of form and ambition, Mohawk is set in upstate New York and chronicles more than a dozen lives in a leather town, long after the tanneries have started closing down. Ranging over three generations - and clustered mainly in two clans, the Grouses and the Gaffneys - these remarkably various lives share only the common human dilemmas and the awesome physical and emotional presence of Mohawk itself.

For this is a town like Winesburg, Ohio, or Our Town, in our time, that encompasses a plethora of characters, events, and mysteries. At once honestly tragic and sharply, genuinely funny, Mohawk captures life, then affirms it.

©1986 Richard Russo (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Richard Russo [is] a masterful storyteller with a mission: to chronicle with insight and compassion the day-to-day life of small-town America...alternating episodes of boisterous humor with moments of heart-wrenching pathos.... His characters are wholly sympathetic, but they are also human.” (Houston Chronicle)

“After the last sentence is read, the reader continues to see Russo’s tender, messed-up people coming out of doorways, lurching through life. And keeps on seeing them because they are as real as we are.” (Annie Proulx) 

“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.” (Boston Globe

What listeners say about Mohawk

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Narrator sounds like a computer

I love Richard Russo and decided to go back and listen to all of his books in order. I couldn’t finish Mohawk because I found the narrator so annoying. She sounds like a computerized voice.

5 people found this helpful

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Not Russo's best

This isn't even close to Russo's best. The characters were flat, and the story didn't hold my attention. I listened at 1.75 speed just to make the narrator sound somewhat human.

2 people found this helpful

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First novel was a baby step to greater heights

Alas, as happy as I am that Richard Russo has written some damn fine books, this first effort was not one of them. We all have to start somewhere, and I'm glad he did, but I'm sorry that his later efforts far outclass this one. It irritates me that Amazon/Audible now offers many authors early efforts without letting us know the date of publication, and I will from now research an authors bibliography before purchasing a book. Everyone starts somewhere, and first efforts are not what make an author famous or popular. First efforts are practice, practice, and practice, until they get good.

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Good Book

Writing was good , had some likable characters. I like the small town , normal Joe type setting and Russo does that well . My only complaint is with the narrator. She’s dry and monotone. And it took a few try’s to get into the book because of it. About midway she really gets into the story , but before you know if , She’s back to phoning in the computer voice . If you tough it out , the story is worth it , just wished they chosen a different narrator .

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well, I got through it....

I like Russo a lot but... not his best by a long shot. Disjointed, slow to come together.

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Humanoids from another planet!

Drunken blather divorced of intentionally, consequence or foresight. I didn’t recognize any of the characters who were presented as superficial working class caricatures devoid of goals who stumble from crisis to failure and back again. It’s a very depressing presentation of humanity.
The narration is good

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Narrator

Amanda Carlin was an excellent narrator for this book. Her voice beautifully evoked the atmosphere painted by Richard Russo's written words.