Friday, March 11, 2011
That Old Cape Magic
After reading Straight Man, I was looking forward to reading more of Richard Russo. I had heard good things about That Old Cape Magic and decided to read it. The two books share some similarities. The main character is a middle-aged male professor sort of going through a mid-life crisis. Whereas in Straight Man, the book is witty and entertaining, I thought TOCM was sort of sad and desperate. The writing was still terrific and I kept wanting to read it for that reason, but for that reason alone. I just don't know that a novel about someone else's personal problems is all that enticing.
Unfortunately, I don't there is much of a plot outside of the crisis. It felt like more of a character sketch. The thing is, and perhaps this is some of the appeal of the book, Russo's characters are very normal and mundane. Boring, even. The lack of anything special about them made me not care about how the book ended or what happened to any of them.
I'm also not sure if I care whether or not I read more Russo. This wasn't quite terrible but it certainly wasn't Straight Man.