Book excerpt: “Somebody’s Fool” by Richard Russo



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Richard Russo, the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of “Empire Falls,” returns along with his third novel in regards to the of us in North Tub, New York, the themes of his 1993 novel “No one’s Idiot” and its 2016 sequel, “All people’s Idiot.” However in “Someone’s Idiot” (Knopf), the struggling city is completed, about to be swallowed up by its wealthier neighbors – and the small city’s residents face radical modifications.

Learn an excerpt under. 

“Someone’s Idiot” by Richard Russo

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The modifications can be gradual, or that was how the concept had been offered all alongside. However no sooner did North Tub’s annexation to Schuyler Springs turn out to be official than rumors started circulating about “subsequent steps.” North Tub Excessive, the Beryl Peoples Center Faculty, and one of many city’s two elementary colleges would shut on the finish of the college yr, just some months away. Within the fall their college students can be bused to colleges in Schuyler. Okay, none of this was surprising. The entire level of consolidation was to remove redundancies, so training, the costliest of those, would naturally be on the high of that listing. Nonetheless, these pushing for annexation had argued that such modifications can be incremental, the results of pure attrition.

Academics would not be fired, merely inspired, by the use of incentives, to retire. Youthful employees would apply for positions within the Schuyler unified faculty district, which might make each effort to accommodate them. The college buildings themselves can be transformed into county workplaces. Identical cope with the police. The low-­slung brick constructing that housed the police division and the jail can be repurposed, and Doug Raymer, who’d been making noises about retiring as chief of police for years, might in all probability get repurposed as nicely. His half-­dozen or so officers might apply for positions inside the Schuyler PD. Hell, they’d in all probability even preserve their outdated uniforms; the left sleeve would simply bear a unique patch. Positive, different redundancies would observe. There’d be no additional want for a city council (there being no city) or for a mayor (which in Tub wasn’t even a full-­time place). The city already bought its water from Schuyler Springs, whose sanitation division would now acquire its trash, which all people agreed was a big improve. At current Tub residents had been answerable for hauling their crap to the dump, or hiring the Squeers Brothers and letting their fleet of decrepit dump vans do it for them.

Naturally, not everybody had been in favor of this quantum shift. Some maintained there was actually just one real redundancy that annexation would remove, and that was North Tub itself.

Excerpt from “Someone’s Idiot” by Richard Russo, copyright 2023 by Richard Russo. Printed by Knopf, a division of Penguin Random Home LLC. All rights reserved.

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