This is one time where I found the movie more engaging than the book.
Well. How surprising. I haven’t been struck by lightning. Don’t get me wrong. I liked Empire Falls, but I really didn’t love it like *some* people I know. I think it’s me. As I’ve grown older, I have really come to dislike books and movies that are all about people suffering. I want my books to be fun and mysterious, not gutwrenching and disturbing, although I can occasionally enjoy a good wrencher, like In Cold Blood, which I recently re-read. But back to Empire Falls. I found the characters rather boring and unlikable in print. Miles, even though he’s a good guy at heart, is a sap. I really wanted to see him stand up for himself long before the scene at the mill with Francine. And his father…what a jerk! I have to admit, though, that the writing really was very good. Russo has a way with words that we don’t see very often anymore, but I just wish he’d write more interesting characters. If this book hadn’t been a selection for our book group, I probably wouldn’t have made it past the first couple chapters.