“Chances Are …” is Richard Russo’s first stand-alone novel in a decade. It also makes use of a literary form that is rarely found among the author’s works. However, it still spills over with the humanity that is the cornerstone of Russo’s work, even as it reminds us, as he most frequently does, of people’s persistent follies as they search for wisdom, for understanding.
Russo’s works are rare finds. “Nobody’s Fool”and its sequel, “Everybody’s Fool,” are both touching character studies of and paeans to the nobility of blue-color life. “Straight Man” is still one of the best novels about American university life ever written. “Empire Falls” is a brilliant novel about the social strata of a small New England town on the brink of financial ruin; it is his Pulitzer Prize winner.