The Risk Pool, Paperback
A wonderfully funny, perceptive novel The Risk Pool is set in Mohawk, New York, where Ned Hall is doing his best to grow up, even though neither of his estranged parents can properly be called adult. His father, Sam, cultivates bad habits so assiduously that he is stuck at the bottom of his auto insurance risk pool. His mother, Jenny, is slowly going crazy from resentment at a husband who refuses either to stay or to stay away. As Ned veers between allegiances to these grossly inadequate role models, Richard Russo gives us a book that overflows with outsized characters and outlandish predicaments and whose vision of family is at once irreverent and unexpectedly moving. In the traditions of Thornton Wilder and Anne Tyler, The Risk Pool was hailed by The New York Times as superbly original and maliciously funny. Russo proves himself a master at evoking the sights, feelings, and smells of a town.