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
ISBN: 9781101947746
Branch Call Number: FICTION Rus
Description: 301 pages ; 24 cm


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From Library Staff

Three men (each with his own secrets) who became friends in the 1960s on Martha's Vineyard try to unravel the mystery of the 40-year-old disappearance of a woman each of them loved.

From the critics

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Jan 25, 2020

No point in repeating the 4-5 star comments but do want to note the draft notice lottery scenes - good for those too young to remember what that was like. If you love Russo, read his The Straightman - superb!

ArapahoeAnnaL Jan 10, 2020

Life journeys through the passion of youth, acceptance of older middle age, and possibilities for going on.

The scene with four friends drunkenly linking arms under a seaside moon and crooning joyfully could only happen in the exuberance of youth. What does life look like for long-time friends at age 66?

Dec 06, 2019

Well written novel whose main characters are three men, each dwell on their lost love of the same woman they hung out with in college.

Now 66, Lincoln. Teddy and Mickey gather for a final weekend at Lincoln.s cottage in Cape Cod. What happened to Jacy/ Where is she? Is she even still alive? How did the Viet Nam war draft outcome affect their lives?

Very different from female based main characters who would deal with a similar situation.

ACL_ChrisS Nov 19, 2019

The parts about the main characters' early lives are enjoyable and the writing is excellent. However, I feel the ending is rushed. Also don't read this book if you are looking for a balance of male and female characters.

Sep 27, 2019

This is a story of three fairly decent men and the ghost they can’t stop
Richard Russo’s well-crafted novel is a story of boomer success and
Individual failing...tucked behind a mystery of the woman’s whereabouts.
The importance is not in finding her, but in how they pivot adolescent
Disappointment into an emotional space of adult acceptance.

Sep 25, 2019

I was fascinated but mildly disappointed in 'Chances Are...', however that will NOT prevent my eager hope and expectation of and for whatever Richard Russo writes next. He's in my top 5 of favorite authors.

It was difficult for me to see where 'Chances Are...' was going. However the character development is fascinating. That they did not recognize their own growth nor each others (and, sometimes, their lack of it), and their limited understanding of it, is compelling.

"Was this what we wanted from our oldest friends? Reassurance that the world we remember so fondly still exists? That it hasn't been replaced by a reality we're less fully committed to?"

It takes this reunion weekend and a haunting mystery of their youth to allow them to examine themselves, their relationships - especially with their parents, their fathers in particular, how they got where they are and how they will go forward with this knowledge.

"How many times as a boy had he asked his parents for help only to have them snatch the paper or pen out of his hand and just do whatever it was that he needed help with, as if his presence in their lives and incessant demands on their lives were just too exhausting for words. Clearly, he wasn't worth their effort. If he had been, they'd have gladly spent time with him."

I sincerely hope that quote, nor any of the characters family histories did not come from the author's experience.

4.5 stars

smc_1 Sep 23, 2019

Fabulous writing, well-developed, complex characters, compelling plot! You can never go wrong with Richard Russo.

Sep 17, 2019

A bit slow in the beginning. The characters are very well developed. I enjoyed this book.

Aug 28, 2019

Superb writing!
Who would have thought that Russo could make us care about three aging men re-living their glory days over a weekend in Martha's Vineyard?
The characters are crafted so well, they just fly off the page to speak to us.
The story meandered a bit, but the mystery of the disappearance of Jacy, the girl they all loved, provided a framework that carried the book along.

My first Richard Russo book, but not my last!!

Aug 23, 2019

A beautiful story of friendship, redemption and forgiveness, Richard Russo's storytelling gift continues. The book emphasizes the beauty of long lasting friendship, and with it, valuable insights worthy of contemplating. While reading, I couldn't help but be reminded of "The Big Chill", its music, theme and joy as the reason. If you're a fan of Russo like I am, this story won't disappoint. Great authors create memorable characters that engage a reader at an emotional level while throwing in humor, plot twists and the unexpected. Russo mastered these elements years ago, and 'the beat goes on'. Highly recommended.

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