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The Risk Pool by Richard Russo
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The Risk Pool

by Richard Russo

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
Richard Russo. 'Nuff said. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Dec 15, 2013 |
A pleasure, as ever. He is so funny. I find his tragicomedy deeply reassuring, even early in his career, even when he repeats himself in later books. ( )
  ljhliesl | May 21, 2013 |
I really enjoyed this book, but I may have read it too soon after having read Russo's 'Mohawk' which took place in this same wonderful small forgotten upstate New York town. And that lead me to some occasional recollective confusion mixing up the back stories, but not to any serious detriment. Beautiful writing about some fascinating and believable characters, and I felt I was right there with Ned throughout the whole book. The book perfectly captures that universal sense of having to deal with the family hand we are dealt without letting them fully determine our own destiny. The father / son relationship Sam and Ned is a memorable one. This is my third Russo book and they all have a unique quality; an aftertaste of hopeful otpimism in spite of the time you have spent with quirky characters in less than ideal circumstances in fairly depressing settings...somehow we feel good as we share the simplicity of their efforts to survive and thrive in spite of what comes their way. I look forward to my next Russo. ( )
  jeffome | Jan 1, 2013 |
Ned Hall growing up in a small New York town is surrounded by flawed family and friends all struggling to get along - such wonderful characterisation - such perceptive comment on the human condition. I was totally mesmerized by this book and the life of Ned - humorous and sad and so true. I have to read more of Richard Russo. ( )
  wengland | Jun 22, 2010 |
I've read all of Richard Russo's books, and this is his finest. Russo's characters are nuanced, and he gives an unforgettable depiction of people down on their luck in an upstate New York town that has also seen better days. No writer I've read portrays the father-son dynamic better than Russo, and that dynamic is epitomized here. ( )
  buckjohnson | Aug 22, 2008 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
So accurate and sustained are Mr. Russo's depictions of lunatic drunk talk and petty pool-hall violence that they become almost surreal, as well as blackly funny.
added by stephmo | editNew York Times, Jack Sullivan (Dec 18, 1988)
 
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Its inhabitants are, as the man once said, "whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches," by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, "Saints and angels and martyrs and holy men," and he would have meant the same thing.

- John Steinbeck, Cannery Row
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For Jim Russo

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My father, unlike so many of the men he served with, knew just what he wanted to do when the war was over.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679753834, Paperback)

A wonderfully funn and perceptive novel in the traditions of Thornton Wilder and Anne Tyler, The Risk Pool is set in Mohawk, New York, where Ned Hall is doing his best to grow up, even though neither of his estranged parents can properly be called adult.

His father, Sam, cultivates bad habits so assiduously that he is stuck at the bottom of his auto insurance risk pool. His mother, Jenny, is slowly going crazy from resentment at a husband who refuses either to stay or to stay away. As Ned veers between allegiances to these grossly inadequate role models, Richard Russo gives us a book that overflows with outsized characters and outlandish predicaments and whose vision of family is at once irreverent and unexpectedly moving.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:21:26 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A wonderfully funn and perceptive novel in the traditions of Thornton Wilder and Anne Tyler, The Risk Pool is set in Mohawk, New York, where Ned Hall is doing his best to grow up, even though neither of his estranged parents can properly be called adult.His father, Sam, cultivates bad habits so assiduously that he is stuck at the bottom of his auto insurance risk pool. His mother, Jenny, is slowly going crazy from resentment at a husband who refuses either to stay or to stay away. As Ned veers between allegiances to these grossly inadequate role models, Richard Russo gives us a book that overflows with outsized characters and outlandish predicaments and whose vision of family is at once irreverent and unexpectedly moving.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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