This is the 4th book I've read from this excellent writer. His characters always come to life, but this one lacks the same charm as Mowhawk and Risk Pool. Still very worth a read.
I was enthralled by this book! Richard Russo has the gift of bringing the sad realities of a small manufacturing town in the Northeast to life. This drama examines the relationships between the four prominent families in the town of Thomaston NY. From the poorest to the rich, the threads of their lives weave through forty years. It is a wonderful story that could be anyone's journey into adulthood. Wit, charm, love, heartbreak, treachery, hope...all these emotions are there for the happy reading.
I'm not sure which family member of mine described too much self-analysis as navel-gazing, but they would label Russo's book as such. Sure, it follows the intertwined lives of small town characters, but in the end, who cares? About halfway through I realized it wasn't really going to get much better and started skimming - and I don't skim.
Save your time - reread Empire Falls, better yet - watch the DVD.
This book was, well, just fine. Have you ever been all primped up to go somewhere and ask your significant other how you look? If they say "fine," don't you freak out cuz that really says nothing? That's what I mean when I say this book was "fine." It's not that I don't like long books - I've read tons of them that I liked and loved. I just found myself hurrying through the book - not because I couldn't put it down - I just wanted to get to something important. The last 1/4 of the book is really great, but do yourself a favor and read Empire Falls, the Pulitzer Prize Winner by Russo. It's such a great book, and this book seemed more like a chore I had to finish.
This is a wonderful read. The author wrote a thought-provoking story of two small town boys from their young school days through their adult years and how family and friends shaped their destinies.