Richard Russo's most ambitious novel is also his most gracefully told. Sweeping in its social scope but also achingly personal and beautifully detailed, Empire Falls is a subtle drama about the plight of the working class in a decaying Northeast mill town.
After Gary Fisketjon edited and published Russo's powerful first novel, Mohawk, in 1986, he eagerly awaited the day he...more
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is the first of the two "Fool" books. Paul Newman played Sulley the main…moreMohawk, Nobody's Fool, Everybody's Fool in that order. Nobody's Fool
is the first of the two "Fool" books. Paul Newman played Sulley the main character in a movie of the same movie. DON'T see the movie until you've read the book. It's a disappointment for a PN movie. Once you've read the book it's fun to see.(less)
The blue collar workers of this small New England community struggle to find the few jobs remaining that allow them to keep the wolf at the door and food on the table, ever hopeful of revitalized opportunities.
And it is here that we meet Miles Roby, manager of The Empire Grill. ...more
coup de foudre = A sudden unexpected event, especially an emotional one; love at first sight.
The reviews that I find the most difficult to write are not the negative or even the glowing ones, but the ones about books that that may be not the best written or the best plotted but touch me on a personal level, the ones that strike close to my inner core. I haven’t read any other novel by Richard Russo, but starting on Empire Falls felt like going to a party where you don’t know anybody, starting ...more
I’ve been pondering this quote for some time now after having finished Richard Russo’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, Empire Falls. Is it true that we have no choice in where our lives take us? Do we only perceive that we have choi ...more
"Empire Falls" is such a book. I loved every single page of this book, and yet I know there are readers who would rip this book apart, saying things like "nothing ever happens" or "where is the ...more
To me, the most difficult thing to do in literature is develop a character. Character-driven novels are a gamble because if they are not handled correctly, they can crash and burn before they’ve taken off. Plot-driven novels are a safer bet, but then you’d miss out on an opportunity to really provoke your reader. I liked Empire Falls primarily because of how real Miles and Max and Mrs. Whiting, etc. felt to me.
This book encompasses what ...more
Winner of the 2002 Pultizer Prize, this novel has been reviewed many, many times in the last decade. One of those rare times when all the hype is actually true. To that end, I quote:
“[Russo] is one of the best novelists around....As the pace quickens and the disparate threads of the narrative draw tighter, you find yourself torn between the desire to rush ahead and the impulse to slow down” The New York Times Book Review
“Immensely satisfying...[Russo is] an unpretentious master of fictional tech ...more
My brother passed away on October 9, 2007. Today (well, since it's after midnight, technically, yesterday) is his birthday, so it seems fitting that I've finally gotten around to posting this review today.
When I finish a book, I find I kind of have to let things simmer in my brain a bit before I can really parse out all my reactions to it. I’m not sure why, but this one took me ...more
That's not to say there's any reason to compare it to Twilight. It's not about vampires or in the same genre or league.
The Maine town of Empire Falls is probably like man ...more
I am somewhat conflicted in my response to this one. A lengthy pulitzer prize winner brimming with small town Americana and loved by many, I was often distracted while reading with the tedious detail and slow pace of this character-driven novel. It seemed way longer than 483 pages. But Russo is a great writer and there were passages of sheer brilliance, humor, and heartbreak depicting working class people in a dying town.
Empire Falls is controlled by a rich black widow who owns it all and ha ...more
But man, this book is so well written, I had to stop and curse out loud several times, being a writer myself. Small, everyday situations become intensely interesting, as the web of relationships becomes apparent. It felt ...more
This was a wonderful book and Ron McLarty is an excellent narrator. I can't really add to what hundreds of people have already said, so I'll just say I enjoyed the hell out of this tale, where nothing much really happens, but I feel like I know everyone in this town intimately. Highly recommended!
Empire Falls by Richard Russo is a story about relationships and life in a small town called Empire Falls in Maine.
The stroy is extremely well written and the characters are very well developed. I felt at times I was looking in the windows of the characters homes and watching them live life on a daily basis. The relationship between the characters was so well portrayed and a wonderful sense of time and place comes across in the novel. Having said that I still just found the Novel OK ...more
Empire Falls is the story of a small town who dreamed less than they should, and the few people who did and were the worse for it. It’s the story of unrealized dreams, an unrealized love, and an undone marriage. It’s the story of those who stayed, lookin ...more
I continue to have a hard time with this. I find it extremely depressing. There is humor, but it is not the kind I like. It is sarcastic, mean humor where you are supposed to laugh at the stupidity or crude behavior of people. I protest; I like to laugh with people in happiness, not at people for our weaknesses. There is a priest that is demented and he wants to hear confessionals so he can hear what is going on and then he tells others. Now I don't think tha ...more
1. Nearly everyone used foul language (although perhaps the future archaeologists won't know that it was foul language).
2. Nearly everyone thought about sex most of the time.
3. Almost all adults were either divorced, in the process of getting a divorce, or remarried after having been divorced.
4. Young people spent a portion of their lives in a ...more
How else can you describe a novel that seems to be barely moving in plot, but at the end of it all you come to realize that so much has happened? I was probably a quarter through Empire Falls when it started to occur to me that as this won the Pulitzer Prize, there was a pretty good chance that I was in for another three quarters of the same...simply very good writing, but ultimately a novel to bore you to tears...much like other prize novels I've suffered through.
But I pres ...more