Regular price: $25.35

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – love a book or swap it for free
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $16.45/month
OR
In Basket

Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Russo's skillful use of dialogue perfectly suits the audio medium.

A wonderfully fun and perceptive novel in the traditions of Thornton Wilder and Anne Tyler, 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 an adult. 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.

©1986 Richard Russo; (P)2005 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Annabelle
  • 06-09-2011

A delightful journey

Thoroughly engaging story full of well-portrayed, fascinating characters and lots of gentle humour. Sean Mangan's narration suited this story perfectly. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca
  • 06-04-2014

Brilliant

Where does The Risk Pool rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best, without a doubt.

Who was your favorite character and why?

All the characters were beautifully evoked by both the author and narrator.

What about Sean Mangan’s performance did you like?

I'd already listened to a previous reading by Sean Mangan and tracked him down to see what other books he'd narrated. The Risk Pool was one, and I just took a chance on it.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I simply did not want this book to finish. It was something I listened to day and night, I would save it up for long walks or car journeys and relish the experience.

Any additional comments?

Can't recommend the story or storytelling more highly. What a wonderful family saga. All the characters of the small town are superbly drawn. I can't pin it down but there was something special in the way the author describes events. What looks as though it's going to be in chronological order, in fact comes with many surprises as the author plays with our concepts of time. The chronology does get filled out eventually (the story had to end some time) but in many absorbing and imaginative ways ...really very satisfying.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 24-03-2016

Magical Novel

This is Russo's second novel. I have previously read Empire Falls and Nobody's Fool. For the first third of the book I was thinking that this isn't quite so good - a slowly evolving and meandering story about a boy growing up with his mother and then his father. Not quite as involving as the later books but I kept going because Russo's writing exerts a magical effortless spell. This is deceptively simple and beautiful writing that somehow packs depth and portrays a vivid sense of community. Plus, you can expect to experience belly laughs at regular intervals. In the second third I was aware that the pace was still slow but I couldn't leave it because I wanted to keep spending time in the company of these people. I keep wanting to use the word magical because you really do enter a wholly different world! In the final third everything kicks off and the narrative drive tightens. You keep listening because you need to know what is happening next. The comedy is joined by tragedy, and it moved me to tears towards the end.

Russo writes big old fashioned books that are so easy to follow and with a great cast of wonderful characters. It's story telling at it's absolute best. The drinking scenes and scatological conversations are fiercely cruel and funny. Russo perfectly captures the life of the bar room. The ending is nicely drawn and satisfying.

I am curious about why this writer is not more widely recognised. After a life of enjoying Steinbeck, Kesey, Updike and Kerouac, Richard Russo has now become my new favourite author. I want to tell everyone to read him - he's the best author that you've probably never heard of.

Reading this book is an immersion into a family and a local community - it's fun, moving and always believable. I now feel the same sense of loss after finishing this novel that I experienced coming to the end of Nobody's Fool. Thank goodness I have more to read. Straight Man here I come!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • hfffoman
  • 08-01-2014

Superb

Any additional comments?

The dialogue is so accurate and entertaining, and brilliantly read, I could have listened on and on beyond the 16 CDs the file filled. Although the dialogue is most noticeable, the rest of the narrative is beautifully written too. I put this in the must listen category - unless you are offended by the use of the f word every other line.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Y Abdul
  • 03-03-2018

Too Long

I have read several books by Richard Russo and enjoyed all of them. The Risk Pool is the exception. I mistakenly thought that the main character in the story would be the son, however, that title belonged to Sam Hall, the father, a disreputable individual who I found unlikeable and with few redeeming features. This was the main problem for me because without a likeable main player it was then slow going for me to get through listening to the rest of the book, which was very long. I also found it very long winded and where ten words would have sufficed, fifty were used. The author kept going off on a tangent, even in the last chapter. I found it very frustrating. On the positive side, the narrator suited the story and did a good job. I think this book might be more suited for a male audience as there were few female characters and there was some offensive (to some) language here and there directed at the female characters. Overall it was okay but I would not be in a hurry to read or listen to it again.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hamburgerpatty
  • 10-12-2017

Proof Positive - you can judge a book by its cover

Yes, I 'fess up. It was the car which swung it for me. Classic 1950s ???Pontiac??. I couldn't tell if there was a split windowscreen or not. Ah, the publishers had me at the hood ornament. I had no idea what a Risk Pool was. However I had listened to one Richard Russo. But for the sake of the car I thought I would have a go.

From the opening bars I was hooked. The novel was driven by its characters. I felt that all of them - either major or minor - were drawn with love and empathy. Even the more unsavoury ones. I felt that this novel must have been a hymn of praise to people of the author's childhood - from the rock solid bar owners, to their patrons who skipped out on paying their bar bills, to lawyers and cops, rich and old.

And the observations of human behaviour - brilliant. As I type this I think about one bar fly in particular who had an odd way of slinking out on his bar bill, there was a pool game with teenage boys and yes that's is how teenage boys would caper round the pool table and early on in the novel there was a fishing trip which I think was central to the novel.

Great story, great listen (even with the narrator audibly swallowing a drink) and the ending just tied it neatly together in just a few words.

I hope someone out there in radioland will be able to tell me which classic car is on the cover.