Bridge of Sighs is a Kindle First the bad news Russo as one of the Great Male Narcissists a term coined by D F Wallace who did not include Russo in his assessment has probably been accused of both
Bridge of Sighs is a Kindle First the bad news: Russo, as one of the Great Male Narcissists (a term coined by D.F. Wallace who did not include Russo in his assessment)has probably been accused of both racism and misogyny and these allegations do have some merit.I have read all of Richard Russo's books and I have greatly enjoyed them all. But I am troubled by the fact that often, if a female character isn't chasing you with a rolling pin, she's got your dick in her mouth. Crazed harridans and insatiable sluts make up the majority of Russo's novels' female population. Unless a character is the wise wife-y stand-in in which case she's completing your thoughts, balancing your checkbook, ironing your shirts and reminding you to get that lump checked out. Basically making her a magic elf who exists in the novel solely as a functionary - taking care of her man and her family. More troubling still are Russo's African-American characters. Their contraction-laden speech lets you know that they're different from the book's protagonist (lest you confuse them), almost always an English professor or someone well-read. The black characters inhabit a world of menial labor and rough neighborhoods. If they interact with the main characters at all it's to teach them a lesson and help them along their way. The "Bridge of Sighs" contains just such a character, a "Magical Negro". This term was coined by the Onion's AV Club (http://www.avclub.com/content/feature...) and is used to describe an African-American character whose sole purpose is to help the white protagonist learn his or her lesson or reach some goal. So there's all of this to consider and to use as a grain of salt when I say that "Bridge of Sighs" is an almost perfect novel. The book is character driven, as is all of Russo's work. And Russo's characters and plots are often interchangeable. Academia, infidelity, illness, small-town life, and old friendships are themes present in Russo's oeuvre . And yet here the characters are people you feel you know - *want* to know.I was unable to sleep last night and as I lay in bed, worrying about the things you worry about when you can't sleep, I found myself thinking more and more of the characters in the novel and their plight, as if they existed and that plight was very real. I thought about Lucy's relationship with his mother and why he never gave her the credit that was due. I thought about Sarah and the life she might have had had she made different choices. I even thought about Dec, wondering what his cheap aftershave smelled like and if he might be smarter than he let on. I shan't give away too many details as the plot is deliberately twisty and meant to surprise you at turns. I don't kid myself in thinking that any of my friends would read this book. I wish they would but they won't. But someone else might see this and not want to know all the details in advance. I will say only that I am cynical, hyper-aware of racist and sexist subtexts, and adamantly repelled by chick-lit of any type (and really of girly things in general) and I still LOVED this book unabashedly. . Bridge of Sighs courses with small town rhythms and the claims of family Here is a town, as well as a world, defined by magnificent and nearly devastating contradictions.Louis Charles Lucy Lynch has spent all his sixty years in upstate Thomaston, New York, married to the same woman, Sarah, for forty of them, their son now a grown man Like his late, beloved father, LuBridge of Sighs courses with small town rhythms and the claims of family Here is a town, as well as a world, defined by magnificent and nearly devastating contradictions.Louis Charles Lucy Lynch has spent all his sixty years in upstate Thomaston, New York, married to the same woman, Sarah, for forty of them, their son now a grown man Like his late, beloved father, Lucy is an optimist, though he s had plenty of reasons not to be chief among them his mother, still indomitably alive Yet it was her shrewdness, combined with that Lynch optimism, that had propelled them years ago to the right side of the tracks and created an empire of convenience stores about to be passed on to the next generation Lucy and Sarah are also preparing for a once in a lifetime trip to Italy, where his oldest friend, a renowned painter, has exiled himself far from anything they d known in childhood In fact, the exact nature of their friendship is one of the many mysteries Lucy hopes to untangle in the history he s writing of his hometown and family And with his story interspersed with that of Noonan, the native son who d fled so long ago, the destinies building up around both of them and Sarah, too are relentless, constantly surprising, and utterly revealing Bridge of Sighs is classic Russo, coursing with small town rhythms and the claims of family, yet it is brilliantly enlarged by an expatriate whose motivations and experiences often contrary, sometimes not prove every bit as mesmerizing as they resonate through these richly different lives Here is a town, as well as a world, defined by magnificent and nearly devastating contradictions.. A viral Books Bridge of Sighs The Bridge of Sighs is that Venice pont which prisoners traverse on their way to jail, usually for good. The sighs are the prisoners bemoaning their dark fate. Are we all so condemned? Set in the upper reaches of New York, the small city of Thomaston is familiar territory for readers of Empire Falls. This is more than a family tale. It is the story of a town as epitomized by a group of friends and relations over three generations. The big theme here is predestination, whether people are fated to certain ends regardless of their desires. Characters face the momentum of their past and either submit or rebel. Even in rebellion they remain who they are. The river runs red with the effluent of the town’s largest employer, a tanner. While the tanner employs many in the area, it also poisons the ground water and kills via cancer the same people it supports with jobs. Perhaps that is the Edenic apple. There are multiple narrators here, primary of which is Louis Charles Lynch, cursed with the nickname Lucy when a teacher reads the roll, shortening Louis and adding his initial. We follow his life from childhood to age 60 when he and his wife prepare to travel to Venice to see a long-lost friend. Renowned painter Robert Noonan was a major force in their lives, friend to Lucy, more than friend, maybe, to Lucy’s wife Sarah. There are class boundaries, some of them hard-wired into streets that divide better off neighborhoods from the less fortunate. Characters cross those neighborhood and class borders, but the marks left by those lines remain, like faded scars. Racism rears its nasty face, as was not exactly unknown in the 1950s. We get to see some growth there as well.This is such a tale of parallel structures that it seemed lattice-like. First we have pairs of fathers and sons; Big Lou, a large, naively optimistic, friendly milkman and his son, Lucy, the primary narrator, who is more like him than not. Bobby Marconi is a tough kid, best friends with Lucy, his protector for a time. His father is a harsh, angry man, friend to no one, cruel to his family, verbally abusive, unfaithful. Bobby carries his father’s violent tendencies within, occasionally letting loose. George Mock and his son Three offer a lesser echo of the father-son patterns. Three and Bobby reject their fathers as much as Lucy embraces his. Mother-daughter dynamics are not ignored. Sarah Berg and her mother are in focus towards the end of the book, as is Sarah’s relationship with Tessa.Each generation has its seducers, those who have it in their nature to attract women with the pheromone of reckless excitement. Declan was that for Tessa as Bobby is/was that for Sarah. Jerzy’s girlfriend, (I forgot her name), serves the opposite purpose for Lucy, as she offers a Lolita-ish tease in return for the right to get free stuff from Lucy’s family store, and to ignore him when he cannot offer her material rewards. Nan, the prettiest girl in town, daughter of the richest man, is an empty, vacuous vessel, concerned solely with appearances, as her mother is later shown to be. What happens to the hopes of youth? For Tessa and Sarah it was their art. Yet it is the rough and tumble Bobby who winds up becoming an artist. Maybe he could only do that by escaping from Thomaston. The thuggish Jerzy is perhaps the most transformed of all. Guilty of bullying to the point of traumatizing Lucy and to putting an innocent into a coma, he is transformed when, laden with guilt for his major crime, he becomes receptive to the intellectual gifts offered by Sarah’s teacher father and ultimately finds an outlet in academia, again away from Thomaston. Yet one need not leave town to find success. Big Lou, then Lucy are perfectly content to remain where they are, building the small business that becomes the centerpiece of their very fulfilling lives. Yet is Lucy ever condemned by his spells to a life of at least occasional withdrawal? Isn’t he, at least in part, hiding out in the face of stress, just as he did in the trunk?Was Sarah’s father’s fate predetermined? He is a drug addict and an intellectual. We learn that it was his addiction that caused him to leave the big city and hide out in Thomaston, and later he turns to his addiction when life becomes too hard. Bobby’s mother also turns to drugs to dull the pain of her existence. Russo’s characters breathe with life. I found that I identified with one in particular and suffered pangs when it appeared that he would be betrayed by people close to him. I related to the very human flaws in the characters, Lucy’s narrow optimism, Mister Berg’s rage at the ignorance around him, Bobby’s disgust with his father, Sarah’s attraction to both the excitement of Bobby and the warmth and solidity of Lucy.I felt at times that I was in that uncomfortable position of being able to access the secret thoughts and writings of those who are close, and finding out what they really think and feel. It is never as laudatory as one might hope. It was a creepy, voyeuristic experience. That Russo made me care that much about the characters offers proof of the effectiveness of his story-telling.Do I share Lucy’s passivity? How about the passion of Bobby, the artistic leanings of Tess, Sarah and Bobby, the intellectual excitement that was stirred in Jerzy, both Mister Berg’s rage against the night and his disinterest in certain passions of the flesh, the feelings of powerlessness to defend against the Bobbies of the world that Lucy and Big Lou must have felt, the need to get away that Bobby felt. While I may have grown up in the Bronx, it always felt to me like a Podunk town. Yet, maybe it is my destiny never to really escape from that place, regardless of where I live. Some do, some don’t. Life sets us up pointed in a certain direction, and we can overcome that, but it takes a concerted effort and some good fortune. I liked the book a lot, although it felt a bit less satisfying than did Empire Falls. Still, this one is heartily recommended.
Visit the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, Italy The Bridge of Sighs, known as the Ponte dei Sospiri in Italian, is one of the most famous bridges not just in Venice, but in the world The bridge passes over the Rio di Palazzo and connects the Dogi s Palace to the Prigioni, the prisons that were built across the canal in the late th century. Bridge of Sighs A Novel Vintage Contemporaries Russo Bridge of Sighs is Russo s most intricate, multifaceted novel enormous and enormously moving The Washington Post Book World A novel of great warmth, charm and intimacy richly evocative and beautifully wrought The New York Times Russo s most ambitious and best work. Bridge of Sighs Lima All You Need to Know BEFORE The Bridge of Sighs is so named because the tradition is to think of a wish, then hold your breath the entire way as you walk across the bridge, and make the wish. Bridge of Sighs Legend, Style and Interesting Facts Bridge of Sighs by Richard Russo Sep , The Bridge of Sighs is that Venice pont which prisoners traverse on their way to jail, usually for good The sighs are the prisoners bemoaning their dark fate Are we all so condemned Set in the upper reaches of New York, the small city of Thomaston is familiar territory for readers of