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*Download Ebook â Nobody's Fool × Richard Russo s slyly funny and moving novel follows the unexpected operation of grace in a deadbeat town in upstate New York and in the life of one of its unluckiest citizens, Sully, who has been doing the wrong thing triumphantly for fifty yearsDivorced from his own wife and carrying on halfheartedly with another man s, saddled with a bum knee and friends who make enemies redundant, Sully now has one new problem to cope with a long estranged son who is in imminent danger of following in his father s footsteps With its sly and uproarious humor and a heart that embraces humanity s follies as well as its triumphs, Nobody s Fool is storytelling at its most generous The blurb Richard Russo s slyly funny and moving novel follows the unexpected operation of grace in a deadbeat town in upstate New York and in the life of one of its unluckiest citizens, Sully, who has been doing the wrong thing triumphantly for fifty years.Divorced from his own wife and carrying on halfheartedly with another man s, saddled with a bum knee and friends who make enemies redundant, Sully now has one new problem to cope with a long estranged son who is in imminent danger of foll The blurb Richard Russo s slyly funny and moving novel follows the unexpected operation of grace in a deadbeat town in upstate New York and in the life of one of its unluckiest citizens, Sully, who has been doing the wrong thing triumphantly for fifty years.Divorced from his own wife and carrying on halfheartedly with another man s, saddled with a bum knee and friends who make enemies redundant, Sully now has one new problem to cope with a long estranged son who is in imminent danger of following in his father s footsteps With its sly and uproarious humor and a heart that embraces humanity s follies as well as its triumphs, Nobody s Fool is storytelling at its most generous Sully, Sully, SullyHow easily he could cause a cranial blood clot in someone and get away with it Like The Bank , for instance, who called Sully Upstairs Mrs People s banker son did not like Sully Sixty year old Donald Sullivan might have been a case study underachiever, but he wasn t nobody s fool, his mom said Even his dad knew it, and cried eventually When it was way too late, though Forgiveness had a long way to go yet, and Sully had trouble envisioning his dad sitting at the alter of the Divine in Heaven God hopefully had common sense too, Sully hoped As far as The Bank was concerned, there were other factors to work into the equation and it s a long story Mrs Peoples, a retired eight grade teacher, was his landlady for twenty years Her deceased husband Clive Sr, his picture now nicely framed up on the mantel shelf, and Driver Ed, the African Zamble mask next to her husband, were her constant conversation companions And Mrs Gruber next door A snitch, if there ever was one And then Sully, who somehow understood that the voice in her head, and her own voice was one and the same and it was okay to talk to herself This year she decided not to tour the world She expected the boom to come down A sign of impending events already manifested itself in the dying elm trees in the street which threw a branch down on her neighbor s roof She wanted to stay home for in case death was coming for her and she did not want to meet him somewhere else than home So for Thanksgiving she was expecting her son, Clive Jr to visit her again with a hidden agenda as usual Clive sr and Driver Ed could not agree with her mistrust, in fact, they were silent on the matter Clive Sr just smiled from his portrait Driver Ed had a dour human face modified by antelope horns and a toothed beak, all of which added up, to Mrs Beryl s way of thinking, to a mortified expression But Beryl Peoples know that Sully was a different matter, even though he had his own way of giving her the right advice He scared Clive Jr who wanted Sully gone for good That s a long story.North Bath, almost thirty miles south of Vermont, was in the last throws of a two hundred year decline Leaving the town populated with the extremes of human behavior With Sully in the lead And Rub Squeers second in command They were a popular quinella, Cass said Barroom pugilists when required.Thanksgiving this year was also the day when Sully s son, Peter, the professor, returned to town One of the people Sully forgot in his life after his divorce from his wife Vera, decades earlierHow can you just forget people It was a rhetorical question, he understood, and so he d never answered Had he been required to answer he d given the same response he d just given Ralph when he d wondered how Sully could swallow a pill dry He did not know how He just could.Sully I m about to fuck up, he thought clearly, and his next thought was, but I don t have to This was followed closely by a third thought, the last of this familiar sequence, which was, but I m going to anyway And, as always, this third thought was oddly liberating, though Sully knew from experience that the sensation, however pleasurable, would be short lived He was about to harm himself There could be no doubt of this But at such moments of liberation, the clear knowledge that he was about to do himself in coexisted with the exhilarating, if entirely false, sense that he was about to reshape, through the force of his own will, his reality Smart ass, dumb ass, kick ass, but not bad ass Sully was just bad Well, that was his fault, said the women in his life.There were times when he wondered if this were a special skill he possessed, this ability to redirect almost any woman s anger to himself They all seemed perfectly prepared to surrender their original object of scorn Whenever Ruth was angry at Zack, Vera at Ralph, Toby Roebuck and all the other women in Carl s life at Carl these women were all apparently satisfied to vent their fury on Sully if he happened to be handy, as if he embodied in concentrated form some male principle they considered to be the cause of their dissatisfaction with their own men.Somewhere in between, Sully taught his grandson Will to use a stopwatch to time his courage checked on eighty year old Mrs People every morning to see if she was still alive gave ninety four year old Matty a vintage cash register to play with in her own diner, now her daughter Cass s, to stop Matty from calling her old customers, fart blossoms while yelling at them to PAY UP Sully was the perfect definition for antihero imaginative, contemptuous of authority, and, above all, indifferent to pain He just knew how to cheat people out of a tragedy That was our Sully With his son now larger than life within his own town limits as well as Sully s philosophical boundaries, which lead to a violent reaction from his ex wife, Sully would once again bet on luck, as he always did Before that he believed in intelligence and hard work But that was before he met Carl Roebuck, his love hate friend Sully thought luck played a part in Carl s making Sully s own existence was just bad luck You deserved each other , Carl s wife, Toby Roebuck, said to Sully You re both self destructive He just hasfun You come home with broken knees, he comes home with the clap Thanksgiving changed everything Sully s son, Peter had needs, and a needy little boy Sully did not know the answers, but he knew how to try Something stank, though, and this time it wasn t either a clam or the proximity of the men s room What it smelled like was destiny Sully s way would change it for everyone.I will have to reread Anybody s Fool now since it is a sequel to Nobody s Fool Did not realize it before I started reading it I m still in love with Richard Russo s books More than ever He just knows where to hit me the hardest in my psyche and soul Richard Russo has a love and insight in people, small communities and life which allows him to bring good and bad together and compassionately serve it up as realism He spices it up with hilarious events, a cocktail of deep emotions, and yet leave the reader feeling good Sad but warm Smiling Richard Russo s got what it takes.RECOMMENDED Richard Russo is an extraordinary storyteller I loved Nobody s Fool just a shade less than Empire Falls, although I liked Sullythan Miles I think Empire Falls was a littlesubtle, but Nobody s Fool still has some amazing writing I enjoyed North Bath and its nemesis Schuyler Springs, NY nearly as much as Empire Falls, ME 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 Richard Russo is an extraordinary storyteller I loved Nobody s Fool just a shade less than Empire Falls, although I liked Sullythan Miles I think Empire Falls was a littlesubtle, but Nobody s Fool still has some amazing writing I enjoyed North Bath and its nemesis Schuyler Springs, NY nearly as much as Empire Falls, ME 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.Nobody s Fool takes place in upstate New York from just before Thanksgiving in 1984 and ends after New Years Day 1985 It focuses on the 60 year old protagonist, Donald Sully Sullivan and his relationships the wonderfully teasing one with his landlady Beryl Peoples his 8th grade English teacher , his lover Ruth, his ex wife Vera, his best friend Rub, his son Peter and his grandson Will Each of the characters is beautifully and masterfully drawn Sully is just ending his studies at a neighboring community college while recuperating from a fall of a ladder which severely injured his knee He lives upstairs in Beryl s house with his few possessions he d always felt owning things was overrated All you were doing was alleviating the disappointment of not owning them P 305 He is a practical joker and sort of the town clown known to have spurts of good luck like when he burned down a house because of leaving a burning cigarette in a couch, but getting 500 from the owner who was glad to be rid of the property for the insurance money and his stupid streaks , one of which lasts for most of this novel He pretended ignorance as convincingly as laziness, and his pretense of laziness was indistinguishable from the real thing P 248 Money was not Sully s strong point When Sully needed it most, money had a way of liquefying, then evaporating, and finally leaving just a filmy residue of vague memory P 48.He is an adorable, compelling character who is effortlessly able to bring out both the best and the worst in those around him.The book is similar in feel to the Rabbit series of John Updike, but Russo has his own unique voice and writes fantastic dialog I highly recommend Nobody s Fool for those who Empire Falls and evenhighly recommend Everybody s Fool, the sequel that Russo published in 2016 Wonder when he will publish something else North Bath is a small, unexceptional town living in the shadow of its largersuccessful neighbour Schuyler Springs in upstate New York Its fading latter day grandeur is bypassed by new freeways, forever taking people elsewhere a backwater who s economic hopes are pinned to the proposed development of a large theme park.Nobody s fool does have a sense of a changing America, the march of the new and the fickle nature of big business but the novel is muchconcerned with the characters North Bath is a small, unexceptional town living in the shadow of its largersuccessful neighbour Schuyler Springs in upstate New York Its fading latter day grandeur is bypassed by new freeways, forever taking people elsewhere a backwater who s economic hopes are pinned to the proposed development of a large theme park.Nobody s fool does have a sense of a changing America, the march of the new and the fickle nature of big business but the novel is muchconcerned with the characters that make up this small, stranded community.Nobody s fool is a big sprawling novel, a detailed slice of small town life We see events unfold through the eyes of a small group of larger than life but very real characters and central to this group is Sully, a serial underachiever, always on the verge of a Stupid streak.He s a tired 60 year old with a gammy knee and a trail of broken and half formed relationships behind him A working man, jack of all trades with a twinkle in his eye, that no one can manage to hate well maybe the jealous banker Clive Jr Sully doesn t mean to hurt those around him he just doesn t think He drifts though life haphazardly and is not the sort to indulge regret or want for much.If Sully were to consider his relationship with family and friends which he seldom does he would notice that they are constantly exasperated by him but are grudgingly happy he s around Sully is bemused by other people most of the time In Sully s life the years never mind days elided gracefully without dividers, and he was always surprised by the endings and new beginnings other people saw, or thought they saw, in their existences Throughout the course of a meandering narrative we become intimately acquainted with Sully s adoring, slow witted but philosophical friend Rub, his sharp as a tack, octogenarian landlady ex schoolteacher Miss Beryl a truly wonderful character , her mean spirited son Clive Jr, Wirf the kindly, drunken lawyer, Carl Roebuck Sully s sometime employer and nemesis, Vera his ex wife, Ruth his long term married lover and Toby the best looking woman in Bath on whom he harbours a distant, inappropriate crush Nobody s Fool is a long novel and does have some slow sections but, it s full of razor sharp characterisation and is very funny, I often found myself laughing out loud It s also a warm and generous book without being folksy, preachy or pseudo philosophical.If you prefer short, focussed, carefully edited works of literature then this may not be the book for you but if you are happy to immerse yourself in Sully s understated world, give up some time to the everyday dramas of North Bath and just go with the flow, you, like me, will love this book The main character of this book, Donald Sully Sullivan, is a routinely careless man who left his wife and had almost nothing to do with raising his son He s had an affair with a married woman for twenty years, and he s lusting after yet another man s wife Sully also drinks and gambles on a near daily basis 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 Sounds like a real bast The main character of this book, Donald Sully Sullivan, is a routinely careless man who left his wife and had almost nothing to do with raising his son He s had an affair with a married woman for twenty years, and he s lusting after yet another man s wife Sully also drinks and gambles on a near daily basis 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 Sounds like a real bastard, doesn t he Actually, Sully is one of the most likable characters I ve read in some time, and most of the damage he inadvertently does to others is trumped by the amount he does to himself.In the blue collar town of North Bath in upstate New York, Sully is a 60 year old laborer with a bum knee that he injured on a job, but rather than follow the advice of his lawyer and everyone else he knows Sully insists on returning to work rather than follow the legal course of trying to get full disability Why Even Sully couldn t tell you, but his insistence on doing things his way rather than the smart way is a lifelong habit with him The fact that this attitude has him perpetually broke with only a run down pick up truck to his name does nothing to hinder Sully s commitment to turning left whenever someone tells him to go right.If he s low on money then Sully is rich in friends Or at least he has no shortage of people to bullshit and argue with as he makes his daily rounds of the coffee shop, OTB, and the local bar As Sully tries to get back to work while coping with his wrecked knee he bumps into his estranged son Peter and his family who are back in town for Thanksgiving Events eventually force Sully to face that even though he s spent a lifetime trying to avoid even the mildest form of personal responsibility that there are some times when it can t be dodged any longer.I ve seen the movie version of this with Paul Newman several times over the years and liked it so much that I always meant to pick up the book but never got around to it After checking out Russo s Empire Falls and now this, I m wishing I d been reading him for a lot longer Stories about small communities fallen on hard times are something he does exceedingly well in both, and while there are a lot of similarities between his fictional towns he creates large and vivid casts of characters with their individual histories and motivations that feel unique to each book There s alsothan enough humor to keep the whole thing from becoming a boring slog about how hard life can be.Sully is a particularly great creation as a good natured slob with a self destructive streak that he acknowledges even as he feels no particular urge to change He s smart enough to win most of the arguments he gets into, but still usually too stubborn to lose a battle to win a war While he may bitch about how he s spent his life working like a dog and yet doesn t have to pot to piss in there s also a feeling of general contentment about Sully As long as his truck starts and he can afford to bet his daily horse race and get a few beers at the bar he really doesn t feel like he needs muchIt s a bit long and there are a few too many sub plots for my taste The scaled down plot of the movie actually works better as a story It s still a terrific book with a lead character that you can t help but like even as you wish that he d wise up just a little bit