Hank Devereaux, a fifty-year-old, one-time novelist now serving as temporary chair of the English department, has more than a mid-life crisis to contend with when he learns that he must cull 20 per cent of his department to meet budget. Half in love with three women, unable to understand his younger daughter or come to terms with his father, he ...Read MoreHank Devereaux, a fifty-year-old, one-time novelist now serving as temporary chair of the English department, has more than a mid-life crisis to contend with when he learns that he must cull 20 per cent of his department to meet budget. Half in love with three women, unable to understand his younger daughter or come to terms with his father, he has a dangerous philosophy that life, and academic life, could be simpler, but he fails to see the larger consequences of his own actions or of the small-world politics that ebb and flow around him, as his colleagues jostle for position and marriages fall apart and regroup. The despair of his wife, and the scourge of the campus geese, he is a man at odds with himself and caught somewhere between cause and effect.Read Less
Fine in fine dust jacket. FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING + LIKE NEW CONDITION + ORIGINAL HARDBACK FORMAT, PROTECTED BY A MYLAR COVER; COLLECTING BOOKS SINCE 1988, SELLING BOOKS SINCE 2008. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 391 p. Audience: General/trade.
Fine in Very Good jacket. Signed by Author(s) 0679432469 First print signed by author on the title page. Dust jacket is in removable brodart cover. Bubble wrapped and shipped in a well padded, sturdy box. Complete # line 98765432. This is the correct # line for a first printing of this book. Also must have First Edition on copyright page.
Fine in Fine jacket. Signed by Author(s) 0679432469 First Print. Signed by the author on the title page. NOT inscribed, clipped or otherwise marked. Dust jacket in protective cover and shipped in a box. Complete # line 98765432. This is the correct # line for a first printing of this book. Also must have First Edition on copyright page.
Fine in Fine jacket. Book. 12mo-over 6¾-7¾" tall. Signed by Author(s) This is a Fine+ copy of the first edition (1st printing) in a Fine+ dust jacket. Signed by the author on the title page. There is a price tag (removable) on the back of the jacket.
Fine in Fine jacket. Book. 8vo-over 7¾"-9¾" tall. Signed by Author(s) Beautiful copy of this 1997 New York Times Notable Book of the Year. A novel of surpassing wit, poignancy and insight, that also is compassionate and laugh-out-loud funny. Mr. Russo has created a hero whose humor and identification with the absurd are mitigated only by his love for family, friends, and, ultimately, knowledge itself.
As New in As New jacket. Signed by Author Fine. Stated First Edition with number line lowest number of "2" as per Random House's method for First Printing at time of publication. Signed by Richard Russo with signature only on the title page.
Fine in fine dust jacket. Signed by author, "Newport NH, Oct. 5, 2013" after accepting the Sarah Josepha Hale Award, Richards Free Library Trustees. Red circular Preview Edition sticker on front cover. Advanced Reading Copy. Black cloth and white blind-stamped (small goose) paper over boards. 391 p. Audience: General/trade. Fiction set on a Pennsylvania college campus, with character Hank Devereaux, an unlikely chair of an English department, a story told with wit and poignant insight. One week's challenges: he threatens to execute a goose, has his nose slashed by a feminist poet, finds his secretary writes better fiction than he, suspects his wife is having an affair with his dean, and at an abandoned amusement park, he confronts his philandering father, once king of American Literary Theory. As a recipient of the annual Hale Award, he joins an impressive list of New England-based novelists, poets, historians, and editors, a tradition that began with poet Robert Frost's recognition in 1956. During the 18th century, self-educated Sarah Josepha Hale, a Newport N.H. native, was a mother of five when widowed, and later made her living as a writer, becoming the first woman periodical editor (Godey's Lady's Book).
Random House Audio Publishing Group, New York, NY
Thoughts Inspired by Straight Man; a novel by Richard Russo
Hank Devereaux, Jr. has hit the wall of mid-life face first. During just a few days in the spring, we follow Hank as he ?looses it? in the absence of his wife, in the midst of a career in shambles and of a body that is beginning to fail. We?ve all been there, right? If not, just wait!
This is a laugh out loud funny look at a man in decline. How can we laugh at a man in decline? He is all of us ? and as we all know, if you cannot laugh at your troubles, you will cry. As we reach middle age, it is important to recognize that struggle is normal. We all get to the 40+ territory wondering if we took a wrong turn, got lost along the way, should have chosen A instead of B, and lament that we just can?t do what we once did.
But, we do not have to accept this as permanent. We often coast into our forties, fueled by the dreams and ambitions of our youth. At this point some of us have found that our dreams are a nightmare, or that the things that once pumped us up no longer do, or that we have veered so far off the path we wonder how we got here in the first place.
It is normal to reflect upon our life lived to date, to evaluate all of the good, all of the bad and make some decisions about how you want to live going forward. Where we are now is not a life sentence. This is the feeling we often have ? the mortgage, the children, the responsibility ? they all work together to forge the shackle that binds our life, that locks us here, now and forever.
I can laugh at Hank because I know that I don?t have to be Hank. A mid-life crisis can be a healthy experience if its done right. Too often, men look around and decide that they are unhappy with their wife or their entire life ? that a new wife, a new car, a new tattoo ? some THING will fill the void we feel in our hearts and souls. The truth is that NO THING will cure what ails you. The mid-life crisis is, or should be, simply a period of time in which we reflect on where we are in relation to where we wanted to be. We re-evaluate what we want, what we need, what is important, and what is missing. We recognize, acknowledge and give thanks for what we do have ? because most of us have a lot. Then we set a new course for the next stage in life.
We do not, or should not, chuck all of our ?perceived? chains and race off in our new corvette. The problems at mid-life have less to do with other people or things ? it is almost all about you. Your happiness at this point is contingent on how you balance the image you had of your life versus it reality. This is dangerous ground, because it becomes easy top overlook our gifts and focus only on what we missed ? creating disappointment and misery ? then we start the blame game.
It is essential that we all realize that it is normal to experience feelings of regret, remorse and disenchantment at mid-life. It is normal to question our choices, to wonder what-if and doubt your current path. Then next step is what separates the men from the boys. Boys play the blame game and run. Men get real with themselves, they ask the hard questions, they communicate with their partners, they create a new plan for their life (that includes those they love) and they begin on a new course to fulfillment and maturity. Remember, 40 is the new 30 ? or so they say ? take care of yourself and you have a lot of life ahead of you ? embrace it! If you need a laugh along the way ? read Straight Man ? it will put a smile on your face, guaranteed.
Peace & God Bless!
Sep 18, 2008
Duck, Duck, Goose.
A very fun and poignant novel about middle age and the ambiguities it brings to the body, relationships and the work place. This novel is set in Academia and nails the peculiarities of that exceedingly peculiar entity. How does one deal with long-term relationships with a spouse, children, parents, colleagues, and one's own body. In general, middle age does make one, in some sense of the word, ridiculous. This novel wallows in and celebrates that to wonderful comic effect - without skimping on the pathos - The pathetic hero of the novel finds himself in a weekend when the world spins around him like a comic hurricane. He is an eye to the comic hurricane that spins around him - even though he's responsible for a good part of it all himself. A fun, moving book - Highly recommended.
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