Ugh. That's really my one-word review for this book.
I like Richard Russo. I read Empire Falls a few years ago and loved it. Then last fall, I listened to Bridge of Sighs on audiobook, and I also loved that. He is the absolute master of small town sagas, almost making the town itself a character in the book.
At first I thought maybe I'd just taken on another thick Richard Russo too soon after Bridge of Sighs. But I don't think that was it. This book was long, and the main complaint I have is that the main character simply wasn't likable. He tried to make him so, giving him little quirks that supposedly should have offset the fact that he was a total loser. But no, he was just a total loser. I got tired of reading about him and his loser life. If I lived in that town, I'd probably cross the street on the other side when I saw him coming. I mean, everyone's got problems, but you try to rise above. He didn't try to rise above -- didn't seem to even have enough deep thought to feel like he should rise above.
I finished the book, because I think Richard Russo is a great author and I wanted to see it through. But I wouldn't recommend it. If you have read the other two I've read, read one of those!