Chances Are... (Signed Book)

Chances Are... (Signed Book)

by Richard Russo

Hardcover(Signed Edition)

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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning Richard Russo—in his first stand-alone novel in a decade—comes a new revelation: a gripping story about the abiding yet complex power of friendship.

One beautiful September day, three sixty-six-year old men convene on Martha's Vineyard, friends ever since meeting in college circa the sixties. They couldn't have been more different then, or even today—Lincoln's a commercial real estate broker, Teddy a tiny-press publisher, and Mickey a musician beyond his rockin' age. But each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend right here on the Vineyard in 1971. Now, more than forty years later, as this new weekend unfolds, three lives and that of a significant other are displayed in their entirety while the distant past confounds the present like a relentless squall of surprise and discovery. Shot through with Russo's trademark comedy and humanity, Chances Are . . . also introduces a new level of suspense and menace that will quicken the reader's heartbeat throughout this absorbing saga of how friendship's bonds are every bit as constricting and rewarding as those of family or any other community.
For both longtime fans and lucky newcomers, Chances Are . . . is a stunning demonstration of a highly acclaimed author deepening and expanding his remarkable achievement.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525658160
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/30/2019
Edition description: Signed Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 9.30(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

RICHARD RUSSO is the author of eight previous novels, two collections of stories, a collection of essays, and the memoir Elsewhere. In 2002 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls, which like Nobody's Fool was adapted to film, in a multiple-award-winning HBO miniseries; in 2016 he was given the Indie Champion Award by the American Booksellers Association; and in 2017 he received France's Grand Prix de Littérature Américaine. He lives in Portland, Maine, where his daughter Emily runs Print, a terrific indie bookstore.


Gloversville, New York

Date of Birth:

July 15, 1949

Place of Birth:

Johnstown, New York


B.A., University of Arizona, 1967; Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1979; M.F.A., University of Arizona, 1980

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Chances Are... (Signed Book) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I really liked the book...good characters and storyline. It kept me engaged, wanting to find out what happened to Jacy, their friend who disappeared after college. Good twist at the end...
Anonymous 5 months ago
He never fails to entertain and make me think ! As always I loved the characters not because they were lovable but because they seemed real. These people were of my generation and we're all relatable to the types of people with whom I grew up.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Nice to see serious thought given to the inner lives of men of a certain age. I didn't put the book down until I finished it.
Anonymous 4 months ago
this is such a relatable saga to someone experiencing the same reality of war and how to get through it and still be able to plan a life together our solution wasto enlist in the navy reserves, a 6 year commitment which allowed careers and a family.our sitution was a complete bore compared to the four characters in the book. we lived a life like did our college friends, thus the life of southern roots. this was one of the best books ive recently read and im a costant reader. i did not want it to end perhaps a seqeal is possible...
Anonymous 4 months ago
Chances Are didn't disappoint, Great characters and plot, Was invested in both right from the beginning to end,
Anonymous 6 months ago
Another great read.
Anonymous 2 days ago
Best read in a while!
Anonymous 23 days ago
Classic Russo...great character development...stay with it....definitely worth it
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 3 months ago
Russo's book fits ones memory of the 70s and aged reunions. An interesting and enjoyable read with all the scenes filled with realism. The cover should show a skinny-dipper. The. Characters fit my memory of college and the draft.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I have read every one of his books and this one disappoints. It drags and repeats itself. The three men do not seem real.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Beautifully written
Buffalojim 5 months ago
As an aged group of buddies reuniting I could get into it, but it wasn't up to some of his past works. That doesn't mean it isn't an enjoyable read--it is. Not every book an author writes can knock your socks off, but this book will take a tender setting beside Rick's other books on HIS shelf. Wouldn't have missed it for anything.
norway_girl 6 months ago
If you remember the early '70's this will feel like a trip... a good one. As good writers know, and as Mark Twain advised: "Write what you know.", Richard Russo has penned this book so well as for you to imagine he could have been one of the characters and this was a memoir. He is known to sometimes include himself in his work. (I suspect one of the three male characters is a lot like him ) I truly enjoy reading his books. So beautifully crafted. Compelling narratives. Palpable settings. Characters so real as you would think they'd be sitting in your living room. The three male characters take turns telling the story, and do that both in the past and in the present day settings. (Mostly Lincoln and Teddy) But what is such a gift here, is that when you are reading a character's description, it is in their own voice. We get to know them better than they know each other. Jacy, the love interest of all three, doesn't get her own voice, we just hear her through the memories of the boys/men. You understand this from the beginning, because she is absent, missing but vividly remembered and described so you truly get to know her as well. Switching characters and time settings is often used in historical fiction. It isn't confusing, but sometimes you thumb back through the book thinking you missed a clue, a hint a forewarning. I happen to enjoy that in mysteries. And for however many people describe this novel, "mystery" would be at the top of their list, I think. So, now you have a whodunit, an historical novel (albeit recent history), a memoir (possibly),and a love story. Then add the consequences of familial conflict and neglect mixed with the coming of age in the time of "freedom" to enjoy sex, drugs, and rock and roll. And you have the novel known as Chances Are... ! If you like Richard Russo before, don't miss this one. If you haven't tried him yet, give him a chance. Oh and as an aside...The Johnny Mathis song "Chances Are", plays on a loop in your brain if you've ever heard it...and lingers WAY after if you even mildly knew and remembered the lyrics. Good thing I liked it. LOL.
WyHalo 6 months ago
Disclaimer: I will read and usually will love anything by Richard Russo. He writes characters who are so real, you would swear you've known them for years. Chances Are...takes place over Memorial Day weekend in 2015. Three college friends, now men in their mid-sixties, get together at one of their homes in Martha's Vineyard. MIssing from the gathering is the fourth Musketeer, Jacy, who disappeared in 1971 after a they spent a week there after college graduation. She was the unlikely part of their group, a wealthy sorority girl while they're the guys who wash dishes in her house. Lincoln, Mickey, and Teddie have kept in sporadic touch since Jacy went missing, but haven't seen each other in years. Back on the cape. they're reliving the feelings they had about the Vietnam War and the draft and Jacy. Did she run away from her unhappy engagement or did somebody kill her? And did they really know her at all? This was totally engrossing, but not quite my favorite from Russo. There is some stiff competition, though! I received a free ebook ARC from Knopf via Netgalley.
Anonymous 6 months ago
This novel will particularly resonate with the Vietnam generation. It's the story of three men in their mid-60s, college friends, who meet for a sort of reunion at a New England beach house. The fourth main character, who is not present but is a strong presence, is the free-spirited Jacy who they all were entranced by, and who mysteriously disappeared on their last college weekend together in the same place forty some years ago. I really liked this book -- Russo writes so well. Yes, it's a flawed novel: a few eyebrow-raising plot chestnuts and female characters who are not anywhere near as real as their male counterparts. But this is mainly the story of the three men and they are wonderfully drawn and depicted. Their conversations and interior monologues feel genuine and pull you along. And it is a great depiction of their era, the early 70s and the power and confusion and excitement of that time. There is sometimes a small bit of Big Chill vibe here, the wryness of what we all thought would become of us versus the true history. Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
SheTreadsSoftly 6 months ago
Chances Are... by Richard Russo is a very highly recommended novel about a reunion on Martha's Vineyard of three Vietnam era men who have been friends since college. This is an exquisite examination of relationships and aging, along with a decades old mystery. One of the best novels of the year. Lincoln, Teddy, and Mickey have been friends since they were scholarships students at Minerva College in Connecticut and worked as "hashers" in the dining hall of a sorority. It was while they were in college that the three all listened together to the draft lottery broadcast and they found out that Mickey's number came up first, Lincoln's was in the middle, and Teddy's toward the end. The three were also best friends with Jacy Rockafellow, a member of the sorority where they worked. When they all graduated from Minerva in 1971 the four spent one last weekend at the vacation home on Martha's Vineyard Lincoln's mother owned. This was the weekend Jacy disappeared and no one knows what happened. Now, forty-four years later in 2015, the three friends are sixty-six and back on the Vineyard for a reunion. The mystery of what happened to Jacy will also be on the men's minds. Currently Lincoln is a happily married real estate broker with children and grandchildren. He grew up an only child in Dunbar, Arizona, the son of a domineering father and unassertive mother. Teddy is an editor at a small university press and suffers from spells and depression. He grew up as the only son of high school teachers in the Midwest. Mickey is a hard rock musician. He is the youngest and only son of a large family from West Haven. The novel is about enduring friendships between three very different men who all have their own secrets, but it is also about Jacy and the mystery of what happened to her. Russo excels at developing realistic, sincere male characters who may be flawed but are conscientious and thoughtful. All these men are well developed characters. They have already experienced a life time of growth and changes, yet this weekend will change them. I love the way Russo captures the passage of time and the messiness of life through his characters. Life is rarely clear-cut, straightforward, or uncomplicated and Russo innately understands this and is able to convey this in his novels. Russo is a outstanding writer and all his admirable abilities, both technical and literary, are on display in Chances Are.... The narrative is engrossing and held my complete attention from the beginning to the end. He realistically captures the time and place for these characters throughout the novel. Alternating chapters are told from the point-of-view of Lincoln and Teddy. We learn about their past, their friendship, and their lives leading up to the sixty-six-year-old men they are today. Suspense builds as the question of what happened to Jacy becomes increasingly important and there seems to be a suspect. Only one chapter is told through Mickey's point-of-view, and this is the chapter that provides some answers to questions spoken and unspoken. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Knopf Doubleday.
CRSK 6 months ago
Over forty years have passed since these three men met during the sixties in college, and now that they’ve reached their sixties, they’ve gathered together on Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend. As we hear their stories, and know what secrets they are holding, keeping them to themselves, there is another story that slowly starts to be unveiled, as well. Revisiting the early years of the war in Vietnam, they reflect back on the night of the first draft lottery, sitting around a tiny black and white television screen, with Mickey’s birthday coming up first, at which point the others begin singing ‘Oh, Canada.” The next birthday among them to come up was Lincoln’s, and then much later, Teddy’s. As they slowly drift out of the house, lost in their own personal reflections on luck, good and bad, they notice Jacy, the spirited, carefree girl from a privileged family that they all loved. They were all in love with her during those years, waiting for them, and she’s standing, waiting for them, for their news. When they see her wrap her arms around Mickey when she hears his news, all of his buddies still in disbelief over his bad luck with the lottery, now only feel envy in this moment. Standing in their old haunts, thoughts drift back, memories of those years when they were in college and wonder what has become of Jacy, the girl who stole all their hearts, and in truth, a part still belongs to her. No longer the young men they were then, they have changed physically along with their years, but are also no longer the carefree, optimistic youths they were then. They are responsible men, with responsible jobs, for the most part. Lincoln is a commercial real-estate broker, Teddy is a small-press publisher, only Mickey lives close by, still living his life as a musician - after his return from Canada. Despite the years, they don’t feel all that different from all those years ago, especially when they’re here, together, like this. But step away from each other, and perspective gives them a new view. Health concerns factor in, limitations they didn’t have so many years ago. But, still, they question: where is Jacy, and why isn’t she there, with them? As they begin to try to find the answer to this, they encounter a seemingly endless series of dead ends. That doesn’t seem to stop the search, or conjecturing on possibilities, but they can’t stop picturing her in these places they wandered through together in their past. Russo excels at creating a strong sense of this place and time, and these ordinary, everyday characters. He seems to conjure them fully formed, all of their quirks and eccentricities on display, so that you can picture them doing some of the things they do, and you feel as if you know them, as though you’ve never not known them. Many thanks to the ARC provided
sjillis 6 months ago
I hadn’t read a Richard Russo novel in a while, and I can’t remember now why I’ve been depriving myself. Lincoln, Teddy, and Mickey all attended Minerva College in the late 60s-early 70s. While they came from different backgrounds and different parts of the country, they had a few things in common, other than their friendship—they worked in the kitchen of the Theta house and they were in love with Jacy. Now 66 years old, the three friends gather at Lincoln’s cottage on Cape Cod, just as they did in May 1971. The difference? Jacy isn’t with them. She disappeared after that fateful weekend, leaving her fiancé at the altar. All three men are still haunted by her disappearance, and Lincoln, in particular, is determined to solve the mystery. Told in alternating points of view, with flashbacks to their undergraduate days, CHANCES ARE... is full of wit, mystery, and some cutting social commentary. As distinct as the three men are, I was a little bit in love with all three.
Anonymous 4 months ago
slow at times and politics injected into the book for no purpose other than to inform the reader of the author's political bias. it had nothing to do with the story. He offended me. will not read any of his other books.
Anonymous 6 months ago
repetitious and long-winded mediocore drama