Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo (Alfred A. Knopf, 2016)
The great thing about well-written fiction such as Everybody’s Fool is that it allows you to feel like you are experiencing someone else’s life, or in the case of this novel, the lives of a bunch of men who live in a small town in upstate New York. These particular men are not especially smart or successful, and some of them have pretty low self-esteem, but through their first person narratives we hear their human thoughts and feelings. The two younger men are both mentally ill (in fact the sociopath is rather scary), but the five older men are fairly decent. Several of them are facing serious illness and don’t know how many more days they have left. They treat their friends, their family, and the women they love to the best of their ability. So even though I am probably not his target audience, I can see why Richard Russo won a Pulitzer Prize for one of his previous novels. He is a storyteller on the level of the ones I hear on NPR.