14 Jan Chances Are…I’m Going To Read Every Book By Richard Russo
Chances are…if I’m not reading I’m wishing I was.
My day is filled with a lot of the mundane. Occasionally something exciting or fun is sprinkled in, but usually it’s just the same thing more or less over and over again.
It’s certainly not a bad thing, it’s just ordinary and mundane. We all have places that our mind travels to when we can’t physically leave, and thank goodness for that.
I’m usually thinking a bunch of random, tangent-y thoughts while trying to appear focused.
Many of my thoughts are book-related (surprise) and I had been struggling to find a place to write them down as soon as I thought of them.
Recently I began carrying a small notepad in my pocket to jot work notes in. One day I had the genius idea to flip to the back and write anything non-work related there. I don’t rip any pages out, so it’s easy to refer to past notes if need be. Another bonus, it only cost 27 cents at Walmart. This has been a lifesaver for all kinds of random tidbits, as well as my ever-present grocery list.
Chances are…I think this tiny notebook will become a mainstay.
Chances Are… is Richard Russo’s newest book, which was published last year by Random House. Russo had been on my radar to read for several years, but it wasn’t until last year that I finally got the chance and read Empire Falls, I loved it.
I have a few of his books on my shelf and I want to read them all. His stories take place usually in the Northeast US (upstate NY or ME) and follow blue collar small towns. His style is spot on for catching authentic nuances in both language and character traits, while sprinkling in bits of humor.
Chances Are… is the story three sixty year men, Lincoln, Teddy, and Mickey. who met at a New England college in the 60s. They kept in touch over the years and decide to meet up in Martha’s Vineyard one weekend. During their time in college the three worked in the kitchen of the Theta house. Although part of their motivation of working there was to meet girls, they ended up making friends with one girl in particular named Jacy. It was an odd friendship if only for the fact that they all had crushes on her yet were more or less able to maintain a close platonic friendship with her. They were sort of the “Four Mouseketeers.” This story alternates between each of the men and also between the past and present, focusing a lot on the last weekend they spent together before going their separate ways after college. After that weekend, no one saw or heard from Jacy again. As the men come together on Martha’s Vineyard they each have their own feelings and questions regarding that weekend long ago.
I am about twenty pages from the end of this book and once again Russo has shown what a master he is at writing. He writes about everyday life (which, from a lesser author could come across as boring) yet he does it in such a way where you can’t help but to lean in a little closer to see what’s going on.
I highly recommend this book, chances are…you are going to love it.
“Wouldn’t you think the spirit, unshackled at last from so many of the body’s youthful imperatives and bolstered by the wisdom of experience, would finally become ascendant? Wasn’t memory, that bully and oppressor, supposed to become soft and spongy?” —Richard Russo, Chances Are…