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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


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READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


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THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


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SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
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Russo, Richard: Nobody's Fool

  Amazon  

5 stars

Donald Sullivan--"Sully"--has rarely met a promising opportunity he didn't walk away from. Arguably the most stubbornly wrongheaded man in the economically depressed village of North Bath, New York, Sully scrapes a living as a jack of all trades, often fed construction work by the town's most fortunate scion, Carl Roebuck. Roebuck, a man with the sexual appetite of a satyr, enjoys an amusing love-hate relationship with Sully, the product of a lifetime of acquaintance in a small town. Richard Russo's Nobody's Fool abounds in these rich relationships, fully-formed characters sharing complex, realistic histories with one another. Chief among those characters is Sully's landlady and one-time 8th-grade teacher, 80-year-old Beryl Peoples, who has been Sully's staunch ally for more than forty years.

 

Nobody's Fool is a chronicle of one particularly trying period in Sully's life, during which he is plagued by a grotesquely swollen knee and by unusually vivid reminiscences of his abusive father, now dead. ("Sully hated to think of his father at rest, and had there been a way, and if Sully'd had the money, he'd have left instructions to have Big Jim dug up every decade or so, just to make sure he didn't get comfortable.") The book is beautifully written, and Russo's evocation of North Bath is so successful that the town and its strange-looking denizens will come to reside in your imagination. A good, long, slow read you'll be sorry to part with.

(Russo's novel was, I have discovered, made into a movie starring Paul Newman in 1994. Casting it in my head prior to learning this, I had settled on Robert Duvall, with Ethan Embry as Rub Squeers.)

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