Straight Man

Straight Man

Book - 1997 | 1st ed
Average Rating:
Rate this:
13
A comedy on university downsizing. To make sure the English department's budget is not cut, William Devereaux, its chairman, goes on TV threatening to kill a goose a day if that happens. Unfortunately a goose is beheaded soon after and Devereaux finds himself in hot water. The setting is Pennsylvania. By the author of Nobody's Fool.
Publisher: New York : Random House, [1997]
Edition: 1st ed
Copyright Date: ©1997
ISBN: 9780375701900
0375701907
Branch Call Number: F RUSSO-R
Characteristics: xvii, 391 pages ; 25 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

h
hRuth
May 11, 2018

Our Book Club read this from an hpl Book Kit.
It was not well liked. Comments: too wordy, too many characters

o
orange_lobster_23
Apr 11, 2018

Henry Devereaux is a humane, funny college instructor who, the reader "pulls for" through his travails. Can't help if the view of academia mirrored Russo's stint at Colby College.

r
rogebc_0
Nov 06, 2016

An intense, chaotic, ultimately sensible story of a few days in the life of a professor in the feuding English department of a middling state university in central Pennsylvania. Well-written, engaging, funny, poignant and long enough to be satisfying.

e
empbee
Nov 08, 2014

Good style, funny at times.
I thought it was written in the seventies. It seems that not much changed in academia.

l
lukasevansherman
Oct 17, 2014

I've known about Richard Russo for a while, but just started reading him this year and am devouring his work, which I think puts him at the forefront of contemporary American novelists. Like Irving, he has little interest in trends, post-modernism, or experimentalism. He's a proudly old fashioned, populist novelist who rather than trying to bend words in new ways do what great authors have always done: try to make sense of how we live. "Straight Man" is not his best novel, but it is his funniest. He keeps the small-town setting of his other books, but this time the characters are professors at a college. He gently pokes fun at office politics, lit theory, and how every English prof. tries to write a novel. As always, his characters and settings feel authentic and lived in, like a familiar flannel shirt. It has a similar wit and feel to David Lodge's campus novels.

hobyzoe Aug 23, 2014

One of the best books I have ever read. Funny - yes, laugh-out-loud - but also excellent character development and superb philosophies. Writing this good is very rare indeed.

riwasows Jun 12, 2014

One of the funniest books I've read in a long time.

DebbyReese Jun 09, 2012

I love Richard Russo's writing - he's an author who makes every word count - no wasted rhetoric! This book was so true - and so very funny - I loved it!

j
jscearce
Jul 21, 2011

I thought this was SUPER funny. The writing style is similar to my own way of saying things, so it made we connect with the story a lot. Also very heart-wrenching at times, at least to me. But definitely funny. Highly recommend.

b
biblioholic
Apr 19, 2011

This is one of the funniest books I've ever read, hands-down.

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at TPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top