Nobody's Fool Summary & Study Guide

This Study Guide consists of approximately 31 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Nobody's Fool.
This section contains 466 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Nobody's Fool Summary & Study Guide Description

Nobody's Fool Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo.

Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo is a book about the people in a small village named New Bath. New Bath is located in the Adirondacks in upstate New York. The town is popular and prosperous in the 1800s and well known for their mineral waters. A big resort hotel is built and the town competes with Schuyler Springs, a few miles away, for the resort business. Then the mineral waters of New Bath dry up and all the business go to Schuyler Springs. Economically, New Bath stagnates and the small town waits two hundred years for economic revival.

Donald Sullivan, or Sully, has lived in New Bath all of his life, like most of the other residents. He is divorced from his wife Vera and is on partial disability due to a knee injury. He does not have much money and has been denied total disability. Despite his lawyer's advice, he decides to return to work and does odd jobs for Carl Roebuck, the owners of the Tip Top Construction Company. Sully has a strange relationship with Carl; the two rag each other constantly. They also have a game of stealing Carl's snow blower from each other.

Sully lives at the house of Miss Beryl People, a widow in her eighties. She was the eighth grade teacher until she was forced to retire. Her husband was the high school football coach and Sully was his favorite student. This made their son, Clive Jr., jealous until he protested and had Sully banned from the Peoples' house. This was a grudge that Clive Jr. was to carry into adulthood, especially since Sully rented the upper floor of Miss Beryl's house. Sully is still coming in between Clive and his mother from Clive Jr.'s point of view.

Sully is basically a loser. He cares little about material possessions and just survives. He is not interested in bank loans or in reading his mail. He has strange relationships with people, yet most of the townspeople like and trust him. He has a side kick named Rub Squeers who works with him and is usually at his side. Rub is resentful of Sully's son, Peter, when Peter separates from his wife and comes to live in New Bath and work with Sully. Sully rags at Rub just as he rags at others. The townspeople seem to accept the ragging as part of Sully's personality.

The book is the story of a few weeks in the lives of Sully and the other townspeople as they wait to see if the big economic boom in the form of a theme park arrives. When the deal falls through, Clive Jr. disappears and life goes on as usual in the small town. The reader will enjoy this slightly humorous novel.

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This section contains 466 words
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