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Empire Falls Hardcover – 8 May 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 704 ratings

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Product details

  • ASIN : 0679432477
  • Publisher : Alfred A. Knopf (8 May 2001)
  • Language : English
  • Hardcover : 496 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 9780679432470
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0679432470
  • Dimensions : 15.88 x 3.81 x 24.51 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 704 ratings

Product description


"In a warmhearted novel of sweeping scope.... Russo follows up his rollicking academic satire, "Straight Man "(1997), with a return to the blue-collar melieu featured in his first three novels and once again shows an unerring sense of the rhythms of small-town life, balancing his irreverent, mocking humor with unending empathy for his characters and their foibles" "Booklist""

From the Inside Flap

Richard Russo--from his first novel, "Mohawk, to his most recent, "Straight Man--has demonstrated a peerless affinity for the human tragicomedy, and with this stunning new novel he extends even further his claims on the small-town, blue-collar heart of the country.
Dexter County, Maine, and specifically the town of Empire Falls, has seen better days, and for decades, in fact, only a succession from bad to worse. One by one, its logging and textile enterprises have gone belly-up, and the once vast holdings of the Whiting clan (presided over by the last scion's widow) now mostly amount to decrepit real estate. The working classes, meanwhile, continue to eke out whatever meager promise isn't already boarded up.
Miles Roby gazes over this ruined kingdom from the Empire Grill, an opportunity of his youth that has become the albatross of his daily and future life. Called back from college and set to work by family obligations--his mother ailing, his father a loose cannon--Miles never left home again. Even so, his own obligations are manifold: a pending divorce; a troubled younger brother; and, not least, a peculiar partnership in the failing grill with none other than Mrs. Whiting. All of these, though, are offset by his daughter, Tick, whom he guides gently and proudly through the tribulations of adolescence.
A decent man encircled by history and dreams, by echoing churches and abandoned mills, by the comforts and feuds provided by lifelong friends and neighbors, Miles is also a patient, knowing guide to the rich, hardscrabble nature of Empire Falls: fathers and sons and daughters, living and dead, rich and poor alike. Shot through with the mysteries of generations and theshattering visitations of the nation at large, it is a social novel of panoramic ambition, yet at the same time achingly personal. In the end, Empire Falls reveals our worst and best instincts, both our most appalling nightmares and our simplest hopes, with all the vision, grace and humanity of truly epic storytelling.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great expectations...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 July 2014
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Bruce Aiken
5.0 out of 5 stars Still resonates in today's America
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books you’ll ever read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just brilliant
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A. W. Skinner
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful novel
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 12 July 2014
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