Monday, September 17, 2007

Empire Falls by Richard Russo

Makes you wish you never left the small town you grew up in....
this is what one of the reviewers said about Empire Falls.
I'm just not sure they finished the book. Either way, I'm not regretting leaving C-ville anytime soon based on the small town life in this book.

The first two thirds of the book build characters and background and town history and multiple stories slowly and deliberately. I thoroughly enjoyed the pacing and depth. Suddenly in the last third of the book, a gentle meandering story becomes a page-turner, with new facts uncovered about characters and actions and reactions building toward an unexpected climax.

In book group, someone characterized this as small towns are slow and boring except when they aren't. When something happens in a small town, and everyone's lives are intertwined, things can get exciting quickly.

The HBO minsiseries sticks to the book directly, but a 500 page book can't get squishde into a movie, even one in several parts. The character introspection and development of the book is missing, their worries and musings and dreams and reflections. My advice - treat yourself to the miniseries AFTER you read the book. And don't read the book alone - you will want to talk about it after, and I, for one, know that my spouse did not appreciate being shaken awake late at night so that I could share my thoughts on the ending....
I read it. 525 pages.


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