Beryl's way of thinking, to a mortified expression. I will title it, Fran and the Runaway Cow: A cow got loose just outside of town and was running across a rancher's property about the same time as Fran and her husband were driving down the road in her red convertible. A running joke is the repeated theft of Carl's snowblower. Sully, the 60-year old hero in this one, is not only a hopeless loser, as are most of Russo's characters, but - I won't spoil it by listing his character flaws but let's say he is not someone most of us would admire in real life. Last update: I finished the book by speed reading. But if I told them it concerned a few days in the life of a 60 year old misery-guts with a bad leg and that there wasn't a great deal of action then I wouldn't be selling it very well.
Death was not a thing unknown to the town's first hearty residents, but they seemed to have badly misjudged how much of it there'd be, how much ground would be needed to accommodate those lost to harsh winters, violent encounters with savages and all manner of illness. Sully was the perfect definition for 'antihero': imaginative, contemptuous of authority, and, above all, indifferent to pain. Unfortunately, her husband, Alfred, is losing his sanity to Parkinson's disease, and their children have long since flown the family nest to the catastrophes of their own lives. Well it has so no use speculating. At one point in this book he pimp slaps a woman, and there's another part in which he engages in an act that probably meets the legal definition of animal cruelty.
This book is long, and slow, and you just want it to continue for a longer time. We also enjoy the company of Doug Raymer, the chief of police whos obsessing primarily over the identity of the man his wife mightve been about to run off with before dying in a freak accident. Though blighted by Dutch elm disease in the '70s and more recently by a mold that attacked. Russo perfectly captures the desolation of small towns that have always longed to be something more than they are. Too many to pick out just one! Sully is just ending his studies at a neighboring community college while recuperating from a fall of a ladder which severely injured his knee. The scaled down plot of the movie actually works better as a story.
How does their relationship compare with Beryl's relationship with her real son, Clive, Jr. I didn't like being around them because they were like the people Sully knew. Sully is a rascally ne'er-do-well approaching retirement age. Sully's string of misfortunes may also be due to bad luck or malign predestination. As I was reading it, I couldn't help but picture Jack Nicholson playing the part of Sully.
God hopefully had common sense too, Sully hoped. I found it most successful when examining freedom of choice and personal responsibility. This novel contains lots of adolescent behavior from so-called adults, and the reader gradually becomes aware of the reasons behind what, on the surface, appears to be mean-spiritedness. The dialogue sparkles, and I can't imagine a better reader for this particular title than Ron McLarty whom I'd also not encountered before. In other words: Sign me up for more.
Library Journal One of the side plots of Everybody's Fool by Richard Russo involves a town outsider illegally dealing in dangerous exotic reptiles. Which made me both mad at myself and keep holding out for him to undergo some sort of growth, to become someone more than the sum total of his anger, his train wreck of a personal life, and his zingers: in this hope I was pretty nearly completely disappointed. Yeah, I don't do real well with those. More positively, he will become partially reconciled with his son Peter, whose own marriage has just fallen apart. Not much of any consequence happens. Okay, well, maybe only a demigod, but he's a literary deity for sure.
Read about the book on Amazon and Goodreads and you will find similar rave reviews. What causes the character s to act foolishly or otherwise be perceived as foolish? I was disappointed when the story ended because I didn't want to leave this town or the people. Anyone who has grown up or spent time in a small Northeastern town as I did will appreciate this book. Recommended to those with a preference for slowly-developing character-driven stories that comment on interpersonal relationships, especially fathers and sons. He would not let the owner of the dead cow take it away. I was talking to one of my friends about this book, and the conversation shifted from it to racism. The plot is secondary and there is no point in rehashing it here.
If you don't know Richard Russo novels you have a treat ahead of you. As a young man I left Gloversville determined to find my destiny in some finer place. There were a lot of similarities between the two books, the rundown New England towns, and the characters - what holds everything together is Russo's incredible prose. They cut up the cow and took it to a meat processing plant. I loved every page of this book and will read the sequel, Everybody's Fool soon. Most readers seem to have been able to enjoy the novel as a simple, politically incorrect lark. Sully lives at the house of Miss Beryl People, a widow in her eighties.