Instaread Summary of Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo
Five out of five stars
The author of this summary encapsulates the plot very well in the Author’s Style section. “Although its crowded, frantic plot unfolds over just two days, the action pauses every so often to consider the rich backstories of characters such as Raymer, Sully, Ruth, Rub, Gus, and Roy.” There are many male characters in the book, all of which live with severe forms of dysfunction and incompetence.
Many of the events in the book are extreme, a police officer falls into an open grave during a gravesite ceremony, a man is struck by lightning and then experiences “unusual” sensory experiences, there is an exotic snake on the loose in an apartment building, imaginary conversations and strong and unreasonable reactions to what should be routine events. This is summed up by the author of the summary in the line “Many of the characters in ‘Everybody’s Fool’ blur the line between fantasy and reality in their own lives or in the lives of others.”
In reading the summary, you are uncertain whether the book is meant to be a farce. With so much packed into one book, after reading the plot summary I had the feeling that it had been read to me by a fast talking auctioneer. Yet, it was enough for a reader to make a decision whether the book would be interesting. Potential readers that prefer their novels to proceed at a steady pace with bursts of action may find this one overwhelming. I would.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.