Chances Are

Chances Are

Book - 2019
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"From the Pulitzer Prize-winning Richard Russo -- in his first stand-alone novel in a decade -- comes a new revelation: a gripping story about the abiding yet complex power of friendship. One beautiful September day, three sixty-six-year old men convene on Martha's Vineyard, friends ever since meeting in college circa the sixties. They couldn't have been more different then, or even today -- Lincoln's a commercial real estate broker, Teddy a tiny-press publisher, and Mickey a musician beyond his rockin' age. But each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend right here on the Vineyard in 1971. Now, forty-four years later, as this new weekend unfolds, three lives and that of a significant other are displayed in their entirety while the distant past confounds the present like a relentless squall of surprise and discovery. Shot through with Russo's trademark comedy and humanity, Chances Are... also introduces a new level of suspense and menace that will quicken the reader's heartbeat throughout this absorbing saga of how friendship's bonds are every bit as constricting and rewarding as those of family or any other community. For both longtime fans and lucky newcomers, Chances Are... is a stunning demonstration of a highly acclaimed author deepening and expanding his remarkable achievement"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2019
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781101947746
1101947748
Branch Call Number: RUSSO
Characteristics: 301 pages ; 25 cm

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maipenrai
Dec 22, 2019

Beautifully written novel. The three protagonists graduated from college in 1971. I graduated in 1970. Though I was a woman, I remember watching the birthday lottery for the Vietnam war. I saw the lives of many of my friends changed forever by chance. ( Still this was a more fair draft system than inducing the poor and young men of color to surrender their lives to military promises of a brighter future. As we well know, if you had money and influence you could avoid the draft. Our presidents found a way. ) I thought the character development of the three men and the girl they loved was excellent. As a frequent reader of mysteries, I am often engaged early by the desire to know what happens in a book. Chances Are drew me into the story immediately. I don't want to give away the secret of the title, but I thought it was a poignant reminder of the hopes and dreams of the young. Highly recommend. Kristi & Abby Tabby

e
esheehy
Dec 09, 2019

I am a big Russo fan, but this story fell flat for me. On one level, it is supposed to be a heart-felt dive into the relationship between three men, each of whom had a crush on the same woman in college.
Russo goes to great lengths to tell us the backstory of each man, which he does with well-crafted prose and poignant observations, but none of the men are particularly interesting in and of themselves, nor do their current day interactions reveal anything noteworthy of how modern older men relate or reveal their innermost feelings, self-doubts, and worries, to each other. The men have all pretty much moved on with their lives and for the most part put the missing woman’s memory aside, except when they reconvene on the island where she allegedly disappeared.
In the end, after the big reveal, none of it really matters. No lives are changed, and the men go their own way, and no one would be surprised if they decided to forgo ever getting back together again.
Most of the story is told through flashbacks rather than in the present tense which brings any sense of building dramatic tension to a grinding halt. As another writer once put it: "A tale full of sound and fury signifying nothing.”
A far more interesting and authentic rendering of relationships among older men is told in Philip Caputo's recently released, "Hunter's Moon," which I highly recommend.

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