WHY IT MATTERS
Russo didn't win the Pulit-
zer Prize in literature for “Nobody's Fool.” That honor came with a later novel, “Empire Falls.” But “Nobody's Fool” is perhaps Russo's most human book, a warmhearted examination of flawed people set in a small, snowy town in upstate New York. It's a story of fathers and sons, aspirations and failures, and the difference between well-off lives and lives well-lived. Mostly, though, it's the story of an aging, stubborn man with a bum knee, a dark past and a chance to see all his dreams come true. The writing is hilarious and beautiful, the characters fully developed. There are no real villains here, just the flaws that define us all.