From the author of The Risk Pool and Nobody's Fool, a brilliant new novel about a professor whose sense of humor is tested by the cosmic joke.
No contemporary writer has captured the soul of the wise guy -- or the heart of a difficult father -- as Rick Russo has done. His upstate New York novels -- Mohawk, The Risk Pool, and Nobody's Fool -- are among contemporary fiction's finest works: literate, entertaining, compassionate, powerful, and always witty. Now, in a new locale, a college campus in Pennsylvania, Russo still excavates the secrets of the heart. In Hank Devereaux, Jr., failed novelist, creative writing teacher, and estranged son of one of academe's stars, Russo has invented a hero whose cynicism must be mitigated by his love for family, friends, and ultimately knowledge itself. In the process, he has his nose gouged by a poetess, is the prime suspect in the murder of a goose, falls half in love with a colleague's daughter, and discovers his secretary has sold her short- story collection using his ex-agent. Hank's not even sure when to laugh anymore.
Unforgettable, warm, and downright funny, Russo's Straight Man cements his reputation as one of the great storytellers of our time.