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Straight Man - Richard Russo
Straight Man
by: (author)
3.82 165
In this uproarious new novel, Richard Russo performs his characteristic high-wire walk between hilarity and heartbreak.  Russo's protagonist is William Henry Devereaux, Jr., the reluctant chairman of the English department of a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt.  Devereaux's... show more
In this uproarious new novel, Richard Russo performs his characteristic high-wire walk between hilarity and heartbreak.  Russo's protagonist is William Henry Devereaux, Jr., the reluctant chairman of the English department of a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt.  Devereaux's reluctance is partly rooted in his character--he is a born anarchist-- and partly in the fact that his department is more savagely divided than the Balkans.  In the course of a single week, Devereaux will have his nose mangled by an angry colleague, imagine his wife is having an affair with his dean, wonder if a curvaceous adjunct is trying to seduce him with peach pits, and threaten to execute a goose on local television.  All this while coming to terms with his philandering father, the dereliction of his youthful promise, and the ominous failure of certain vital body functions.  in short, Straight Man is classic Russo--side-splitting and true-to-life, witty, compassionate, and impossible to put down.
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Format: paperback
ISBN: 9780375701900 (0375701907)
ASIN: 375701907
Publisher: Vintage
Pages no: 416
Edition language: English
Bookstores:
Community Reviews
Amber's Thoughts
Amber's Thoughts rated it
4.0 Seriously Funny Academic Satire
I read this because a colleague, an art professor whose work I respect, quoted it in his acceptance speech for a faculty achievement award. He chose lines that made me think the protagonist of the novel might rise above the stultifying absurdities that can take up much of an academic life. It’s more...
2020
2020 rated it
I was working at a bookstore when "Straight Man" was first released and it made quite a splash. My compadres at the store were talking it up, and customers who read it thought it was a riot. I probably would have agreed if I read it at the time. But I didn't. Years later I dove into Richard Russ...
Book Addled
Book Addled rated it
4.0 Straight Man: A Novel
God, I love this book. It was a present from two friends who rightly thought chairing the English department was driving me a bit batty.
The Drift Of Things
The Drift Of Things rated it
3.0 Straight Man
This has got to be one of the quirkiest novels I've ever read.Funniest sentence in the whole book:"It's not an easy thing to be left holding a piece of fruit during introductions."Other great lines:"I'm not a _____________, but I can play that role.""He was a small man. Left-handed. He walked with a...
ellaminnowpea
ellaminnowpea rated it
I wanted to love this book as much as I'd loved Russo's other novels, but he was trying too hard to be funny to tell his story.
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