Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Trailer Park Tuesday: Everybody’s Fool by Richard Russo

Welcome to Trailer Park Tuesday, a showcase of new book trailers and, in a few cases, previews of book-related movies.

Welcome back to North Bath, New York, population: 1. As in, one memorable character: Donald “Sully” Sullivan. The lovable, irascible, unforgettable character of Richard Russo’s 1993 novel Nobody’s Fool (played so memorably by Paul Newman in the 1994 film) returns to the page in Everybody’s Fool. In the trailer for the new novel, Russo explains why he decided to “sneak back into town” and eavesdrop on characters like Sully and other North Bathians after a 20-year absence: “It was a lot like what happens in real life with good friends: you don’t see each other for thirty years and your paths cross again, (it’s like) you ended the conversation yesterday and then you take it up again today, but between yesterday and today there’s thirty years.” By all accounts, today’s conversation is just as good as yesterday’s: in her New York Times review, Janet Maslin calls Everybody’s Fool “a delightful return to form.” I really like this trailer because it lets Russo’s warm and inviting personality come through. Plus, he has some interesting things to say about writing the book—in particular, what it’s like to write about a character after he’s been branded into our brains by such an iconic actor as Paul Newman: “I’m channeling my own memories of the character, but also channeling all those things he gave to Sully that weren’t on the page...Now the character’s only half mine, and maybe not even quite half.” Which is true: characters like Sully belong to all of us.

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