Monday, August 29, 2016

Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo

I love funny, true, heart-tugging literary fiction about small towns and the people you meet who live in them. Every town's unique, yet there's a commonality in all of them.

Sully's a crusty geezer with a short life expectancy due to a bad heart. Rub is Sully's needy best friend - Rub's also the name of Sully's mangy little dog because he loves barking orders and seeing which of them responds. Then there's Sully's former lover Ruth, who owns the diner, and her husband the junk man. Get the picture?

The other part of the story lies with police chief Doug Raymer, who's coming unraveled faster by the minute as the story goes on. He starts out by obsessing over his dead wife while standing at attention in the sun in uniform during a funeral, where he eventually faints and lands in the fresh-dug hole. That's just the start of his problems.

I loved, loved, LOVED this book. I adored this book. It's smart and funny, and the audiobook narration by Mark Bramhall was stellar. That's not to say I couldn't see through the plot in several places (I right away knew the identity of Becca's lover), but I was willing to overlook that for the startling turns the plot made elsewhere.

There are a few loose ends not wrapped up at the end, but I'm also OK with that. This was the second time Russo has presented us with life from North Bath, New York, so perhaps we can hope for more someday (but I won't hold my breath: there were 22 years between "Nobody's Fool" and this one).

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