Wednesday, December 14, 2016

EVERYBODY'S FOOL By Richard Russo Audio Edition

    There’s little I can add to the praise already heaped upon Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo.  For me he’s a comedic genius with great heart; he has the ability to make you laugh and  cry as he describes the losers of this world.  His latest title is a sequel to his Nobody’s Fool which was published in 1993 and still remains for a multitude the best book they’ve ever read.  Could Everybody’s Fool possibly win us in the same way?  Yes!

    Everybody’s Fool begins about ten years after Nobody’s Fool ended and returns to Bath, which then as now is a run down community The story opens with the graveside service of a local judge.  There is Douglas, Raymer who is now Bath’s chief of police and Sully.  Raymer is still shocked by the accidental death of his wife, Becka, who left him a note saying she was leaving him for another man.  Raymer had no clue that she was unfaithful, and he found a garage door opener in Becka’s car which didn’t open their garage.  So, if he can find the garage that opens to that opener he’ll find Becka’s lover.  And, if he does he’s not at all sure what he’ll do about it.  This scene ends with Raymer fainting into the open grave.

    Sully is 70 now and not quite the man he once was.  His life’s burden has been lifted by inheriting the house of his landlady and former teacher when she dies and a financial bonus he never expected from his long dead abusive father.  His long time affair with the owner of the local diner has turned into a convivial friendship even including her husband.  But all is not rosy as Sully has learned he has heart disease and his time on Earth is limited.

    Additional characters met in Nobody’s Fool return as well as some new ones.  The book covers only a two day period of time yet holds enough surprises and unanticipated events to fill a volume.   Once again Russo writes winningly about friendship, love and families; it is a story you wish would never end. 

    Mark Bramhall delivers an extraordinary reading that brings each of the characters to full life, and that is not an easy task. 

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