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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book representing the best in Modern U.S. Fiction
This book details a few days in the life of Don Sullivan (Sully), a self-employed handyman in a small North American town. It's both funny and thoughtful with a well-drawn list of characters. This is also the best book about men I have ever read - and I don't mean "MEN" in a Hemingway-way. Sully comes across as flawed and disorganised, with a life to match;...
Published on 19 Nov. 1998

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I did not like this book, I found it very tedious and overlong.
Published 6 months ago by Fortunata


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book representing the best in Modern U.S. Fiction, 19 Nov. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Nobody's Fool (Paperback)
This book details a few days in the life of Don Sullivan (Sully), a self-employed handyman in a small North American town. It's both funny and thoughtful with a well-drawn list of characters. This is also the best book about men I have ever read - and I don't mean "MEN" in a Hemingway-way. Sully comes across as flawed and disorganised, with a life to match; totally bemused by women and obligations of family, he ends up doing the right thing by most in the end. This novel was filmed and starred Paul Newman - the film also carries a hearty recommendation
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 star book- touch of class, 3 Dec. 2003
This review is from: Nobody's Fool (Paperback)
All of Richard Russo's books are wonderfully written and worthy of reading but the character "Sully" is one in a million, at least I hope so! You wouldn't want him as a father but he's a character you can't help liking, in fact you fall half in love with him in this tale. This is one of those books that tells us what we're really like and what we think we don't like. We are often wrong.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely delightful novel, 20 Sept. 2014
By 
hfffoman (Kent) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Nobody's Fool (Paperback)
If you don't know Richard Russo novels you have a treat ahead of you. This is my fourth and, yet again, despite its length, I didn't want it to finish. Sully, the 60-year old hero in this one, is not only a hopeless loser, as are most of Russo's characters, but - I won't spoil it by listing his character flaws but let's say he is not someone most of us would admire in real life. Yet Russo writes with such wit and humanity, I found myself desperately fond of old Sully and all the other no-hopers who do very little but get drunk, smoke, argue and insult each other. That is surely one of the highest achievements of a novel - to take us somewhere we wouldn't want to go and show us the good in it.

I listened to the audio version by Ron Mclarty and if you have access to audio books I would strongly recommend that version as his reading is superb. His ability to put multidimensional expression into a single utterance such as "ok" is a pleasure to witness.

The book covers 3 generations with the majority of the attention given to the older end. It is refreshing to see the focus and sympathy given to the unattractive 80 year old Mrs Peoples, and to the younger grandparents whose sex lives Russo does not shrink from describing.

Warning if you don't like 4 letter words and crude references to parts of the anatomy, steer well clear of this.

One final comment: if you like banter and bar talk, I can't think of anyone who gets it so exactly right as Russo. (If you know of anyone else who can match it please let me know).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read, 6 Feb. 2010
By 
E. Armstrong "bookworm" (North East England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nobody's Fool (Paperback)
I have just discovered Russo as an author, - his stories are not the type I usually go for - but his books are unputdownable. Not much action, but his characters are brilliantly wrought and his style of writing is effortlessly readable.I am now reading a third book by Russo and each one does not disappoint in any way.Thoroughly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Curl up with this book when the weather is grey and you have a cold and want to feel better about things..., 29 Aug. 2011
This review is from: Nobody's Fool (Paperback)
The central character of 'Nobody's Fool' is Sully. Somewhere on the wrong side of sixty, Sully would appear to have never quite got his life together. He is an old hand at drinking until he can't find his way home and also of finding himself in fights without knowing how they happened.

I wasn't sure what to think about this at first - did I really want to read 500 plus pages of this? However, this is Richard Russo writing - a man who can create whole worlds in words and in whose hands every character becomes fully fleshed in all their flaws, needs and aspirations.

In reading the book, I felt that completely drawn into the life of Sully and the lives of those around him - and it was a very comfortable feeling, making the overall impression of this book as being very feel-good and life affirming.

However, as 'life-affirming' isn't always, in my view, the best accolade for a book - I'd like to also highlight that's it's also very intelligent, humorous, full of acute observation and fully honouring of the existence of flawed human beings who, despite everything, do continue to try their very best.

Curl up with this book when the weather is grey and you have a cold and you feel a need for a light to shine on what is good in the world.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The ordinary made extraordinary, 18 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Nobody's Fool (Paperback)
This is one of my favourite books. It is wry, humorous, charming and clever. I strongly recommend it.

The characters are all 'ordinary' people but the protagonist, Donald 'Sully' Sullivan is the key to the book. He is a humble man with humble aspirations but is shown to be an important individual in New Bath and in others' lives. The book is a snapshot of a few days towards the latter years of this life and details Sully's relationships with his family, friends and neighbours. His generosity and decency keep him routed in a number of routines and obligations where we feel he would rather be left alone. For Sully, life should be simple and would be if it weren't for other people. As he hands over some of his daily duties to his son, he says ironically 'It's not easy being me'. He looks at life with a sigh and a smile. It is a wonderfully warm book which makes you realise that we should count our blessings and celebrate the ordinary things in life.

It reminds me of the WC Fields line that went something like 'The first thing you should do each morning is to smile - get it over with...'

The 1994 film is also great - seek it out too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 3 Dec. 2008
By 
Derek Massey "Bibliophile" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nobody's Fool (Paperback)
This is simply a wonderful book and I can't recommend it highly enough. First read not long after it was published in 1994 and have re-read several times since, always with the same degree of pleasure.

It's also one of the few instances, in my experience, of a great book being turned into a great movie. Paul Newman was perfectly cast as Sully. Read (and watch) and enjoy.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a brilliant read, 20 Oct. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Nobody's Fool (Paperback)
I actually saw the film first and loved it and since watching it again after reading the book, it just doesn't compare! The character of Sully was alien to me (being a 30 year old woman) but Richard Russo's ability to define characters in such a way that they instantly remind you of someone in your own life is truly amazing. This book is one of the best you can ever read and I already have several friends in line to borrow it!
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a great book to be around, 19 Nov. 2002
By 
ghandibob (Swansea) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Nobody's Fool (Paperback)
Sully, Sully, Sully. A refrain, a lament, but told with glinting eyes. Sully is a fool to himself, but he knows it, and all his friends know they wouldn't really want it any other way.
Miss Beryl, Sully's landlady and staunch ally caringly despairs of the dented sixty-year-old figure of Don Sullivan, as if he were still the bereaved teenager who came to dinner every night for so many months after his brother died. Things have not really moved on for Sully since, but he has passed the time in good humour, despite the knocks he has received during his unambitious life, and he has become a shambling version of the high school sports star he once was, but now admired at a distance by all, not for his athletic prowess, but for his essentially honest nature and the ability he has acquired for making others feel better about their lives.
That is the charm of Sully: you want to be around him from time to time, but for the whole of your life, never letting go of the directionless fun that occurs. That is also the charm of this book. It teems with ordinary life, recounted warmly. And I for one will be happy to dip my head round the door of Hattie's restaurant and shoot the breeze about the same old things with the same old people from time to time, and until the day that I die.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars, 22 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Nobody's Fool (Paperback)
I did not like this book, I found it very tedious and overlong.
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Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo (Paperback - 16 Mar. 1995)
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