That Old Cape Magic

July 5, 2011

(And so my sabbatical begins …)

The thing that I like most about Richard Russo‘s books (and this goes for every book of his that I’ve read) is that there is at least one character that I would just like to hang out with. Just to be around them, you know? Not that this would be such a good idea – some of these guys have some real problems – but I feel so warm towards them. Now if only they could like themselves.

The main character in Cape Magic (Times review #1; Times review #2) is Jack Griffin, the unhappy child of two unhappy (?) professors. Like them, he’s unable to accept the joys that life provides (Wouldn’t Have It As a Gift) and kicks himself for missing out on things that he is constitutionally unable to pursue (Can’t Afford It). So he idles away in emotional Neutral while his closest friends slowly drift away. And yet he’s basically a good guy. I sighed a lot. And wrung my hands.

But I mostly laughed my head off. Every couple of pages in fact. Russo knows college life the way a bird knows its nest, and he sends it up with the lightest of touches. I’ll re-read this book eventually. Right after I re-read some Wooster and Jeeves.


One Response to “That Old Cape Magic”

  1. […] have a confession to make: I have loved every Richard Russo book that I have ever read. I haven’t read them all, of course, but I have read enough of them for the threads of […]

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