Friday, July 13, 2012

Empire Falls

Last night I finished Russo's Empire Falls, a novel I have been meaning to read for about a decade.

I very much enjoyed the first half or two thirds of the book. It centers on the manager of a diner in an economically depressed small town in Maine. The cast of characters is richly developed, with both compassion and humor on the author's part, and the interior struggles of Miles, the protagonist, are touchingly rendered. This history of the once booming town based on one family's industry was also interesting.

But toward the end it sped up in a way that felt almost like a different book. Although I was deeply moved by the plot surrounding Miles' working through his relationship with his mother, I felt that most of the plot strands were hastily wrapped up or in some ways left unresolved.

Still, I was very engrossed in this, and particularly enjoyed the humor; so at some point I'll definitely read another of his books.

Oh, and I only JUST NOW got the quasi-pun in the title of the book, and the name of the town...(fallen empire...)

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