the polysyllabic spree

"Book-love... never flags or fails, but like Beauty itself, is a joy forever."

Friday, June 24, 2005

Just Read: Empire Falls

Written by Richard Russo
Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Summary taken from the book:
Miles Roby has been slinging burgers at the Empire Grill for 20 years, a job that cost him his college education and much of his self-respect. What keeps him there? It could be his bright, sensitive daughter Tick, who needs all his help surviving the local high school. Or maybe it’s Janine, Miles’ soon-to-be ex-wife, who’s taken up with a noxiously vain health-club proprietor. Or perhaps it’s the imperious Francine Whiting, who owns everything in town–and seems to believe that “everything” includes Miles himself. In Empire Falls Richard Russo delves deep into the blue-collar heart of America in a work that overflows with hilarity, heartache, and grace.

***

I have another book joining the list of my “All Time Favorite Books”; and this is the lucky one.

The author, Richard Russo, has created many characters that you either will love or hate (but you really can’t hate them). He has a remarkable way of narrating a person’s story that in the end you almost feel like you know him or her quite enough to judge him or her. There’s Miles Roby, the main character, a forty-something man who’s been flipping burgers at Empire Grill for 20 years, and who seems to be struggling expressing himself to everyone including Francine Whiting and his would-be-ex-wife; his deceased mother, who through flashbacks, reveals us certain things that we didn’t think would later be explained; his would-be-ex-wife, Janine, who seems to measure relationships through sex; there’s also the cantankerous cat that hates Miles and so many more interesting characters to meet. You have 483 pages to know all of them.

The one character that has made me laugh and come to like was not Miles himself (but he comes in second), but his father, Max Roby. The things he does makes you scratch your head, but at the same time kind of amuse you. He never fails to capture crumbs on his beard nor does he ever forget to say, “I may be sempty but I’m not senile” whenever his son doubts him. He’s the very definition of crude, rude, and shrewd, but he always makes me laugh. He’s a tactless man who once told a police officer that he remembers him and how he was so stupid. It made me laugh!

By the end of the book, you would know what happened to everybody so it doesn’t exactly give you a headache by making you wonder what happened to that so-so character, which by the way I fully appreciated. It’s just nice to know what happened to a character you’ve come to know and love, isn’t it?

Anyhow, I cannot emphasize stronger how I enjoyed reading this book. I strongly recommend you this book. Trust me, you won’t hate it.


I give this a very bold and happy 5.

Notes:
Owned Copy
Read from June 17 - June 23

8 Comments:

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