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Really a four star read for me Jean Russo was just too annoying The repetitiveness of her demands and complaints and all her moving around got old I m rating generously because of the impeccable writing and because of Rick Russo s honesty and courage in telling this story There s no sentimentality here and he s always gentle in his portrayal of his mother even at her exasperating worst Late in the book ou can see a clear therapeutic benefit for Russo in writing about his mother and himself If ยอดบุรุษพลิกคดี เล่ม 1 you ve enjoyed Russo s novelsou ll discover here how he earned his impressive understanding of comic and tragic familial connections and of the inner distress of conflicted characters You ll also see how his hometown of Gloversville New York served as the prototype for his fictional dying mill towns Rating 35 stars As with Isabelle Allende s memoirs I was interested to see how much of real life Richard Russo used for his novels like Empire Falls and Nobody s Fool especially since the most outrageous things generally turn out to be the true ones In this case Russo is heart breakingly open about his early life in a dying upstate New York mill town his ne er do well gambler father his devoted mother who istoo devoted and eventually diagnosed with OCD and crippling anxiety his incredibly tolerant wife and the chaotic moves and dysfunctional family dynamics involved Without being maudlin or exploitative this is an elouent look at how families warp themselves around a broken member and how that effects everyone long after the person is gone In Russo s case it also made him a sensitive and perceptive storyteller with a drive to make sense of difficult situations an option his mother tragically never got Within these narratives Russo provides clues as to which novel he was working on at each point of his life He and his mother loved books and the books moved when they moved It was from my mother that I learned reading is not a duty but a reward She was his inspiration to become a writer so gotta love her for thatNarrated by the author whose voice is edgy but very pleasant I can t find any fault in it whatsoever He seems like the kind of guy Hummer you could go have a beer and burger with and he would regaleou with funny fascinating stories among them what an awful awful place Illinois is to live uoting his motherThis memoir is hilarious in a few places and also very touching I continue to admire this man whose writing speaks to me So here s a memoir focused on a man s relationship with his mentally ill mother You d think it would be sad depressing frustrating Not so It s all about survival and resilience True some things don t get better the author s hometown of Gloversville NY went downhill after the glove factories closed much like my neighboring hometown of Amsterdam NY when the carpet mills moved out Russo writes about the pollution and the disregard for workers health and the common identity and pride of place lost when manufacturing left so many American towns in the mid twentieth century In that context he gives us the story of his mother Jean Russo trying over and over again to reinvent her life After her husband left she was unable to break free of her parents and live independently It was a life s dream she was unable to realize without the constant help of the author When I wrote Off Kilter my own memoir about growing up in Amsterdam with an unhappy mother I tried to show her tenacity and resilience too and can only hope I did it half as well as Russo What nourishes us in this life might be the very thing that steals that life away from us he writes near the end noting that his paralyzing anxiety at the thought of returning home is his mother s legacy Gloversville is described so well in this memoirand in his novels by other names it s hard to believe he wasn t there just the other day and maybe that s because the place where we grew up remains a part of us always Written with a novelist s sensitivity to the story hidden in every life Elsewhere is a beautiful testament to love survival and putting one foot in front of the other just to see what happens next Russo s message even if we can t in his mother s words make it all work out we keep trying That s what it all comes down to for all of And their subseuent adventures and tribulations in achieving that goal beautifully recounted here were to prove lifelong as would Gloversville's fearsome grasp on them both Fraught with the timeless dynamic of going home again encompassing hopes and fears and the relentless tides of familial and individual complications this story is arresting comic heartbreaking and truly beautiful an immediate class.
Ewhere would add to what I already know To my surprise Elsewhere didn t turn out to be a memoir after all at least not in the traditional sense not in the way I am used to Instead this book was about Richard Russo s mother Jean Having said that I think it s important to add that because of the nature of their lives and their relationship a book about JEAN Russo is by definition a book about Richard Russo The two for better or Do not waste With Baited Breath (Warhammer 40,000) your time reading this bookI read it like the dutiful son Russo the author is because it is his mother who constantly asks him to take her places my son will do that she always insists at the sight of assisted living and nursing home shuttle buses he does it Because the author is someone who is nice I thought I should finish reading this book But I didn t want to It bugged me Why would I want to read about a nagging old woman who insists on following her son across the country when he goes to college I mean that is just pure family dysfunction defined Codependency it s calledOne of Russo s mother s defining features he comes to realize is her reason for reading books as an escape It s not literature or metaphors she is after she doesn t need to relate to characters No she wants to escape from her miserable life of insisting she is independent and she sometimes is at a certain extent we must give her credit for that Ifou want to escape from our life do not read this book thinking it will be a nice memoir from a nice author This book will pull ou down causing The Alcohol Experiment you to worry aboutour own mother and what Menggairahkan Perjalanan Halaqah you will do when she starts falling apart when she is older Willou be Spiritual Warfare for Every Christian your lap dog like Russo Willou uestion ourself or wish ou could have done things differently Sure But who wants to READ about it It s not a pretty picture it s not tragic or beautiful it s not even depressing or sad It s just plain awful This memoir is a must read for fans of Richard Russo I have read all of his novels and his two story collections and I m always moved by his keen observations of the human condition and his brilliant writing Born and raised in Gloversville NY a small town in upstate NY Russo tells of his early life there and gradually how that place and his family history shaped him as a writer became the seed the inspiration for all of the small towns that he writes about In the beginning he says that this is his mother s story but also his story A good part of the narrative is focused on his mother who raised him with the help of her parents as his gambling father was not a part of his life until his late teens He depicts a complicated but loving relationship with his mother who suffered for most of her life from anxiety and panic attacks her nervous condition that wasn t specifically diagnosed until much later in her life It was a complica This book is mom oir than memoir You won t learn much about Rick Russo except as it relates to his mother s inescapable grip on him Jean Russo was one doozy of a dippy demanding dame She taught Rick to think of himself and his mother as essentially one person You and me against the world Even as an adult he couldn t break free of her hold on him For over 35 ears he catered to her ridiculous demands which cost him a fortune financially and mentally Ever since Rick was a boy he d been warned about Mom s nervous condition He lived in fear of upsetting her and she played him like a sueezebox She never mastered many coping skills so she compensated by overdeveloping her manipulative muscles I couldn t decide which of them was deserving of a good throttling Mom was so demanding and full of unreasonable complaints and expectations Rick was far too accommodating and uick to back down thus encouraging her absurd behavior After she died he figured out that her nervous condition was OCD and late in the book he takes ownership of his role as her enabler Jean Russo didn t display the classic symptoms of OCD hand washing and the like Her obsession was expensive She kept moving from city to city and state to state essentially following Rick and his wife all over the country Every time she decided to move again it was up to Rick to find her an apartment she wouldn t bitch about and then he d pay all of her moving costs This wasn Ere the author grew up the only son of an aspirant mother and a charming feckless 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 with everyone barely scraping by under a very low horizonA world elsewhere was the dream his mother instilled in Rick and strived for herself.
Reminder to self KISS Keep It Short SteveRichard Russo is a great writer His stories are fast moving his characters are recognizable and his words entice without adornments In fact I like him so much I read this to become a completist You might imagine that a memoir by a writer of his caliber would be a crowning achievement and ou d be right for parts But he chose a fairly narrow focus that in my mind weakened the whole While I don t doubt that his main subject mother Jean was a profound influence I found myself wishing that the other drivers shaping him weren t crowded out by her dominance Jean had a nervous condition that impacted Buckley and Wilberta young Rick than anyone else Rick s dad a gambler with little tolerance for the home situation had run off early on Jean while supportive in a collusive sort of way learned to manipulate her son well enough to pull his strings even into adulthood Russo s wife must have been a saint to put up with all the different do overs they provided for Jean Her condition a severe inability to cope was undiagnosed during her life but was later discovered to have been OCD It certainly gaveoung Rick a writer s feel for emotional hardship and conflict After reading this I concluded that Russo comes by his empathy honestly And he s constitutionally incapable of a bad sentence though he can write a redundant one The number of times Jean would buck herself up saying I ll just have to give myself a good talking to was well into double figuresAs big a fan as I am of Russo I was hoping for There was so little of anything other than these difficult interactions that would count as character shaping An interesting exception was when he described his hometown in upstate New York Gloversville known in better days for its tannery and ladies gloves was the kind of place he has written about so convincingly in Mohawk The Risk Pool and Nobody s Fool among others Conclusion great writing limited purview should have been Part 1 of a better rounded memoir I listened to Richard Russo read his memoir Elsewhere What a treat This very personal portrait of his relationship with his troubled mother seemed to much personal as told in his own voice Rather than start by telling us that his mother had a mental illness and that he had a hard go of it living with her his story unfolds in real time as he describes the experience of living with his mother from his childhood through to his middle age ears There is a particularly harrowing description of their move half way across the US He talks about her volatile moods and his own internal tug of war over feelings of obligation attachment and exasperation Only at the end does he reflect on what it all means what may have been ailing his mother and its impact and legacy on him and his family This memoir is beautiful and honest Russo doesn t paint himself as a martyr or as a hero I love Russo s novels and I love than he was able to bring the same human focus on his own life as he does in his fictionThe audio is definitely worth it And so my major crush on Richard Russo continues I m not exactly sure why I like this guy s books so much He s not a flashy writer nor particularly chewy and his novels usually set in depressed rust belt towns in upstate New York don t exactly come at ou with big new ideas about the human condition And et I ve loved them all for their heart their generosity of spirit and his talent for bringing people to life whether in a few sentences or over the course of hundreds of pages He also knows how to tell a story how to pace the narrative and because he treats his characters with so much respect and clearly really likes these men and women I guess I always feel like he likes ME the reader as well Anyway Elsewhere is Russo s memoir told almost entirely within the context of his painful infuriating exhausting and of course deeply loving relationship with his mother which sounds like it could be a tactical disaster narrative wise and incredibly claustrophobic especially Nobody s Fool written by Richard Russo is on the list of my favorite books and although I was aware that he based the towns and characters in his novels on his real life hometown of Gloversville in upstate New York I WAS curious about just what this memoir Els. After eight commanding works of fiction the Pulitzer Prize winner now turns to memoir in a hilarious moving and always surprising account of his life his parents and the upstate New York town they all struggled variously to escapeAnyone familiar with Richard Russo's acclaimed novels will recognize Gloversville once famous for producing that eponymous product and anything else made of leather This is wh.
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RICHARD RUSSO is the author of seven previous novels; two collections of stories; and Elsewhere a memoir In 2002 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls which like Nobody’s Fool was adapted to film in a multiple award winning HBO miniseries