"We have seen something like the story of William Henry Devereaux, Jr. in the novels of Richard Ford, Tom McGuane, Louis B. Jones and Larry McMurtry, to name but a few. Yet Russo's 'Straight Man'--a departure from his acclaimed upstate New York novels, 'Nobody's Fool' and 'The Risk Pool'-- is so funny, so beautifully written, so fully imagined, it is easy to forgive its familiarity. His narrator's description of life at a mediocre Pennsylvania college is wicked and precise, and easily a metaphor for the mean-spirited insanity of most institutions....Russo is an easy, elegant writer. The book is beautifully plotted, and Russo makes you care about Devereaux and his fate. He also makes you laugh out loud."Russo, Richard is the author of 'Straight Man', published 1998 under ISBN 9780375701900 and ISBN 0375701907.