Straight Man PDF/EPUB ¼ Paperback

William Henry Devereaux Jr spiritually suited to playing left field but forced by a bad hamstring to try first base is the unlikely chairman of the English department at West Central Pennsylvania University Over the course of a single convoluted week he threatens to execute a duck has his nose slashed by a feminist poet discovers that his secretary writes better fiction than he does suspects his wife of having an affair with his dean and finally confronts his philandering elderly father the one time king of American Literary Theory at an abandoned amusement parkSuch is the canvas of Richard Russo's Straight Man a novel of surpassing wit poignancy and insight As he established in his previous books Mohawk The Risk Pool and Nobody's Fool Russo is unique among contemporary authors for his ability to flawlessly capture the soul of the wise guy and the heart of a difficult parent In Hank Devereaux Russo has created a hero whose humor and identification with the absurd are mitigated only by his love for his family friends and ultimately knowledge itselfUnforgettable compassionate and laugh out loud funny Straight Man cements Richard Russo's reputation as one of the master storytellers of our time From the Hardcover edition


10 thoughts on “Straight Man

  1. JRl^}sӢsТuwply.6]{y'=yr-C@kVsxH2jy@@@@@A! I[o\/=i/;7K_I\ar']vve.s.:&<%nh;8paME$60k64e 5+s:SAX8R\hA1өrKsh  Мɽz[,j>'<׭]3\iivx*; TZ6枒y q9xQ_u8E-S pGX%zg܌½/ fآ7uUb^ KIdOWÓqV{9EȬ6{:e@ DHL@P D ĐIuF3rn.mq<#3Ek]+QB]*΅!J.۪9^&[N , Ãdw Ph3Ix[>QuS/92e(Tm'7yW_ ٦ji|(qDnQ w?n8Qc$..RN۵ec-.N?|9n3L˜y ^es* &Ҏl=9`;FQ&h"Wx`u,l|V'kmCﻭ9GW;r9'P]5`[>?L;LOUFP=9PF 5 8\xj{g36߅Tjcφ(!1 "2A3#0Q@@B<2<{[LcXQ̈́K3ͺ0pѤoR)pg^m iیňmlO3/V=i]R;)fF.m U{?g`aJb AuFbꍜ-Խ * 5ʬ*cc06A=7_iVHHU ɋ-԰p &YJ*V@,247쏀8#02Q+ -(7DDjm5"82,q ?A8 RZXtє=5T+ b2ҸrN%or#^#,\5{RøAcKLoWbx_k1".zlqY >]R669 udPN@m3G`nӸ(1 05M M+b!燳p#7E9ςkP1,H Z<¶4!1AQa Rq"2B0@br@@O!qCw"[\8*Hbc$M\,N'zP420bnջVgmP28Y"Ls5ZKdqȾur5 ;IsDJ,ҡMVΘK?,ɷggArq0̊Q3!ޤMqTŴ"I~'kg[㝍<V]Y2 d'/$449r6 -<̈TJmm:E-,z̈JYYr2}4JB!b~^&vS愖D&!#"\[ 2jV%;`X!^oى"ss%fヶy(cSv\8z7*XcaPaw<#$`؀`w&' <-*VHxz+#` k e.D[h9츍eafh IM.D ('PA à ZA! S"|qI(!`+FR!g0@,BcPnd&U@1 >eth`C&dp ̋ :ӆ&5.p@aPFff %@5`;B]Ǵ6HZ;5;T'E27Dn=;އ.e]bl"ual1h& pS09A[Kq`Ư@y ÅK\'] p̢FRK꣭|JJbE:WT" Qc1)-8-j4=0KB4p   0A1KF\Uۄ[ Cj/oKAq_P"DJuʍ Hs&NE}HnyL1dI[)DeTee-e[8x&pc@(}cBIbLP2cǦɮM@(s;L$r$į ;j >X?G@8l:$*="#`wG@^8T"DNO`cqW2BfC6]4퉹ۯ uG-2jez [ u(Y%H0;@,XyMSP$!<PI@p@09<|2ב{͔4!8"R6 |lv~jHc k_B\xu_fu>) QPFX0 `PvP)0U\vHz]ABYhG0fJW 2B彜OrGѣFY7` hS[cy5`@&V7Xy )IKi; #X+~d Cg!0xXS47.y7;$& #:z@O0HN(%PHd @Q,zC|P㐚%T姣 1E =d(ޗ2$s1ifTlKu͈P Y~7fj!@9ȃH:5ܭQDt%G:BH-MJÄ31@HDϾ\4c(MC!QIgg#;t .Y^B Ar@GV\.x7*d + -fii6Qd<4{o L 2@feofff/1;`yG8>tlPfpDR"E.9Z '^fÐ_Lr18o=)s!1QH `=/-ހ| Bs|DSeJk5Ϻ qVa , 22%KGfn6'[ [Lf0 C$L*\MM7q*q6}&?͆Ö 5!VsތC4!G0DBq @@@@HLPTX`\dhlpD4|8|}@BhV y({e@S0Ƞ(<0) B wd\ 3e|Pf,=13Kг\ʃ-Ћ2KA1U^rcX$K-1R svŒ|0 W/ >e-5Ir%06XUrJZyp!R @fG_Dpj ` 0̴-amS |<.İW.CC)-Qt)r+0-ߺP_2gfbX7nzD^njÇˉa*ZJdbf҇AGI@2.<;Vc @rq$u+"]sno#)ʶ:PF;*X;^ZzPU Qse*4{eM/ 'cOy(&˕1 k ]leu~65ZĽo?3`ZU ޗ\%pG{d 쥍w^X'Ɛᨉ匫 .+A2ݺ^gPdQdir' |ĶhSd,Y+EY3_ž^?1|Jl7rW^: -l<\-\O}oj]͐,tN(T=Ud8vFVv(5Fe@*bZu *~rfFy:(كc U[?NEXe4B}\Y]e x HD~`mظ#sM`ƭ4rZȟE- ZfT}/ѣN%B[}|@.يʁ+CZE#`)W{jKY=shEZTTH9Aݿ[cF7%2׈Sm0zɋ9;Nb[2L+1譯Aec ZъQ+0 @pǔ1 F4#+^ƋnPvjGal(@ TM Ja"!YJWFQakS{#?%!Q8Ũn-6u5m}!a{+9*f!f"B<^Ja?7 +eH v蠵v"cR;&ʏBJ aVl\`GG 6ܷ$2FqD).s|.@u-6J{l-#4vj*;$RT] ڀd d(rR`u,6>Cd]:ZcWjs 9՘c!31Zp Xš 0W"4j&&YYDžЧV NRXʯ#>@@9%٧ ` 7U3_Ռ={ OAwwAyFPj[+VRa"QyƵjUfYdku2RUKJ>K1*.~/vw2F,4BtsGKxwGH:,q9Ѳ.p0\%N!nRKIM5 P$n2VƗkzf.ЉS!ƅaӲQR[P*[^Nmh5hf)e ܸƵHߟX Pk9Ҥ9%0*a;j(fiU^vV_Q9 eB -QUj!C0+& +p 5MBZ˯% ΢% #rgZU ۭxn 6Pyʠ{hfZ*Lʁa` y9*%[THCUo$s|n ( T@zMvp"5zZPe}b_pf_ܷ̒OI֊(l> JQ[* - B.يZhOT)v  N %O;x`BF:!F jD 1Le#h*5QU7A=`eKySjj=kA WbFX%8(A,Է=u|0cpDZ,D  c2DXZEp+xvaaRZe#Xy# g3,E~,Z:@ }wkql֮WU/ S!ŚpBGs|eܧ̎*`ZBG-AOx^f|ʋ&%7W>uaZ=&)$= X-kwUQ ,kYlܥSj⺏2itb>W3za[GUJFnj~!C5:wcAZT楦 [BXX3%*gueA@"gFwD[T>B_M0.sFH%j| 2"\^ml̠fTbFmijlH*iXzح삭pۓL3;+2D\@hfnTsz7UsÉhE8FH>*\YՄbb""egtk5 IEY2}uj (T6H`7ivdƪ:c]@W6wL9sʼn RtZL1-P} Txƻ`G83g +\ "(qye`5~P,Z5 Tr]oR a+RJƓ/DވW!6ⴈ2Z[HypMH-}R>i(^_2׻@,i$ Tz;‹T WRR֠zٸtƕĴ7@1oEƪ w^x)3ɅA/7Iog̪QBjpsuE\^.B61JAƿ*lMphö/4[qдc&И)&o?!3EKb9srʮ(P .ݔcL>%5`b"ML`caŧ9tKW%Z|btݛe}W_1. UU ;*Ĩ(Blpw{1E0kDry3#kqRd@9q,]p)pQF.4GN1txDl hU`E(f3ty \qĽR85Sbȁ1Uҕ![> "Ɣ=B(>Z'6GGAa4өZQZ8Tҩ8MDDq-!brDBoؠg@Ӏ|L0U:˽vcѲeЭڬPP!D @@AA@@ĈLPTXD`dlHD ରtA$Hܰ  u<~c-<ӛg6`!Q ޿OYa:&P' ;Oi@**63Rh۹S8 2gT n.To&d氰P -@9"OQ~U [n Ȗt8d; 2&1SRQVU$0MִzlG,PqfVnVjYՎ$\qma_5Yf~̔3eXSa]uY7Oe#.س=\UdFVwT|3Y\@7ة)7VEtx̦6c`+@'kc" 2Xl95wIf9J8CZ1~ 8(@V-6-6fz,^#Yp1ݳlv݈4 U!b 5Ep5|@0PP0`0!1#'3%%:,3()*.,, ?!1ӵL4ΨO1NW{ Gf"GSڸLZ>55)cҜk@J{5m~dv)tEI*՝ O{ch`+64ݜC NV#{#1jÄz'4ީ"ߏDHHM=ΈVb]km3 Օ8yqJ(w),ȼq;Dh$ Kf>]&'e39*pd tEFR˔d0BIٮ̜|V P갵c B Uƒ&(ƻ1taNhVZjk jkmQH0I3W[X"%G@z''9->h"HP7&[ {=Ŏ8AងAAayR LaC( '1Mj)\|J7)ʶ ӞU$M Ηn^[9P\v=(/}_ǚ2+ֳ+FU68EWVVV^ӱ+wr0YvK"WA1CDwd(#!jU8 2IrO6B5 2' XLrЀ_" srcset=">d`l$$( ( ,,$,(,,,8@0(,4L\T@PJRl^}sӢsТuwply.6]{y'=yr-C@kVsxH2jy@@@@@A! I[o\/=i/;7K_I\ar']vve.s.:&<%nh;8paME$60k64e 5+s:SAX8R\hA1өrKsh  Мɽz[,j>'<׭]3\iivx*; TZ6枒y q9xQ_u8E-S pGX%zg܌½/ fآ7uUb^ KIdOWÓqV{9EȬ6{:e@ DHL@P D ĐIuF3rn.mq<#3Ek]+QB]*΅!J.۪9^&[N , Ãdw Ph3Ix[>QuS/92e(Tm'7yW_ ٦ji|(qDnQ w?n8Qc$..RN۵ec-.N?|9n3L˜y ^es* &Ҏl=9`;FQ&h"Wx`u,l|V'kmCﻭ9GW;r9'P]5`[>?L;LOUFP=9PF 5 8\xj{g36߅Tjcφ(!1 "2A3#0Q@@B<2<{[LcXQ̈́K3ͺ0pѤoR)pg^m iیňmlO3/V=i]R;)fF.m U{?g`aJb AuFbꍜ-Խ * 5ʬ*cc06A=7_iVHHU ɋ-԰p &YJ*V@,247쏀8#02Q+ -(7DDjm5"82,q ?A8 RZXtє=5T+ b2ҸrN%or#^#,\5{RøAcKLoWbx_k1".zlqY >]R669 udPN@m3G`nӸ(1 05M M+b!燳p#7E9ςkP1,H Z<¶4!1AQa Rq"2B0@br@@O!qCw"[\8*Hbc$M\,N'zP420bnջVgmP28Y"Ls5ZKdqȾur5 ;IsDJ,ҡMVΘK?,ɷggArq0̊Q3!ޤMqTŴ"I~'kg[㝍<V]Y2 d'/$449r6 -<̈TJmm:E-,z̈JYYr2}4JB!b~^&vS愖D&!#"\[ 2jV%;`X!^oى"ss%fヶy(cSv\8z7*XcaPaw<#$`؀`w&' <-*VHxz+#` k e.D[h9츍eafh IM.D ('PA à ZA! S"|qI(!`+FR!g0@,BcPnd&U@1 >eth`C&dp ̋ :ӆ&5.p@aPFff %@5`;B]Ǵ6HZ;5;T'E27Dn=;އ.e]bl"ual1h& pS09A[Kq`Ư@y ÅK\'] p̢FRK꣭|JJbE:WT" Qc1)-8-j4=0KB4p   0A1KF\Uۄ[ Cj/oKAq_P"DJuʍ Hs&NE}HnyL1dI[)DeTee-e[8x&pc@(}cBIbLP2cǦɮM@(s;L$r$į ;j >X?G@8l:$*="#`wG@^8T"DNO`cqW2BfC6]4퉹ۯ uG-2jez [ u(Y%H0;@,XyMSP$!<PI@p@09<|2ב{͔4!8"R6 |lv~jHc k_B\xu_fu>) QPFX0 `PvP)0U\vHz]ABYhG0fJW 2B彜OrGѣFY7` hS[cy5`@&V7Xy )IKi; #X+~d Cg!0xXS47.y7;$& #:z@O0HN(%PHd @Q,zC|P㐚%T姣 1E =d(ޗ2$s1ifTlKu͈P Y~7fj!@9ȃH:5ܭQDt%G:BH-MJÄ31@HDϾ\4c(MC!QIgg#;t .Y^B Ar@GV\.x7*d + -fii6Qd<4{o L 2@feofff/1;`yG8>tlPfpDR"E.9Z '^fÐ_Lr18o=)s!1QH `=/-ހ| Bs|DSeJk5Ϻ qVa , 22%KGfn6'[ [Lf0 C$L*\MM7q*q6}&?͆Ö 5!VsތC4!G0DBq @@@@HLPTX`\dhlpD4|8|}@BhV y({e@S0Ƞ(<0) B wd\ 3e|Pf,=13Kг\ʃ-Ћ2KA1U^rcX$K-1R svŒ|0 W/ >e-5Ir%06XUrJZyp!R @fG_Dpj ` 0̴-amS |<.İW.CC)-Qt)r+0-ߺP_2gfbX7nzD^njÇˉa*ZJdbf҇AGI@2.<;Vc @rq$u+"]sno#)ʶ:PF;*X;^ZzPU Qse*4{eM/ 'cOy(&˕1 k ]leu~65ZĽo?3`ZU ޗ\%pG{d 쥍w^X'Ɛᨉ匫 .+A2ݺ^gPdQdir' |ĶhSd,Y+EY3_ž^?1|Jl7rW^: -l<\-\O}oj]͐,tN(T=Ud8vFVv(5Fe@*bZu *~rfFy:(كc U[?NEXe4B}\Y]e x HD~`mظ#sM`ƭ4rZȟE- ZfT}/ѣN%B[}|@.يʁ+CZE#`)W{jKY=shEZTTH9Aݿ[cF7%2׈Sm0zɋ9;Nb[2L+1譯Aec ZъQ+0 @pǔ1 F4#+^ƋnPvjGal(@ TM Ja"!YJWFQakS{#?%!Q8Ũn-6u5m}!a{+9*f!f"B<^Ja?7 +eH v蠵v"cR;&ʏBJ aVl\`GG 6ܷ$2FqD).s|.@u-6J{l-#4vj*;$RT] ڀd d(rR`u,6>Cd]:ZcWjs 9՘c!31Zp Xš 0W"4j&&YYDžЧV NRXʯ#>@@9%٧ ` 7U3_Ռ={ OAwwAyFPj[+VRa"QyƵjUfYdku2RUKJ>K1*.~/vw2F,4BtsGKxwGH:,q9Ѳ.p0\%N!nRKIM5 P$n2VƗkzf.ЉS!ƅaӲQR[P*[^Nmh5hf)e ܸƵHߟX Pk9Ҥ9%0*a;j(fiU^vV_Q9 eB -QUj!C0+& +p 5MBZ˯% ΢% #rgZU ۭxn 6Pyʠ{hfZ*Lʁa` y9*%[THCUo$s|n ( T@zMvp"5zZPe}b_pf_ܷ̒OI֊(l> JQ[* - B.يZhOT)v  N %O;x`BF:!F jD 1Le#h*5QU7A=`eKySjj=kA WbFX%8(A,Է=u|0cpDZ,D  c2DXZEp+xvaaRZe#Xy# g3,E~,Z:@ }wkql֮WU/ S!ŚpBGs|eܧ̎*`ZBG-AOx^f|ʋ&%7W>uaZ=&)$= X-kwUQ ,kYlܥSj⺏2itb>W3za[GUJFnj~!C5:wcAZT楦 [BXX3%*gueA@"gFwD[T>B_M0.sFH%j| 2"\^ml̠fTbFmijlH*iXzح삭pۓL3;+2D\@hfnTsz7UsÉhE8FH>*\YՄbb""egtk5 IEY2}uj (T6H`7ivdƪ:c]@W6wL9sʼn RtZL1-P} Txƻ`G83g +\ "(qye`5~P,Z5 Tr]oR a+RJƓ/DވW!6ⴈ2Z[HypMH-}R>i(^_2׻@,i$ Tz;‹T WRR֠zٸtƕĴ7@1oEƪ w^x)3ɅA/7Iog̪QBjpsuE\^.B61JAƿ*lMphö/4[qдc&И)&o?!3EKb9srʮ(P .ݔcL>%5`b"ML`caŧ9tKW%Z|btݛe}W_1. UU ;*Ĩ(Blpw{1E0kDry3#kqRd@9q,]p)pQF.4GN1txDl hU`E(f3ty \qĽR85Sbȁ1Uҕ![> "Ɣ=B(>Z'6GGAa4өZQZ8Tҩ8MDDq-!brDBoؠg@Ӏ|L0U:˽vcѲeЭڬPP!D @@AA@@ĈLPTXD`dlHD ରtA$Hܰ  u<~c-<ӛg6`!Q ޿OYa:&P' ;Oi@**63Rh۹S8 2gT n.To&d氰P -@9"OQ~U [n Ȗt8d; 2&1SRQVU$0MִzlG,PqfVnVjYՎ$\qma_5Yf~̔3eXSa]uY7Oe#.س=\UdFVwT|3Y\@7ة)7VEtx̦6c`+@'kc" 2Xl95wIf9J8CZ1~ 8(@V-6-6fz,^#Yp1ݳlv݈4 U!b 5Ep5|@0PP0`0!1#'3%%:,3()*.,, ?!1ӵL4ΨO1NW{ Gf"GSڸLZ>55)cҜk@J{5m~dv)tEI*՝ O{ch`+64ݜC NV#{#1jÄz'4ީ"ߏDHHM=ΈVb]km3 Օ8yqJ(w),ȼq;Dh$ Kf>]&'e39*pd tEFR˔d0BIٮ̜|V P갵c B Uƒ&(ƻ1taNhVZjk jkmQH0I3W[X"%G@z''9->h"HP7&[ {=Ŏ8AងAAayR LaC( '1Mj)\|J7)ʶ ӞU$M Ηn^[9P\v=(/}_ǚ2+ֳ+FU68EWVVV^ӱ+wr0YvK"WA1CDwd(#!jU8 2IrO6B5 2' XLrЀ_" class="avatar avatar-100 photo amp-wp-enforced-sizes" height="100" width="100" layout="intrinsic"> says:

    Another good story from Richard Russo – I previously reviewed Empire FallsThis one is studded with humor It’s really an academic novel centered on a 49 year old professor mid life crisis? at a lower tier university perhaps a branch campus in a by passed town in Pennsylvania He is in the “sandwich generation” with a wife whom he loves who is a school principal and two daughters One married daughter lives in town and they worry about her financial situation and that she might be in an abusive relationship His mother also lives in town and the word is that his father separated from her may be moving back in The main character’s father haunts the book like a ghost and he does not appear in person until the end of the novel His father was a “celebrity academic” well published constantly on the move with visiting professorships and always with an attractive female grad student in towFirst about the town Railton “divided by the tracks into two unattractive halves” Church Street has none of its six churches left Yet the faculty stay because “We quickly learned how much it cost to live in places where people actually wanted to live” The main character happens to be the English department chair for a year not because he is especially well liked or a talented administrator but simply because it’s his turn in the barrel and the faculty see him as the lowest common denominator they can agree on He is both anti union and anti administration earning him enemies on both sides He treasures his wise ass reputation thus the book’s title surviving on cynicism and disparagement of almost everything and everyone Anyone who has been in academia will appreciate the accuracy of what Russo lambastes They are a faculty of inertia and lost opportunity some didn’t finish their doctorates or their books a few could have gone elsewhere years ago but didn’t now they are trapped in this mini world of mutual bickering and disgust Here’s a tasteRusso calls it an “atmosphere of distrust suspicion and retribution” We all know the quote attributed to Henry Kissinger although many said it before him about academic politics being so vicious because the stakes are so trivial I also think of Stoner in John William’s novel where his chairman held a grudge against him for twenty years over a trivial matter On the endless faculty meetings he can’t remember the last time anyone changed his or her mind as a result of all the reasoned discourse in fact it seems as if the discussions further entrench everyone in their original position All hiring procedures are dominated by political correctness One young male professor with a ponytail corrects everyone’s generic “he” so frequently that they call him “Orshee” behind his backThe main character loves it when someone says “We’re all reasonable people” He’ll respond “Name ONE”The main character published one novel 20 years ago which his former chairman always referred to as his “collected works”The faculty union rep says to him I know “you think we the union defend incompetence promote mediocrity” To which he responds “I wish you WOULD promote mediocrityit’s a reasonable goal for our institution”On the latest rumor that financial exigency is going to result in the administration cutting tenured faculty “Not unless the faculty are going to be invited to drink Jim Jones Kool Aid after the donkey basketball game and then buried in a mass grave”A lot of his vitriol is directed at his ever absent pompous fatherThe problem with the title “Distinguished Visiting Professor” “it’s hard to remain distinguished among people who know you”His father got two attractive offers that led him to take a job at Columbia U one from the university for a full professorship and one from a young woman graduate studentOn his father’s best selling book of literary criticism “everyone buys it displays it discusses it without finding the time to actually read it”A grad student corrects papers in his father’s large class but he grades papers from his tiny seminar himself “That is he placed a letter grade on them and for all anyone knew may even have read them” Other passages I liked “two people who love each other need not necessarily have the same dreams and aspirations but they damn well ought to share the same nightmares” His younger daughter “the least thoughtful but the most outspoken of his three feminists” wife and two daughters says “Menstruation always was the real red badge of courage” “Rachael his department secretary is one of the half dozen women on campus with whom I have to work at not falling in love”“His mind was simply voided as if the thoughts in his head were composed of iron filings and he was standing too close to a magnet”All in all great humor a very good read and a spot on snapshot of the academy Russo was a faculty member at Southern Illinois and at Colby College Maine I’m giving it a 4 not a 5 because the humor unlike in Empire Falls degenerates into farce almost slapstick at times Still highly recommended Photo of Richard Russo from wikipedia