Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop Black Friday Deals Week in Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Paperwhite Listen in Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars24
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 July 2014
This is a beautiful novel, exquisitely written. The characters leap off the page and are completely credible. Plot makes sense and is not over complicated. I woke up every morning, for a week, and looked forward to reading it. I was devastated to finish it. I will now read every book that Russo has written.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2005
Russo excels in two areas: characterization and dialogue. The plot itself is almost incidental, and when the climax comes and all the loose ends are tied up and god gets out of his machine, you realise that it is not the story that is so interesting as the ensemble that Russo has put together. It is very rare that I have read a novel where I dont care what happens, just so long as these people get together and talk to each other or past each other, or reflect on their situation, and worry about whatever it is they are worried about. A real pleasure of a read!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 28 August 2001
This is one of the best novels I have read for a long time. Set in a decaying mill town in Maine it is in the tradition of American small town novels of which John Updike was at one time the leading representative. However, this superbly written book lacks Updike's sometimes self-indulgent prose. The book is full of multi- dimensional characters who are all believable and whose stories slowly unfold. The mysteries at the heart of the story are slowly and intriguingly revealed, making use of flashback techniques. The end of the story is perhaps a little melodramatic and some loose ends are tied up a little too easily. But I always looked forward to picking up this book again when I had to put it down.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 16 July 2012
This book involves interesting and realistic characters set in a town in Maine, USA. The book is pretty long, but i managed to read it fairly fast, even though it was not particularly exciting. It's one of those books that even though not much happens in most of it, it is still thoroughly enjoyable. However there is a surprise twist at the end, changing the whole story, and throws the reader off completely. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2011
This book is one that you never want to put down. You become attached to the characters and their humanity.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 February 2015
A superb book. The characters have remained with me since reading it. It will be one of those books I shall return to.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 29 December 2014
Great book. I went on to read all of this authors books one after another.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 November 2015
A wonderful writer!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2013
Empire falls is a very enjoyable read, not a classic but worth reading. I wanted to see what the Pulitzer prize was given for and although I enjoyed the book it didn't really stand out. But as I said worth a read
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2009
Empire Falls is a sleepy and slowly failing town in Maine (but as we all know sleepy town have dark secrets) a town that is predominantly owned by the Whiting Estate, the head of whom is now Francine Whiting, sadly the story isn't based on her as it should have been - more of her later. One of the many buildings and enterprises she owns is the Empire Grill, run buy our protagonist Miles Roby.

Miles is stuck in a rut, after coming home from his degree to look after his dying mother he has never left Empire Falls again. He is going through a divorce with the warped Janine, his daughter Tick is a typical teenager, he has an ongoing feud with an old school friend who is now the law, he's doing up a church, his father is a money grabbing semi-alcoholic and is played like a puppet by Francine whose cat wants to kill him and crippled daughter wants to marry him. That's quite a character isn't it? Bizarrely Miles plays second fiddle to almost every other character in the book.

Francine is undoubtedly for me the star of the show and sadly doesn't feature in the book as much as she should I wanted so much more of her back story. Her cat Timmy (who is a girl) certainly needed to be in it more as it made me laugh which was much needed fabulous light relief. Janine is a wonderful slightly bitter slightly reminiscent ex-wife who has just discovered sex again which led to her affair and shes not letting the object of her new sex life get away and wants to be heading straight down the aisle once more. The women characters were actually by far the best and I think had the novel been written from their aspects the whole way through I would have enjoyed it so much more. But then there wouldn't have been quite so many twists in the end.

There is one big twist that though there are some seeds of thought dropped along the way was much more dramatic and in many ways darker than anything I could have come up with which has little to do with Miles Roby at all and did make me re-read the page. The other twists involve flashbacks of both the Whiting family and Miles himself and give the book an extra depth in a way. Sadly though despite a wonderful host of characters (Russo from reading reviews is a wonderful character author in general) and the invention of a clever town setting with its mysteries and shock endings the book is far too long and at points became a real effort to read, thank fully the cat would appear during some of these.

I guess the test with a book, and with a new author in particular (by new I mean one you've not read before) is if you would read them again. Would I read Richard Russo again, at the moment I would say probably not, however the more I think about the book the more I realise what a clever writer he is and how observant. So maybe he is someone to add to my TBR in 2009 pile, I guess time will tell.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Straight Man
Straight Man by Richard Russo (Paperback - 4 Jun. 1998)

The Known World
The Known World by Edward P. Jones (Paperback - 5 July 2004)

The Orphan Master's Son
The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson (Paperback - 14 Feb. 2013)

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.