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July 15, 2008



The Risk Pool and Straight Man are also among my favorites!


Uh-oh, I have not read Empire Falls yet. Hopefully, we can still be friends!


I read and enjoyed Empire Falls, but unlike you wasn't transported. For me, Russo reached his pinnacle with Nobody's Fool. Loved the movie version, too (with Paul Newman). And I actually preferred the cable-TV version of Empire Falls to the book.

Still haven't gotten around to Bridge of Sighs. To be honest, yours is the first favorable review I've read! I'll check it out soon.


Hmm, if you didn't adore Empire Falls, then you might not like Bridge of Sighs either. I think the non-raves of Bridge of Sighs can be chalked up to people just expecting another Empire Falls. The review at Amazon is certainly a rave, and it's from PW.

I liked the HBO movie but thought Helen Hunt was horribly miscast -- she doesn't seem townie-tough to me at all.

I still haven't read Nobody's Fall, but the movie is a gem.


Just an FYI - Richard Russo was one of our neighbors growing up in Gloversville, NY. My dad was a leather chemist in one of those tanneries he writes about.


I loved Empire Falls and Nobody's Fool, but I was quite disappointed with Bridge of Sighs. (Even though, as you said, a "lesser" book written by Russo is better than a "great" book written by many others). There were two things about Bridge of Sighs that ultimately made me feel the way I did: 1) The characters, while so real and well-defined, were pretty much unlikable, or at least un-relatable, and 2) I missed the humor that was so prevalent in the other books. I often laughed out loud in Empire Falls/Nobody's Fool, and I just didn't in Bridge of Sighs.


You're right, it hadn't occurred to me that this one was indeed pretty humorless. Straight Man was truly laugh-out-loud funny -- have you read that one?


The Risk Pool is the only one of his I've read. I keep giving his books to my brother-in-law. Obviously, I should be keeping some for myself.


I confess I have not yet read Empire Falls. I will head to B&N on my way home and start it as soon as I finish my book-club book (book club is this Friday - we're reading The Genius by Jesse Kellerman).

I just read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair which has a lot of similar themes.


I just watched "Nobody's Fool" a couple of nights ago to refresh my memory, as we're doing on a Paul Newman retrospective at work. That movie has always been one of my favorites, so it was my choice. I have not read the book, but you all have inspired me to give Mr. Russo a try.

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