Straight Man

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Richard Russo paints a man for whom it’s all over from all sides and still he does not want to commit suicide. William Henry Devereaux has been the chairman of the English department for quite a while now and one thing he knows as hell clear that it is not just one department that he runs. The department is separated into two groups that are not only bitter enemies but are like warriors working for their own goals.

Thus the poor chairman can only watch the enmity growing and no positive work has ever been done in the department or by the department. More to his displeasure William faces some terrible issues in his house as well as his wife is having an affair, its war on both ends of his life and all he can do is just watch. Russo presents things in so quick succession that even the reader gets confused that how such a man would survive and would there be any positivity left in the man such as William Henry.

It is one of Russo’s classical tales the same sort we see in Chances Are… and Empire Falls in which an average man is falling into a pit of troubles from which there is no way out. All the things go wrong for the poor chap as he is even blackmailed by people and his repute too is at stake along with his job and family life.

Wonderfully narrated by Sam Freed this one of a kind story tells us about the life of an ordinary man and the issues that he usually faces in his official and domestic life.







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