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Book Cover for: Straight Man, Richard Russo

Straight Man

Richard Russo

Reader Score


87% of readers

recommend this book

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 goose, 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 park.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Vintage
  • Publish Date: Jun 9th, 1998
  • Pages: 416
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 8.14in - 5.23in - 0.91in - 0.69lb
  • EAN: 9780375701900
  • Categories: LiteraryHumorous - GeneralSmall Town & Rural

About the Author

RICHARD RUSSO is the author of eight novels; two collections of stories; and Elsewhere, a memoir. In 2002 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls, which like Nobody's Fool was adapted to film, in a multiple-award-winning HBO miniseries.

Praise for this book

"The funniest serious novel I have read since--well, maybe since Portnoy's Complaint." --The New York Times Book Review

"There is a big, wry heart beating at the center of Russo's fiction." --The New Yorker

"[Russo] skewers academic pretensions and infighting with mad a clear and muscular prose that is a pleasaure to read....I had to stop often to guffaw, gasp, wheeze, and wipe away my tears." --Chicago Sun-Times

"Bursting with humor and insight." --USA Today