Large Print - 2017
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"In this pair of novellas and two stories, Russo's characters bear little similarity to the blue-collar citizens we're familiar with from most of his novels. In "Horseman," a tenured professor confronts a young plagiarist as well as her own weaknesses as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches--"And after that, who knew?" In "Intervention," a realtor facing an ominous medical prognosis finds himself in his father's shadow while he presses forward, or not. In "Voice," a semi-retired English professor is conned by his increasingly estranged brother into coming along on a group tour of the Biennale, fleeing a mortifying incident with a traumatized student back in Massachusetts but encountering further complications en route. And in "Milton and Marcus," a lapsed novelist is struggling with his wife's illness and trying to rekindle his screenwriting career, only to be stymied by the pratfalls of that trade when he's called to an aging, iconic star's mountaintop in Wyoming"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2017
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781101947722
Branch Call Number: FIC Russo
Characteristics: 243 pages ; 22 cm


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Aug 20, 2017

There are four short stories in this anthology by acclaimed author Russo. In these tales we meet academics and troubled professors who share similar fates, troubled families and unsettled home lives. My favorite is the last one in which a former hollywood scribe finds a new hollywood star interested in an old synopsis he wrote a decade ago for a friend and much feted actor who has since departed. I enjoy Russo's work enormously and like how his characters feel so grounded and lived in. You can really get a sense of them in each of his stories. Admittedly his prose isn't lighthearted or happy go lucky characters, more jaded and 'best years passed' kind of protagonists but ones you know who do exist in the real world.

May 19, 2017

Academics have in the past been a sub-set of Russo's way of viewing the spectrum of humanity, and they return here in spades. The characters are warm and inviting, as well as completely flawed; introspective and philosophical as well as self-deluded. Four different stories, each much deeper than a "short story," but simpler for the digestion than a complete novel, await you, dear reader.

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