Eric Barber's Reviews > Straight Man

Straight Man by Richard Russo
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M 50x66
's review
Jul 27, 2011

This was my first book by Russo and am I ever glad I had the opportunity to discover him!

Russo's writing reminds me of an American Martin Amis, but without the abstractness in the writing.

He is very funny, the main Character, Hank Devereaux is a hilarious character, especially as he has a self deprecating attitude during the entire story.

This is the story of a university professor and a mad couple of months in his scholastic life in a university in the Pennsylvania rust belt. He believes he is about to pass a kidney stone, he suspects his wife may be cheating on him, he threatens to kill a duck and the events kind of come together during a tumultuous time in the University, which is facing possible cuts of 20-30%. He gets caught in the intrigue of the dean, the chancellor and the rebellious English department that he is temporarily head of.

I really enjoyed this novel, once in a while you get lucky and love something you haven't read before.

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