Russo, Richard

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
This work is the author's memoir of his life, his parents, and the upstate New York town they all struggled variously to escape. Anyone familiar with the author's fiction will recognize Gloversville, New York, once famous for producing that eponymous product and anything else made of leather. This is where the author grew up, the only son of an aspirant mother and a good-time, second-fiddle father who were born into this close-knit community. But by the time of his childhood in the 1950s, prosperity was inexorably being replaced by poverty and illness (often tannery-related), everyone barely scraping by under a very low horizon. A world elsewhere was the dream his mother instilled in Rick, and strived for herself, and their subsequent adventures and tribulations, recounted here, only to prove lifelong, as would Gloversville's fearsome grasp on them both.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 0307959538
Characteristics: 246 p. ;,22 cm.


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Mar 20, 2013
  • kelleypoole rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

It took me several pages to decide I would read this; I almost shut it and returned it to the Library. But I stayed with it and was drawn into the story of Richard's mother and her obvious mental illness. I found the story captivating until the last portion of the book, after her death. He then spins off into a psychoanalysis coupled with a social cultural look at his home town. I skipped large portions and prayed for the end to come soon. I'm not sure what happened to the author in the way he handled the ending but I felt as if it was self indulgent. Based on that, I don't think I'd recommend the book.

Jan 28, 2013

Pulitzer prize winning novelist, Richard Russo sets out to document his complicated relationship with his mother and growing up in Gloversville MY – what becomes the fictional setting from many of his novels. What follows is a very readable story, as opposed to his memoir. Labeled by many as “Mom-oir” as it really tells the story of his mother’s life. Russo is unpretentious as the details of the unhealthy relationship he shared with his mother unfold. In the beginning you see his mother as a young boy would see his single mother – strong and striving for independence. As the story weaves along, and as Russo matures and begins to see life from a larger perspective, the reality of who Jean was becomes clearer. Only later after Jean has died does Russo really begin to understand the woman that she was. An entertaining and poignant read. Those who enjoyed The Glass Castle may also enjoy this title. Reviewed by CS

Dec 21, 2012
  • mrsgail5756 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A very good read. I enjoyed this book I would recommend this book for all to read.


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