Nobody's Fool

Nobody's Fool

Book - 1994
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Sully, one of North Bath's unluckiest citizens, has been triumphantly doing the wrong thing for fifty years. Divorced from his own wife and carrying on halfheartedly with another man's, saddled with a bum knee and friends who make enemies redundant, 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.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1994, c1993
Edition: 1st Vintage Contemporaries ed
ISBN: 9780679753339
Characteristics: 549 p. ; 21 cm


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Mar 24, 2019

after reading his Empire Falls, and watching dvd 201903, rec'd by Scarum

Feb 28, 2019

This was an interesting and a frustrating book to review. The characters are warm, kind, hurtful, caring and make some bad decisions. We're told at the beginning that the town of Bath has been making bad decisions for 200 years, so I guess these people come by it honestly.
Sully is a frustrating and interesting character. In the three weeks that occur in this book, he makes some bone-headed decisions of the most self-destructive kinds. Yet he helps and cares for those around hm. He's his own worst enemy. Every decision seems hell bent on destroying him, except those he makes to help others. Those decisions are good.
This is an interesting character study of a small town. It's also an interesting study of a down-and-out man, who's determined to keep himself low.
I look forward to continuing with Sully's story in Everybody's Fool one day soon.

Jun 07, 2018

This is a slow read (the entire book takes place over a week's time) and not a whole lot happens, plot-wise. Instead, when you finish, Sully will feel real to you. Not someone you particularly like, but still, you'll be sad to say goodbye to him.

Mar 12, 2018

Loved this book. Couldn't put it down. Ready to read the rest of Russo.

Oct 13, 2017

Do yourself a favor and watch the DVD. It's as awful as the book, but will waste only two hours of your life. I was initially so interested in this book because the writing is excellent and the characters are so well developed, but there was NO PLOT. Literally nothing happened at the end. It was the story of some people's lives over the course of a few weeks and NOTHING happened at the end. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I like for well developed characters to reach some kind of conclusion by the end of 550 pages. Not so here.

Nov 22, 2016

Did not complete. Did not hold my attention....very boring.

Nov 14, 2016

What can I say except “Bravo, Mr. Russo, for making me care about such boring people, people I wanted to say ‘Get a life’.” Sully, an aging construction worker who seems to have ZERO going for him, has wormed his way into my heart because of Russo’s writing. Russo has shown that the boring everyday mundane happenings in our lives can make great stories.

Aug 11, 2014

I'd seen the film version of this, starring Paul Newman and Jessica Tandy (in her final role), years ago, but just read the book. While I liked the movie, it hardly does justice to the book, which is much more involved, detailed, and moving. Russo focuses on a small, sleepy upstate New York town with the intensity of a 19th century novelist, and with the dry, sometimes bleak humor of Raymond Carver. His sorta hero is Sully, an older man who wouldn't have any luck if it weren't for bad luck. He's divorced, doesn't have a steady job, has a bum leg, and is generally regarded as a bum, even by his friends. Yet Russo makes him and the other denizens of this shabby little town come to life, without mocking them or cheapening their experience. It's a rare gift. It has moments of humor, moments of heartbreak, and moments of grace and should be seen as one of the great American novels of the last 25 years.

Aug 26, 2010

Rick Russo writes dialogue better than most, and this is a terrific example.

Aug 07, 2010

Although not as nose-snortingly funny as "Straight Man', "Nobody's Fool" has Richard Russo bringing dark humor closer to the surface than he normally does. (Contrasted, for instance, with "Bridge of Sighs").

A sardonic handyman's delicate but hilarious accommodations with the world around him collapse, as he struggles to find a new equilibrium.

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SqueeGirl Oct 14, 2009

Unlucky Sully faces numerous obstacles--a bum knee, terminal underemployment, and a not-too-helpful group of friends--as he copes with a new problem, his long-estranged son.


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