That Old Cape Magic MOBI ↠ That Old PDF or

That Old Cape Magic ➵ That Old Cape Magic Read ➼ Author Richard Russo – Thomashillier.co.uk Caprice de tout jeune adulte ou simple désir de découverte Jack se met à douter de l’enseignement dispensé au cours de son enfance Aussi il décide de uitter les siens pour se faire sa propre id Caprice de tout jeune adulte ou simple désir de découverte Jack se met à douter de l’enseignement dispensé au cours de son enfance Aussi il décide de uitter les siens pour se faire sa propre idée du monde dont il a entendu parler sans jamais le découvrir de ses propres yeux Motivé par la perspective d’apprendre au travers de rencontres plus That Old PDF or ou moins hétéroclites il s’imagine partir à l’aventure pour découvrir son pays et ses habitants uels u’ils soient riches ou pauvres peu importe ui ils sont Curieux de connaître leurs expériences Jack veut désormais être libre de vivre sa vie.


About the Author: Richard Russo

RICHARD RUSSO is the author of seven previous novels; two collections of stories; and Elsewhere a memoir In he received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls which like Nobody’s Fool was adapted to film in a multiple award winning HBO miniseries.



10 thoughts on “That Old Cape Magic

  1. Will Byrnes Will Byrnes says:

    The title refers to a modification of the song “That Old Black Magic” a tune sung with verve and hope by narrator Jack Griffin’s parents when they would cross the bridge into Cape Cod every summer for one month of relief from eleven months of misery Each of the book’s eleven chapters connects to some aspect of Cape Cod in Jack’s life from summer vacations there as a kid to his honeymoon to the wedding of his daughter’s friend and later his daughter’s weddingPlace is important to the story beyond Cape Cod Jack’s parents both from upstate New York aspired to live and teach in Ivy or near Ivy League institutions in the northeast but their Ivy League degrees are not sufficient to gain them Ivy League careers and they are relegated to the “mid fucking west” His wife’s parents and thus her familial connections are in Republican suburban California Living in Connecticut offers strains to her as well Along with Cape Cod as a central image the relationship of Jack to his parents is a core concern familiar turf for Russo How much of any of us is truly our own? How much are we influenced formed by our parents? How much of them can we set aside escape embrace and still be separate people? How much of what we want is really our own and not a carry forward of our parents dreams? In career in marriage in family? Jack struggles with trying to live his own life His parents are always in his thoughts He is even toting his father’s ashes about with him planning to scatter them in the cape struggling to actually do the deed Jack has been married to Joy for 34 years and they have had their ups and downs Once a Hollywood screenwriter of modest accomplishment he returned east for a college teaching post His dream or his parents? His dream or Joy’s who had wanted him to move away from screenwriting to teaching? The pull of LA remains strong work for him family for her The central action of the story centers on the viability of Jack and Joy’s marriage Personally I felt it hitting a bit too close to home at times Not so much in the specifics My life has been very different from Jack’s but we are the same age and have both gone through the deep emotional scarring that long term relationships can entail As a veteran of those wars I recognize the verity of long silent car rides uncomfortable silences changes in how one views one’s mate old secrets exposed private tears seen I suppose it is a good thing that Russo made me suirm with this familiarity That his writing hits home in so personal a way reinforces the fact that he knows of what he speaks There is significant craft at work here as one would expect from a master writer of Russo's caliber He parallels the pining of Jack’s partner Tommy for Jack’s wife Joy with that of young ironically named Sunny Kim for his daughter Laura He offers significant hooks to parental engagement from the ashes Jack is toting and never uite getting around to scattering to the voice of his mother in his head Water is used for its lachrymose and rebirth purposes Is it stretching too far to wonder if Jack Griffin was named as he was in support of his dual nature as part Hollywood guy and part academic? There are bits of humor here and some are pretty funny but I found that in the overall feel of the book most of the humor did not do much for me Maybe it was just my personal reaction having been brought back to dark days For folks who did not vibrate with such feelings it is probably a lot funnier This is no Empire Falls or Bridge of Sighs While Russo offers a multi generational view of a family here the story is individual and less social less big picture historical and how the history of one family affects their descendants today Richard Russo light That works tooEXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s GR and FB pagesMy reviews of other Russo novels Empire Falls Bridge of Sighst Chances Are


  2. Jim Fonseca Jim Fonseca says:

    As usual in Russo’s stories we have a middle aged man struggling in the present and reflecting back on his upbringing trying to figure out how he got this way Not that’s he’s in a bad way He’s 57 married 34 years a college English professor in Connecticut who occasionally takes time away from professing to write film scripts in Hollywood His parents both college English professors view script writing as akin to prostitution With three English professors in the story I think we get enough of a taste of that world of oddities petty politics and political correctness to just about call this an academic novelSo our main character is at a critical point in life He’s had a good marriage but it’s reached a point where he and his wife are separating and each taking a lover for a year Can they ever patch it up and get back together – as they both seem to want to do? The present day action in the story centers around two weddings about a year apart first the best friend of their daughter’s wedding and then their own daughter’s wedding As a child the daughter had always been terrified that her parents would get divorced So they waited for her to finish not only high school but college – and she is still terrified The main character has also had a double whammy of the death of both of his parents within a year or so In fact he drives around Cape Cod where one of the weddings is with his parents’ ashes in urns in his trunk unable to decide where to spread them and whether to spread them together or separate the latter as his mother wishedHis parents set the tone and the title for the book They loved summering in beach cabins on Cape Cod dreamed of it all year long Their dream would have been to have held positions in Ivy League schools in New England instead of as they love to say over and over again second rate colleges in “the Mid fucking West” They are both well published enough to get job offers and to bounce around from school to school And it’s not just HIS parents To some extent the whole story is how both sets of parents of husband and wife influenced their marriage – with good and bad examples faithfulness and unfaithfulness Our main character’s parents were notoriously unfaithful to each other but stuck together through his childhood Although you do have to wonder about a 57 year old guy who’s still trying to figure out “Did my parents love me?”We have the usual Russo humor and good writing“Bartleby who’d begun their marriage preferring not to argue and ended it preferring not to speak at all”His mother’s view of her students “By contrast she knew her students well enough to dislike them as individuals for their intellectual laziness their slovenly dress their conventional instincts their religious upbringing They mostly disliked her too”And his mother’s nasty streak coming out to her son sitting at her dying bedside “How does having you sit there day after day make me any less alone?”“Maybe money did talk as people claimed but all it said to them was goodbye”“Only very stupid people are happy”I’ll give this one a five It’s my fifth Russo and I thought it was not only good but appropriately trim – it did not have the repetitive bloat that some of his books seem to acuire Having grown up near the area I enjoyed the local color of “The Cape”Cape Cod cottagesTop photo from AlmycomPainting of Corn Hill by Edward Hopper 1930 A great then and now web site of Hopper's Cape Cod paintings is at photo from mediamasslivecomBottom photo from i2wpcomfiniconciergecom


  3. Hugh Hugh says:

    I read this for a face to face discussion with a small group of GR friends The discussion was interesting but to be honest the book was less so and did not leave me thinking I should read Russo again The central character is Jack Griffin a screen writer in his late 50s who has a job as a university lecturer We meet him on a trip to Cape Cod for his daughter's friend's wedding where he remembers the annual childhood holidays when his unhappily married parents called temporary truces Jack travels to the Cape a day earlier than his wife an early sign that not everything in his marriage is as healthy as he thinks he is also encumbered with his father's ashes which he plans to scatter there It is difficult to escape the feeling that this family story was written with screen adaptation in mind as there are plenty of comic set pieces in amid all of the introspection and a somewhat implausible happy ending which the less than likeable Jack does little to earn


  4. Andrea Andrea says:

    I find Richard Russo's greatest strength to be the humanity he gives to his working class somewhat crude and deeply flawed characters in the blue collar New England and upstate New York towns he generally chroniclesThat said this is a book centered on the highly cerebral problems of a middle aged middle class academic going through a life crisis Soyeah not so muchRusso's writing ability still shines through but the characters just don't have that sympathetic spark that binds the reader to the character despite the character's usually major issues Griffin the main character spends so much time pitying himself that there's no room for anyone else to feel sorry for him and so I spent the entire novel feeling vaguely annoyed with him and flat out not liking many of the other charactersThen there's my general lack of patience for that entire genre the New England academicwriter experiencing a midlife crisis It's awfully self indulgent and it's been done approximately four billion times beforeIn sum if you're looking for a Richard Russo book to read please don't start off with this one


  5. Paul Fulcher Paul Fulcher says:

    This was a book read for a highly stimulating discussion with some GR friends who've now become real world friends so below is notes than a review Strengths1 The set up suddenly it was as if his dead parent his living one his old profession and his boyhood self were all clamouring for attention makes for both an interesting plot and a good character study of late middle age Griffin is in his late 50s crisisdisintegration of a seemingly settled lifeAs Griffin realises Late middle age he was coming to understand was a time of life when everything was predictable and yet somehow you failed to see any of it comingRusso also effectively portrays Griffin's own lack of self awareness as to how in reality he resembles and is repeating both his parents although the Norman Batesue dialogue in the second half with his view spoilerdead hide spoiler


  6. Sara Sara says:

    This book has moments in which you can see that Richard Russo has vision and could write a masterpiece This is not it This is pretty much your predictable fluffy “marriage on the rocks but we really love each other” novel There is humor conflict of the soul and the proven conviction that there is no such thing as a family that is not dysfunctional on some level It is also about the expectations we have of ourselves and those other have for us and how those conflict and often disappoint It seems also to be about the inability of people to know anyone else in anything than a surface way even those we think we know completelyAfter a very slow start I became engaged with Jack Griffin and his efforts to unravel the truth about himself his parents and his life I particularly enjoyed his humorous scenes that serve to break up the heaviness of this kind of introspection and a couple of uirky characters that make you shake your head a bit The Cape is Cape Cod and because of his parents’ view of the Cape when he was a child I think it represents the impossible utopia that so many of us waste our lives trying to find while we pass up the very real happiness that is within our reachI have two other Russo’s on my shelf and I will still plan to read them Considering that he was a Pulitzer winner I am hopeful that all the good things I found in this novel will be developed and enhanced in the next two


  7. Steve Steve says:

    Russo said in an interview that he’d originally intended for this to be a short story Then he wrote a scene where Jack Griffin his main character was on the side of the road talking to his shrew of a mother on the phone when a seagull flew by and dropped a calling card on his head At that point any tidy resolutions to Griffin’s problems weren’t going to work – further development was going to be needed But at 261 pages we could have used To be honest it felt a little thin I say this at the same time I claim Russo as a personal favorite; I’m grateful for dollops of any size Had this been my first of his books I’d have nary a critical word But fans know the heights he can scaleGriffin is a 55 year old academic a former screenwriter a husband and a son but doesn’t seem fully engaged in any of his roles With parents like his pulling away was understandable They were academics themselves Ivy leaguers appointed beneath their station in the Mid effing west with a haughty disdain for their intellectual inferiors which to them included pretty much everyone At times they were laughably bad one of the book’s great strengths Griffin disengaged from them but not as much as he wanted to believe This was a major theme even as they became ashes in urns Troubles in his marriage were harder to figure His wife was not the problem though; that much we surmise Russo is usually so good at developing characters This time too he gets into heads and tells revealing stories about Griffin and the gang but you knew there’d be a but at times he makes Griffin out to be borderline obtuse If Griffin in one instance can write so knowingly about people as he did in a very good story within the story about a boyhood friend at the Cape how can he be at other times so heedless turning even allies against him? Russo characters are often flawed but rarely lacking in people smarts or self awareness as Griffin seemed to be Then again maybe that was just part of the dark humor that ran throughout Irony is another guess what with the writerprofessor falling short in the insight department unable to read peopleDespite the brevity many of the secondary characters were memorable Griffin’s daughter who was getting married in Act III of the book was honest and kind— like her mother Joy Joy’s family stood out too Her knuckleheaded brothers twin Marine MP’s were a hoot I was also interested in a character named Sunny Kim a Korean immigrant and friend of Griffin’s daughter since childhood He was smart respectful and repressed but Russo went beyond stereotypes to give us a glimpse into a rich inner life too Mr Russo since you’re likely to stop by soliciting feedback from reviewers like me please consider a follow up story focusing on Sunny I have a similar suggestion involving Rub from Nobody’s FoolWhen it’s all said and done this is a very satisfying read I might have a few uibbles about Griffin and his plight but in the end it’s recognizably Russovian which is always a good thing


  8. Gumble& Gumble& says:

    My previous and only Richard Russo book was his Pulitzer Prize winning Empire Falls – a book I picked up in a bookshop in Bermuda the only bookshop in Bermuda? after I had run out of books to read From my review I was impressed with the way that the book “conveys brilliantly a blue collar American town left behind by economic and social developments a theme perhaps even relevant today than when it was written in 2001” but less impressed by a key historical revelation which was key to the plot That book which went on to be filmed as a mini series was enough to convince me I was not in a rush to read Russo’s other works albeit not averse to itA book club choice from some IRL Goodreads friends gave me the opportunity to read this book and to revisit Russo’s work – albeit in a far less celebrated work and one which gained mixed reviews both in the press and on GoodreadsOverall I found this a disappointing read – definitely with some good writing but those aspects I enjoyed taking very much a back seat to a number that made me inwardly and in some cases verbally groanHowever the book did give rise to a fascinating discussion with a group of learned well informed and experienced readers and reviewers – and I have increased my rating as a result My first issue with the book is the key characters it portrays self indulgent privileged whiny snobbish East Coast born liberals The main character – Jack Griffin – would say much the same about his academic mother but he himself a mix of West Coast movie writer and East Coast minor academic is much worse Russo is clearly writing an academic satire in Jack’s mother but I am less clear if Jack himself is meant to be a satire or the hero of the book and the characterisation as stupid and unpleasant of the two Marine twins is clunky and nasty A strength of “Empire Falls” as my review implied was that it gave an insight into why parts of the US felt sufficiently left behind by the political and cultural establishment to vote for Trump and by corollary in the UK for Brexit and recently Johnson Reading this book it was hard not to have sympathy with their votingMy second is the sheer obviousness of the book It’s one thing to have a book with a clear theme – in this case the difficulty of escaping from the shadow of your parents Literary merit starts to be lost when this theme becomes rather obvious – a character literally carrying around the ashes of his parents and seemingly unable to dispose of them It is close to abandoned altogether when and perhaps a sign of the reader the book is aimed at when another character comments on the symbolism of this just in case we had missed itSimilarly the Cape parts of the novel the idea that opportunities in life are either unobtainable or unsatisfying as Cape houses are either too expensive or too poor and the idea of a ideal placetime in which everything in normal life will somehow come good – were I thought simply repeated too oftenMy third is that when the plot starts to intrude and particularly in the second part of the book the novel uickly turns into of the farce that it started out an early seagull incident foreshadowing a wedding accident and then later a fender bender incident that closed the book and elicited my final verbalised groan It is perhaps ironical although not I am sure intended that the book itself collapses precisely when a wooden structure collapses There is no pretense that the book was written for anything other than a potential mini series or film and if there is a redeeming feature of the novel it is the meta fictional way that this is acknowledged through the book Jack himself freuently compares what is happening to him to a script a girlfriend on their parting asks him to write a movie of their affair and get a famous actress to play her Jack even replays scenes as film scripts But overall this could not rescue for me what was at best an underwhelming readPerhaps showing even greater self awareness a common theme of the book is of poor writing Jack’s film script which he hopes will relaunch his writing career – a career largely based on rewriting failed scripts is he knows poor and leads to him being fired; his short story – an attempt to capture a boyhood friendship on one of his family’s Cape holidays – is criticised for not capturing what it is meant to convey and being dominated by his parent’s despite their large absence from the story; Griffin his mother and wife comment on the inadeuacies of their students’ work But simply having a poorly written book have meta commentary on poor writing only draws attention to the flaws in the bookAt one stage we are told Griffin’s literary academic parents on their Cape holidays had ““guilty pleasures” – books they’d have been embarrassed to admit to their colleagues they’d ever heard of” this for me was of a guilty burden albeit one which gave rise to a very pleasurable evening of book chat and discussion


  9. Martie Nees Record Martie Nees Record says:

    Genre Literary FictionPublisher Doubleday PublishingPub Date Aug 9 2009Stars The novel deserves stars I explain in my reviewMini ReviewI found this 2009 novel by Richard Russo in a used bookstore I looked forward to reading it since Russo rarely disappoints However this time he did—at least for me for today anyway I'll get to that The title is a spin on the song “That Old Black Magic” referring to Cape Cod where our protagonist honeymooned and vacationed all his lifeFans of the Pulitzer Prize winning author know that his work always has a cast of characters who blunder and struggle through his pages We do get this in “Magic” The story revolves around a 60 year old man who recently lost his parents He appears to be having an age related meltdown triggered by his loss and attending two weddings during the same month At the weddings he interacts with both his family and his in laws leaving him to wonder about his own marriage and his parents’ complicated one I needed to look at myself to understand why I did not appreciate this novel than I did As always Russo’s writing is flawless giving the reader insight into what makes his characters tick As always there is fun humor to be found in his characters Embarrassingly my issue in this tale is probably due to the book’s title and its cover which shows beach chairs sitting in the sand This led me to believe I was about to read a beach book I was looking for something fluffy to read on a lake Russo is many things but he is never fluffy Why in the world did I think he would write a beach read? I will reread this one later to see if he will wow me again I’m guessing it willFind all my book reviews at


  10. Orrin Laferte Orrin Laferte says:

    This is the first book by Richard Russo that I have read and I know he has had some great reviews on previous publications This was just an OK book for me It reminded me of a 21st Century Updike or Cheevers There was almost as much drinking cheating and dysfunction but not as many interesting people The academic snobbery hasn't changed with the century Other than the male protagonist's wife daughter and temporary girlfriend I didn't like or relate to any of the characters in this book Russo created three somewhat likable and interesting females but the rest of the cast is aggravating andor uninspiring I won't miss being part of their worldThe writing is yeomanly but no one sentence or paragraph makes you say boy I wish that I had written that Since this is a character study there are no attempts at vivid descriptions of the landscape of Cape Cod or coastal Maine I don't think that's Russo's shtick The plot wanders from Cape Cod to Southern California to Maine and back to the Cape where I guess we have a happy ending But nothing about it is compelling suspenseful enlightening or even very entertainingA mediocre effort by a professional novelist


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