The Risk Pool

The Risk Pool

Book - 1994 | Vintage contemporaries ed
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Sweeping, humorous and greatly moving, The Risk Pool is a 30-year saga of Sam Hall, a roguish hellraiser, and of his introspective son, Ned. When Sam abandons the family, Ned vacillates between his nervous mother and his reckless father, struggling to win his father's affection.
Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1994, c1988
Edition: Vintage contemporaries ed
ISBN: 0679753834 (pbk.)
Branch Call Number: FIC RUSSO
PS3568.U812 R57 1994
Characteristics: 479 p. ; 20 cm


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Sep 07, 2014

Like John Irving, whom he is sometimes compared to, Richard Russo is a big-hearted, old fashioned (in the best sense of the word) novelist who immerses who in the lives of his characters and has little use for post-modernism or avant-garde experimentation. His second novel, "The Risk Pool" (1988) takes place in a small, shabby New York town where the inhabitants live close to the edge and too close to each other. Like some of his other books, it centers on the strained relationship between a charming, but feckless father and his well-meaning, frustrated son. Russo can be sardonic, but he never mocks his characters and, like Irving, he writes with a great deal of compassion and nuance. The book does go long, but it works because you get to know the characters and the town so well. Also see "Nobody's Fool," and the Pulitzer-winning "Empire Falls." One of our best novelists.


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