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Looking for a heartwarming and inspiring audiobook to add to your collection? Look no further than “Big Russ and Me” by Tim Russert. In this poignant tribute to father-son bonds, Russert shares personal anecdotes and reflections on his life with his father, Big Russ.

Russert’s distinctive storytelling style and knack for capturing the essence of human relationships make this a must-listen for fans of narrative nonfiction. Whether you’re a longtime fan of Russert’s work or simply looking for a touching and engaging audiobook to enjoy, “Big Russ and Me” is sure to fit the bill.

Key Takeaways:

  • “Big Russ and Me” explores the profound bonds between fathers and sons
  • Tim Russert’s storytelling prowess and heartfelt reflections make this a stand-out choice for audiobook enthusiasts
  • The audiobook is a touching and engaging narrative nonfiction that’ll leave you with a lasting impact
  • The book continues to resonate with readers and is significant within the larger literary landscape
  • Highly recommended for anyone looking for a heartfelt, inspiring, and well-written audiobook.

About the Author, Tim Russert

Tim Russert was a renowned American journalist, lawyer, and author. Born on May 7, 1950, in Buffalo, New York, Russert grew up in a blue-collar Catholic family and was deeply influenced by his upbringing. His father, known as “Big Russ,” was a sanitation worker, and his mother was a homemaker.

Russert’s background played a significant role in his writing and storytelling throughout his career. He attended John Carroll University for his undergraduate degree and later earned a law degree from the Cleveland State University Cleveland–Marshall College of Law. However, Russert’s true passion was journalism, and he eventually pursued a career in this field.

Professional Accomplishments

Year Professional Accomplishments
1976 Began his career as a legislative correspondent for United Press International (UPI)
1984 Became the NBC News Washington Bureau chief
1991 Became the host of NBC’s “Meet the Press”
2001 Published his memoir “Big Russ and Me,” which became a New York Times best-seller
2005 Named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world
2008 Inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame posthumously

Russert’s impressive career spanned over decades and left a lasting impact on journalism. His tireless work ethic, dedication, and integrity made him one of the most respected and beloved figures in the industry.

Plot Summary

“Big Russ and Me” is a heartwarming memoir that tells the story of the Author, Tim Russert, and his relationship with his father, known as “Big Russ”. The book is divided into two parts: “Work” and “Life”. In the first part, Russert describes his upbringing in South Buffalo, where his father’s values and work ethic played a significant role in shaping his character.

Part two, “Life”, begins with “Big Russ’s” medical crisis, which brings father and son closer together. It also highlights the importance of family, community and old-fashioned values such as loyalty, honesty and kindness.

Throughout the book, Russert shares anecdotes and reflections that provide insights into his father’s life, personality, and beliefs. Readers will be moved by the deep bond between father and son, and the lessons of love and perseverance that they learn along the way.

“I always felt that the most important lessons I learned from my dad weren’t taught in a classroom, a textbook or in the newsroom of a major daily newspaper. It was from watching the way he conducted himself with everyone he met, listening to the stories of his own youth and growing up in the Depression, seeing how he treated my mom and his friends, and witnessing how he surrounded himself with a wide circle of family, friends, and colleagues who loved him as much as he loved them.”

Characters and Relationships

In “Big Russ and Me,” Tim Russert masterfully crafts a heartwarming narrative of the relationships between the book’s main characters. At the center of the story is Russert’s relationship with his father, “Big Russ,” which serves as the foundation for the book’s exploration of the bonds that exist between fathers and sons.

Big Russ is portrayed as a hardworking and loving father who instilled important values in his son, including the importance of family and community. Through anecdotes and personal reflections, Russert captures the essence of his father’s character and his impact on his own life.

Other notable characters in the book include Russert’s grandfather, uncles, and various members of the community, all of whom played a role in shaping his upbringing and worldview. These relationships are portrayed with genuine warmth and authenticity, underscoring the book’s central theme.

“Big Russ and Me is a heartfelt tribute to the special bond between fathers and sons. Through honest and authentic storytelling, Tim Russert draws readers into his world, giving them a glimpse of the relationships that shaped his life.”

The Importance of Authenticity

One of the most striking aspects of “Big Russ and Me” is its authenticity. Russert’s storytelling is grounded in personal experience, and his portrayals of the characters and relationships within the book ring true. This authenticity allows readers to connect with the narrative on a deep emotional level, and it serves as a testament to the power of genuine storytelling.

The relationships depicted in “Big Russ and Me” are not idealized or sanitized; they are messy, imperfect, and real. This honesty makes the book all the more poignant, as readers can relate to the characters and their experiences in a profound way.

Writing Style and Narration

Tim Russert’s writing style is distinctive, engaging, and highly impactful in the audiobook version of “Big Russ and Me.” Russert’s gift for storytelling shines through in his expertly crafted narrative, which is both heartfelt and poignant. Through his storytelling technique, he brings the characters and their relationships to life with vivid detail and emotion.

Russert’s narration of the audiobook is equally impressive, as he delivers the story with sincerity, sensitivity, and humor. His distinctive voice and warm tone draw listeners in, making them feel as if they are a part of the story themselves. Whether he is recounting a funny anecdote, sharing a heartfelt reflection, or describing a pivotal moment in the narrative, Russert’s narration is a highlight of the audiobook experience.

writing style and narration

“Tim Russert’s storytelling prowess and heartfelt reflections make this a stand-out choice for audiobook enthusiasts.”

Emotional Impact

Tim Russert’s “Big Russ and Me” is a powerful audiobook that evokes strong emotional responses from listeners. The book tackles universal themes such as love, loss, and resilience, making it relatable to a wide range of audiences. Russert’s personal reflections on his father and their relationship provide a poignant and authentic look at the bonds between fathers and sons.

Throughout the audiobook, listeners are taken on a journey of self-discovery and reflection. Russert’s storytelling style and delivery augment the emotional impact and make the experience all the more powerful. The book’s themes and storytelling techniques come together to create a lasting impact on the listener, leaving them with a newfound sense of appreciation for the power of family and the importance of cherishing those we love.

“Reading ‘Big Russ and Me’ will make you laugh, cry and think about the people who make you the person you are. It is a testament to the human spirit.”

Unique Insights

“Big Russ and Me” by Tim Russert presents a treasure trove of unique insights and perspectives into the author’s personal life and experiences. Russert shares heartfelt reflections on his relationship with his father, “Big Russ,” and the lessons he learned from him.

One unique insight that stands out is Russert’s emphasis on the importance of “common sense” in everyday life. He attributes this lesson to his father, who believed in the value of practical knowledge and intuition over book smarts.

“My dad lived by the principle that common sense was more important than rules.”

Another insight is Russert’s appreciation for the simple pleasures of life, which he learned from his father’s love of baseball and good conversation. These anecdotes provide depth and authenticity to the narrative, making for a truly engaging audiobook experience.

Overall, “Big Russ and Me” offers unique insights into the universal themes of love, family, and the human experience, through the lens of Tim Russert’s personal story.

Audiobook Performance

One of the key features of “Big Russ and Me” as an audiobook is the narration by the author himself, Tim Russert. Russert’s delivery and intonation lend a significant emotional weight to the story, drawing listeners in and keeping them engaged from start to finish.

Russert’s voice is warm and inviting, with a depth and sincerity that conveys the heart of the book’s themes. His narration style is conversational, making the listener feel as though they are sitting down with a close friend or family member, listening to them recount a story or memory.

The audiobook performance plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of the story. It captures the essence of Russert’s writing style and brings it to life in a way that print alone cannot. Listeners are able to fully immerse themselves in the narrative, experiencing the emotions and moments as they unfold.

“Russert’s narration style is conversational, making the listener feel as though they are sitting down with a close friend or family member, listening to them recount a story or memory.”

Overall, Tim Russert’s audiobook performance is an integral part of the listening experience for “Big Russ and Me.” His delivery and intonation contribute to the emotional impact of the story, making it a standout choice for those looking for a touching and memorable audiobook.

Critical Reception

Since its publication in 2004, “Big Russ and Me” by Tim Russert has garnered significant critical reception. Reviews from both critics and readers have been mixed, highlighting both the book’s strengths and weaknesses.

One reviewer from Publishers Weekly praised the book, stating that “Russert’s affectionate and affecting memoir will appeal to anyone interested in family values and bonding.” Similarly, Kirkus Reviews called it a “moving portrait of a father and son” that “displays the depth of [Russert’s] talents.”

On the other hand, some reviewers found fault with the book’s sentimental tone and lack of broader insight. In a review for The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani criticized the book for its “sentimental evocations of a bygone Brooklyn,” and noted that “what’s painfully lacking in this tribute is specificity.” Similarly, a reviewer from The Guardian found fault with the book’s “sentimental nostalgia” and suggested that “only a die-hard Russert fan” would find it worthwhile.

“Russert’s affectionate and affecting memoir will appeal to anyone interested in family values and bonding.” – Publishers Weekly

Overall, “Big Russ and Me” has received a range of critical responses. While some praise the book’s heartfelt tribute to father-son bonds and Russert’s storytelling abilities, others criticize its sentimentality and lack of deeper insight.

critical reception

Impact and Legacy

Tim Russert’s “Big Russ and Me” is a heartwarming memoir that has left a lasting impact on readers and listeners alike, cementing its place as a modern classic. The book’s themes of family, resilience, and love continue to resonate with audiences, making it an enduring tribute to the boundless bonds between fathers and sons.

Despite being published over two decades ago, “Big Russ and Me” remains relevant and impactful today. Its timeless message of cherishing family and the lessons learned through adversity has earned it a well-deserved place in the literary canon.

The legacy of “Big Russ and Me” extends beyond its emotional impact and enduring relevance. The book solidified Tim Russert’s status as a beloved journalist and storyteller and contributed to his legendary reputation as a revered figure in the media world.

Through “Big Russ and Me,” Tim Russert created a piece of art that has resonated with generations of readers and listeners, leaving a lasting impact on its audience and cementing its place as a literary treasure.

Key Takeaways and Recommendation

After listening to “Big Russ and Me” by Tim Russert, several key takeaways become apparent.

  1. Life Lessons: Russert’s poignant memoir teaches us important life lessons about family, love, and the importance of cherishing our loved ones.
  2. Memorable Characters: The book’s vividly drawn characters, especially Big Russ himself, stay with listeners long after the book is over.
  3. Emotional Resonance: Russert’s gut-wrenching story strikes a chord with anyone who has ever lost a loved one, while his self-deprecating wit keeps the narrative from becoming too heavy.

Overall, we highly recommend “Big Russ and Me” to anyone looking for a touching, heartfelt audiobook with universal appeal.

The narrative’s universal themes of love, loss, and resilience make this book a worthwhile choice for anyone, while those who appreciate Tim Russert’s unique storytelling style will find themselves immediately drawn in.


In conclusion, “Big Russ and Me” by Tim Russert is a touching and engaging audiobook that explores the profound bonds between fathers and sons. The book offers a heartfelt tribute to Tim Russert’s father, Russert Sr., while also exploring themes of family, love, and resilience.

Tim Russert’s distinctive storytelling style and personal reflections make “Big Russ and Me” a standout choice for audiobook enthusiasts. The audiobook is a heartfelt and emotional experience that will leave a lasting impact on the listener.

Overall, we highly recommend “Big Russ and Me” to anyone looking for a touching and inspiring audiobook. Whether you’re a fan of Tim Russert or just looking for a compelling story about family, this book is sure to deliver. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this memorable narrative firsthand.

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