Straight Man

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Click for availability and more information Straight Man, by Richard Russo

Put any of the novels that you might have missed by the irrepressible Richard Russo on your summer reading list. Straight Man is a complete hoot.
It's a savvy, sweet satire. Russo sends up small college town life, particularly the bureaucracy of academe. Somewhere in west central Pennsylvania a not top-notch institution of higher education is struggling with its budget for the year to come. Fifty-something-year-old Hank is the reluctant English Department Head pro tem.
Hank's had a one hit wonder literary career that peaked decades ago. Not ambitious, he's riding just a bit on his father's relative literary fame.
As the inevitable year-end job slashing rumors rise, his department of quarrelsome increasingly hysterical egotistical professors plot mutiny against him and the administration bean counters. Academic love-hate relations abound. Hank is finally driven to instigate a bizarre media campaign. He's going to kill a duck a day at the campus pond for tv news until fiscal sanity (as defined by the English profs) is restored. Enjoy the romp.

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This page contains a single entry published on July 25, 2007 5:14 PM.

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