2.03.2012

Straight Man by Richard Russo

Straight ManStraight Man by Richard Russo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Yet another book that I liked okay, but didn't love. It's about one bad week in the life of Henry "Hank" Devereaux, Jr., a college professor in small-town Pennsylvania. He might have a kidney stone; has many contentious relationships with his fellow professors who might vote him out of being the interim chair of the English department--a position he didn't really want in the first place; his estranged father, Henry Devereaux, Sr. is coming back to town after ten years; and he feels like he's half in love with several women besides his wife.

I read a review that called the book "uproariously funny." I wouldn't take it that far. I admit that I did laugh out loud a few times, but there were many more times where I just skimmed through Hank's pontificating on whatever subject was at hand. The book dragged a bit. It took me almost three weeks to read this, so it definitely wasn't a page-turner.

Even though he doesn't fit the physical description of Hank, I totally imagined Oliver Platt playing him in a movie version.  Hank reminded me a lot of Oliver Platt's character on The Big C.

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