Book - 2012
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After eight commanding works of fiction, the Pulitzer Prize winner now turns to memoir in a hilarious, moving, and always surprising account of his life, his parents, and the upstate New York town they all struggled variously to escape.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
Description: 246 p. ; 22 cm
ISBN: 9780307959539
Branch Call Number: 813.09 Rus


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HCL_staff_reviews Jun 10, 2019

Ever since I read his Pulitzer Prize winning novel Empire Falls, I have been a Russo fan, and I started Elsewhere with great anticipation. His memoir concerns his frustrating relationship with his mother, a single mom who prided herself on her independence (Russo's father told him once, "You do know your mother's nuts, right?"). An only child, Russo aimed to please her and even went along with her plan to follow him out west when he moved for college. As I listened to him read this work, I heard compassion, love and frustration in his voice. After her death, Russo realized his mother had suffered from undiagnosed OCD. Never boring, this is a beautifully written and ultimately frustrating read. — Kim B., Ridgedale Library

Dec 09, 2013

The hardscrabble place, Gloversville, literally an old glove-making manufacturing town in NY, that is the setting for much that we?ve read by Richard Russo through the years takes center stage in his memoir as well. It was both a place you wanted to leave but one you could not leave behind even when gone many years. This was especially true for Russo?s mother.

At its heart, this is Russo?s story, but for much of the book it?s his mother?s and her curious obsessions that fill the chapters. I almost wondered who would pull the basket off these stories about a mother he clearly loved and cared for, but who was also such a thorn in his side! The last few chapters explain all, leaving me feeling more than a little sad for women like her.

kelleypoole Mar 20, 2013

It took me several pages to decide I would read this; I almost shut it and returned it to the Library. But I stayed with it and was drawn into the story of Richard's mother and her obvious mental illness. I found the story captivating until the last portion of the book, after her death. He then spins off into a psychoanalysis coupled with a social cultural look at his home town. I skipped large portions and prayed for the end to come soon. I'm not sure what happened to the author in the way he handled the ending but I felt as if it was self indulgent. Based on that, I don't think I'd recommend the book.

branch_reviews Jan 28, 2013

Pulitzer prize winning novelist, Richard Russo sets out to document his complicated relationship with his mother and growing up in Gloversville MY – what becomes the fictional setting from many of his novels. What follows is a very readable story, as opposed to his memoir. Labeled by many as “Mom-oir” as it really tells the story of his mother’s life. Russo is unpretentious as the details of the unhealthy relationship he shared with his mother unfold. In the beginning you see his mother as a young boy would see his single mother – strong and striving for independence. As the story weaves along, and as Russo matures and begins to see life from a larger perspective, the reality of who Jean was becomes clearer. Only later after Jean has died does Russo really begin to understand the woman that she was. An entertaining and poignant read. Those who enjoyed The Glass Castle may also enjoy this title. Reviewed by CS

mrsgail5756 Dec 21, 2012

A very good read. I enjoyed this book I would recommend this book for all to read.

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