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Everybody's Fool

(Sully #2)

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  11,557 ratings  ·  1,675 reviews
Richard Russo, at the very top of his game, now returns to North Bath, in upstate New York, and the characters who made Nobody's Fool (1993) a "confident, assured novel that sweeps the reader up," according to the San Francisco Chronicle back then. "Simple as family love, yet nearly as complicated." Or, as The Boston Globe put it, "a big, rambunctious novel with endless ri ...more
Hardcover, 477 pages
Published May 3rd 2016 by Knopf
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Popular Answered Questions
Marjorie Wilde Yes, Sully is a character in Everybody's Fool - but for me there's not enough of his presence in the novel (nor of Rub's). I liked the book very much,…moreYes, Sully is a character in Everybody's Fool - but for me there's not enough of his presence in the novel (nor of Rub's). I liked the book very much, but somehow it lacks the warmth of Nobody's Fool, and I just don't warm to Raymer as much as I do to Sully. Just a teeny bit disappointed.(less)
Zoe's Human Cyndy is absolutely right. A large publisher like Knopf will distribute a significant number of ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) in paperback…moreCyndy is absolutely right. A large publisher like Knopf will distribute a significant number of ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies) in paperback (occasionally hard) to generate advanced publicity. Some of them will go to professional reviewers, but these days a significant portion are given away to regular readers on a variety of book-oriented sites. I have about 40 some ARCs I received through the Goodreads giveaway program here on this site. If you're interested in the giveaways, you can look here: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway

Indy writers do this as well, but generally, due to costs, they have to giveaway digital copies.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.08  · 
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 ·  11,557 ratings  ·  1,675 reviews


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Jim Fonseca
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: american-authors
This story is a lot like the author’s Empire Falls. This one is set in a declining town in upstate New York instead of Maine, but we have a lot of down-and-out folks and a lot of the action occurs in a diner or in bars.

The story is kind of catalog of how hard-scrabble folks look at their lives and deal with the bad cards they keep getting. From the blurbs for his other books “…friends who make enemies redundant.” And “those small towns that lie almost entirely on the wrong side of the tracks.”
...more
Steve
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I doubt I’m the only one who’s ever driven through small town America and wondered, “What do these people do?” I’m not proud of my snobbery, but cop to it because I also know how to counter it. The antidote, as I’m sure you’ve all figured, is Richard Russo. His latest, a return to North Bath in upstate New York, offers a ready answer: they have lives. We who are high on our horses may look down and not see it, but these people have conflicts, interactions, feelings, flaws, and wisdom – pretty mu ...more
Angela M
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it

A number of years ago I read an article that talked about what a great writer Richard Russo was . I didn’t persue any of his books at that point, but when I came across Empire Falls, I remembered his name. I joined a newly formed book club at work and that was our first book. I fell in love with his writing with that moving, relevant story that takes place in a small fictitious town in Maine. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 2002, deservedly. I fell in love with all of his characters in all of the s
...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Richard Russo has not lost his touch, and that's for true. The sequel to Nobody's Fool is every bit as funny, morbid, and touching as its predecessor. Sully is a wonderfully lovable protagonist. The 10 year gap in literary time between the two books invites comparison to Updike's Rabbit tetrology, and indeed the descriptions of love, loss, remorse, and hope echo as strongly and vibrantly under Russo's pen as they do under Updike's. On the other hand, Sully's story is less bound to the decades it ...more
Kemper
If Richard Russo wasn’t a great writer he might have made a pretty good physicist because he seems to know all about inertia. Or at least he’s an expert at having his characters struggle against its force whether they're trying to get moving or change direction.

This sequel to Nobody's Fool returns us to the blue collar town of Bath in upstate New York. A change in his circumstances from the previous book has made Donald Sullivan relatively prosperous with no need to work the kind of back breakin
...more
Larry H
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

Sequels make me nervous. If I'm reading books featuring a regular character or a planned series, that's one thing, but I always worry when an author releases a follow-up, particularly if it's a book I loved. And when the sequel comes a long time after the original, I'm even more wary, because I can't help but wonder if the author will be able to capture the same magic they did originally.

Needless to say, I had a lot of trepidation when I heard that Richard Russo had writt
...more
Michael
Jun 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Michael by: Jill Shtulman
This satirical tale of working class society in a worn-out industrial town in upstate New York called Bath entertained me with lots of shenanigans of its many fools. Fools like you and me, I presume. Men like Sully who don’t care about money and acquiring things, but find the most happiness at his favorite bar with beer, a card game, and joking with old friends. Or a man like Gus, the mayor, who keeps trying money-making development projects and takes it in stride when unforeseen disasters occur ...more
Carol
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun journey back to small town Bath, New York with some of the old and a few new faces too.....at least to my recollection.

Truth be told, it did take me a while to get back into the story again, and I would have liked more of Sully overall, but before long, I was hooked on Russo's writing and the kooky fun-loving characters from Nobody's Fool.

Get ready for plenty of laughs, a few crazy visits to the cemetery, and a scary prognosis. We also encounter a creepy psychopath, a vile, disgusting piec

...more
Andrew Smith
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
A year ago, almost to the day, I finished reading Nobody’s Fool, Russo’s first book set in his imaginary town of North Bath, New York. I’d been introduced to Sully, Rub, Mrs Peoples and the rest of the cast and had enjoyed my time with them so much that I was delighted to learn that a follow-up book was also available. It was late August by the time I sat down to devour this second episode. But it didn’t quite turn out that way, I got stuck after about 50 pages. The book had opened with a length ...more
Cheri
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Twenty-two years may have passed since Russo wrote about Bath’s residents Sully and friends in “Nobody’s Fool,” and ten years may have passed for those same residents of Bath in literary time for Sully and friends, but it’s been mere months since I last visited Bath, New York, courtesy of Mr. Russo. I felt as if I had just stepped away for a spell when I returned to visit courtesy of “Everybody’s Fool.”

Nothing really happens in Bath that’s worthy of a news report to outsiders, there’s a funeral
...more
Snotchocheez
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In case you haven't read Nobody's Fool, Richard Russo's well-regarded prequel to this, fear not: it's not remotely necessary to have read it before reading (and enjoying) Everybody's Fool. I barely remember the precursor, (which I think I liked; not really sure). There'll be no room for doubt on this one: without a doubt, one of the best books I've read this year. Perhaps as good as his 2002 Pulitzer Winner Empire Falls. Maybe even a teensy bit better, as it's...okay, not compact (at close to 5 ...more
Bianca
I've been meaning to read Richard Russo for some years. I'm glad I finally got around to it, thanks to the library audiobook, which was excellent.

It took me a little while to get my head around who was who, especially since the novel has quite a few characters, but it's fast-paced and dialogue rich. Once I got my bearings, I was flying.

Although I'm a city girl through and through, I love reading books set in small towns.
The setting for this novel is North Bath, New York. It's a small, dormant t
...more
Camie
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ah at last, the long awaited Everybody's Fool the sequel to Nobody's Fool which was written in 1993 and was made into both a movie and award winning HBO miniseries. Pulitzer Prize winning (Empire Falls) Richard Russo is a master story teller when it comes to life in small town America, and I was happy to be back in Bath , upstate New York again with Sully, his hapless friend Rub, and the rest of the gang. The Boston Globe calls it a big rambunctious novel with endless riffs and unstoppable hopef ...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018

"So what's a cobra doing in upstate New York?"

To find out the answer to this existential question we need to return to North Bath, a serious contender for the Unluckiest City in America Award. It's been ten years since the events described in "Nobody's Fool" and little has changed apparently in this jinxed, destitute urbis. Sully, the protagonist of the first episode, has had a bit of personal luck in the financial department, but he has a new set of worries now that he is in his sixties: bore
...more
Jill
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thomas Wolfe once famously wrote, “You can’t go home again.” In Everybody’s Fool, Richard Russo proves that indeed, you can.

“Home”, in this case, is a place his readers have visited 12 years ago – a deadbeat town called Bath in upstate New York. In Nobody’s Fool, we first became acquainted with Sully, a down-and-out, down-on-his-luck, middle-aged son of an abusive father. Other ordinary, extraordinary characters – from Miss Beryl, his landlord/teacher to Carl, his landlord, and Ruth, his love in
...more
Barbara
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it

I randomly chose this audiobook from the library shelf, not realizing it was a follow-up to "Nobody's Fool," which I haven't read. Still, the people in "Everybody's Fool" have enough backstory - and are so vividly depicted - that I felt okay reading it as a standalone. I found the story engaging, touching, and funny - filled with great characters and memorable scenes.

The story takes place in the down-on-its-luck town of North Bath in upstate New York. As the book opens, Chief of Police Douglas
...more
☮Karen
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

Wow, 18 1/2 hours of audio is a long book. And some of it is a rehash of the first book, Nobody's Fool, so the mind wanders. If it wasn't for the mix of every day, ordinary characters and the outright crazy bunch that inhabit North Bath, there would be nothing special about the book. My favorite remains Sully, a gruff old guy, getting up in years now and not exactly healthy, but compared to everyone else in town, he's heroic, iconic, and angelic. I kept wanting more of him!

Mark Brammall
...more
Margitte
HILLDALE CEMETERY IN North Bath was cleaved right down the middle, its Hill and Dale sections divided by a two-lane macadam road, originally a colonial cart path. Death was not a thing unknown to the town’s first hearty residents, but they seemed to have badly misjudged how much of it there’d be, how much ground would be needed to accommodate those lost to harsh winters, violent encounters with savages and all manner of illness. Or was it life, their own fecundity, they’d miscalculated? Ironica
...more
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Russo delivers a super sharp sequel to NOBODY'S FOOL. I would definitely read that novel first. This book has a broader focus of character insights, with even Officer Raymer getting a lot more attention this time around. EVERYBODY'S FOOL is vintage Russo, and I absolutely loved this book.
Diane Barnes
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
You know that feature in the Sunday NYT Book Review every week, BY THE BOOK, where one of the interview questions is always "What 3 authors would you invite to a dinner party"? Richard Russo would be first on my list, because his character's humor and sarcastic remarks make me laugh out loud. The other two authors would be two who are on the top of the best seller lists week after week, (insert your own choices here) who can't write worth a damn, but sell millions of books to people who don't kn ...more
Truman32
Mar 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ok, so I live in a rough part of town where you are more likely to get shanked by a hooker, or pummeled by an escaped convict then you are to get a helping hand or kind word. That’s why it is so imperative that you conceal your phone as you play Pokémon Go while walking down my street, Blood Alley. Normally I wouldn’t risk it. The vagrants and urchins are quick to whip a bottle at your head calling out derisively, “catch this Jigglypuff, dude!” And the cops aren’t much better, always on the take ...more
Ron Charles
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it
How could 23 years have slipped by since Richard Russo published “Nobody’s Fool”? Was is really in some previous century that we snorted and sniffled over the rambling adventures of Donald “Sully” Sullivan, the wisecracking, self-destructive 60-year-old contractor who rarely lets a bar stool cool? It all seems so disorientingly recent. . . . Who’s the fool now?

Even if you didn’t read that big-hearted novel, you probably saw the wonderful film version starring Paul Newman and Jessica Tandy — both
...more
Diane Yannick
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
I'm a huge fan of Russo's writing but his plotting of this book left me cold. It drifted, in dire need of some major chopping. For me there were too many peripheral characters who just muddied the plot. I was looking forward to catching up with Sully and Raymer 10 years after Nobody's Fool ended. Their small town and personal shortcomings had kept me entertained in NF. What a disappointment!

As evil Roy Purdy said, "Make the best plan you can and then see how it all works out." For the characters
...more
Allison
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have been thinking about this book for several days before writing this review. I am a huge fan of Richard Russo, and I believe I have read all his earlier works. It has been a long time since I read the previous story of these characters, Nobody's Fool, and many of the details have been forgotten. To be perfectly honest, the movie version of Sully as played by Paul Newman kept coming unbidden to mind. You can read and follow this story without reading the earlier work.
Let me make something cl
...more
Darlene
Aug 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, favorites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Barbara
Jun 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a 4 1/2 stars. The characters, and everything that happens in just a few days in a small town will keep readers engaged. A great portrait of contemporary small town American life in upstate New York where many residents cannot imagine taking a trip to NYC.
Sharyl
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
As usual, Richard Russo's storytelling is irresistible. This novel revisits the town of Bath, New York, and the same characters we met in the earlier book, Nobody's Fool. This time, though, there is a mystery at the center of everything, and the main character, if there is one, is Chief of Police Douglas Raymer. It is also ten years later.

Bath is like many small, rural towns that have lost their economic identities. There are some lucky people who are well enough employed, but they seem to be ou
...more
David
May 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as the first book

Nobody's Fool engaged me from beginning to end: engaged me the first time I read it and when I reread it recently in preparation for this, the follow up novel. I waited to fall in love with the characters and the story all over again. That did eventually happen but not until almost the end. A really good read from anybody else, but disappointing from Russo. The style was off putting; I felt like large parts were just just written to help readers catch up on stuff tha
...more
switterbug (Betsey)
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
For fans of Russo’s NOBODY’S FOOL, the long-hoped-for sequel makes its splash. The oddball crowd of sad sacks in North Bath, New York is back to entertain readers. It’s a decade later (mid 1990s) and not a whole lot has changed. A few have died, and the familiar quirky characters that remain are distressed with their foolishness and sense of personal failure. Not to mention, the town is even more economically depressed than before, while their neighboring city, Schuyler Springs, continues to pro ...more
Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
This book has so many glowing reviews and after reading it I can see why!! I am a long time fan of Russo, my favorite book still being “Empire Falls”. For some reason the characters in that book just spoke to me at that particular time in my life. I did not read “Nobody’s Fool” so I wasn’t sure if I would be able to pick up the thread of the story.

I should not have worried. Mr. Russo so well describes his characters that I had no problem understanding Sully or any of the other characters. Sully
...more
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RICHARD RUSSO is the author of seven previous novels; two collections of stories; and Elsewhere, a memoir. In 2002 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls, which like Nobody’s Fool was adapted to film, in a multiple-award-winning HBO miniseries.

Other books in the series

Sully (2 books)
  • Nobody's Fool
“We don’t forgive people because they deserve it,” she said. “We forgive them because we deserve it.” 10 likes
“Rub wiped his nose on his sleeve. “I just wisht—” “What?” Rub sighed. Where to begin? “That I’d be nicer to you?” He shrugged again, but this was the gist of it, Sully could tell. “I wish I would, too,” he said, and for some reason this seemed to cheer Rub up.” 1 likes
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