Well, there aren’t any Richard Russo books left to read now, which makes starting something else just as good always a hard task. His latest, Old Cape Magic seems so far, to be Russo on top of his game, even after all this time, all these novels later. This time, protagonist Jack Griffin, not so Paul Newman-ish this time around, is steeped in the past, wrestling with what seemed like ridiculously contemptuous parents, a future that he compromised rather than shared with his wife, and all that other stuff about you know, the tragedy of expectation, and life’s most exasperating, confusing subject… love (what else?). Russo, a middle aged Northeastern writer and English professor, seems to be most revealing of his outlook at this age. “There’s fucking truth in this,” to quote the protagonist’s writer friend.
I’d recommend damn near everything he’s written, which are typically novels centering around protagonists that can’t take the plight of small town existence too seriously. For those new to his novels, it’s not a bad place to start.
Next up… more memoirs from punk music history! Which possibly means a re-read of Leggs McNeil’s great oral history, Please Kill Me.