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Lottery - Patricia Wood

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5 Reviews

Genre: Fiction / Author: Patricia Wood / Edition: Airport / Ireland / Export e. / Paperback / Book is published 2008-01-03 by William Heinemann

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    5 Reviews
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      20.02.2010 16:14
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      Sometimes you just can't go wrong with a feel good book. I felt that it was time I went for a change after going slightly overboard on darker themes. This was generally what impression I got from the front cover. The idea that an underdog wins the lottery brought an image of joy and happiness and I stupidly didn't think about what sort of people would appear from the worm work.

      Perry L Crandall is not retarded, he has to have an IQ of 75 to be that and his score is 76. Living with his Gram he leads a content life with a job and a close friend who he knows will look out for him. His life takes him down a different path when Gram dies and his brothers and their wives decide that he needs to be taken care of. Not that any of them are willing to do this unless there is some sort of money involved. Which looks like it could be coming their way when Perry discovers he has won $12 million. These brothers suddenly want to get to know him as do a lot more people when he appears in the paper. His life has changed from being an underdog who some want nothing to do with to a very important person.

      It's not hard to like Perry. He is innocent and naïve. Thinking too highly of those around him. Especially family members. His Mother insists on being called Louise and his brothers referred to as cousin-brothers. Make of that what you will but at reading this I was decidedly against them from the start. What you realize as you continue from the book that although he is classed as being slow he is actually quite clever and very business savvy.

      Keith, Perry's best friend, is the complete opposite. He can be hot headed at times but his heart is in the right place and so you are willing to forgive him. What makes him such a likeable person is that he has never looked down on Perry, always setting out to him help should he get into trouble. He is also very untrusting of his friends relatives and has a very good reason to be when he figures out what they are up to.

      Despite everything I felt very disappointed when I had finished this book. It doesn't actually come to light that he's won the lottery until a long way in and the majority of the beginning section is focused on his poor situation. This could be a good thing you might think, because then you could see the real difference and good that money could do for you. From start to finish it is permanently in slow motion. Try as I might I didn't see much lightness about it. It seemed to want to depict the bad things about winning a large sum of money. Undoubtedly shady people will appear if you have that amount but it failed to show many good aspects. Continual mentions of his family members demanding cheques of him, their sneaky methods of getting what they want out of him. It just got a bit tiresome.

      The ending didn't seem to fit in with the story, it was a happy one of sorts but not exactly for all parties. It's a comfortable read which doesn't need much thought or concentration to get through it. I don't think I'll be picking it up again though as I felt it needed something to carry it along with. Maybe another more interesting sub plot in the background. You can get it on Amazon for £8.97 although it really is a book I dissuade you from buying if you like books to have a bit more going on.

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      02.04.2009 21:06
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      Try it. Wothwhile in my opnion

      Perry L "Lucky" Crandall is not retarded. Both his IQ number (76) and his beloved Gram tell him so, even if some others would choose to disagree. In this book of contrasts the apparently poor Perry is shown actually to be rich (in friends as well as money): And the serene and slow (but not retarded) Perry appears far smarter than his fast but stupid, bickering family. The book might make you laugh out loud and could make you cry too; alternately heartening and frustrating, funny and sad, there are times when you are reading it that you'll want to hug a stranger and times you'll want to kick the cat.

      This book is peopled with three-dimensional, believable characters both good and bad. They are the people in the small-town life of the narrator, the slow (but sure) Perry from whose perspective the story is told. Perry is puzzled by some of what he sees and misses nuance but his instincts - backed up by the acerbic guardian-angel voice of his grandmother in his head - keep his feet on the right path most of the time, sufficient at least to delight his friends and frustrate his foes.

      Well written and well paced, this is a heart-warming and absorbing story of a man making his way with some love and a little luck through a life that is not always easy. This is not Forrest Gump, there are no devastating insights here but there is truth, compassion, humour and love.

      A great read.

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      17.12.2008 18:47
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      A beautiful book that didn't let down in any way.

      Pat Wood has not created a character with Perry, she has created a person, someone you would really like to get to know, and, if you cared to listen carefully, could learn something from. The comparisons made between Lottery and Forrest Gump is that the main character is 'slow,' and there the similarity ends. Perry's journey is real, we can all relate to his relationships, and somewhere along life's journey, have met a 'Perry.' This book makes you wonder if you should have stopped and taken more notice.
      His lottery win however is something most of us cannot equate with - however much we wish - but what it does allow the author is to bring out the shallow nature of his relations together with the depth of feeling and strength of character of his true friends.

      The book is smattered with words of wisdom both from Perry himself and his wonderfully wise, loving and eccentric Gram. Yet the statements are simple and the meanings powerful, much like the Oscar Wilde quote at the beginning, 'Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot.'

      I did hear that the film rights to this book had been bought earlier this year - whether Perry eventually makes it to the big screen is anybody's guess - but I do hope that he isn't distorted by the desire to get bums on seats, I don't want to see him become a hero nor a halfwit, Perry is just fine as he is!

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      22.10.2008 13:41
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      Great piece of fiction.

      I read this book after reading a review on another site and I was very gald that I did as it is a touching well written book. The central character is Perry a thirty something man who lives with his grandmother after the rest of his family have turned their backs on him, he is not very bright when it comes to exams and education but he has a nice life working in a marine supplies shop and learning from his beloved grandmother however his life is turned upside down when his Gran dies and his family then get him to sell her house and rip him off for the money. However he then wins £12m on the lottery and suddenly his family are back in his life as are many other vultures.

      This really is a well written comfortable story, the main character is very likeable indeed and brings out the maternal instinct in you (paternal I guess for the blokes) and the story is engaging, I certanly found it a hard book to put down once I started.

      This was the first book have read from this author and it was an enjoyable read, the sort of book which is ideal holiday reading in my opinion.

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      20.09.2008 16:40
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      A unique book, and well worth reading.

      "Lottery" is Patricia Woods debut novel about 32 year old Perry L. Crandall who only has an IQ of 76 - meaning that he is not deemed retarded, just slow. Perry lives a simple and happy life, working in the marine supply shop for a good boss and with his great friend Keith and living with his Gram who provides him with all the education he will ever need. When Perry's Gran dies, Perry is at a loss as to how to carry on without her guidance and support, his cousin-brothers soon turn up and manage to persuade Perry to sell his Grams house, but only giving him $500 of it and leaving him no place to live. When he wins 12 million in the lottery, he finds that people are suddenly more keen to speak to him, none more so than his family, who soon come crawling out of the wood work again. This story is a heart warming account of how Perry copes with his new found fame and those who are out to exploit his good nature.

      Characters

      Perry, the main character as I've mentioned, is considered slow, but the reader soon finds out that slow doesn't mean that he is stupid. Perry is an extremely loveable character, truly seeing the good in everyone around him. He is obviously naïve, and wants to help everyone around him but we learn that his Grams teachings have stood him in good stead. He proves himself in the marine supply shop and gains the respect of his colleagues thus proving that his IQ does not make him stupid, he has lots of business acumen! The character of Perry really is adorable, you cannot help but want to protect him and wish him well.

      Perrys Gram, although actually dead for most of the book, is ever present in Perry's thoughts, she is a quirky, strong and quick witted character who has spent her life teaching Perry to learn 5 words out of the dictionary everyday, to save half his pay check for a rainy day, and to be careful of peoples intentions - especially his family who we discover are selfish and money grabbing and try to exploit Perry for all he is worth. Gram's wisdom and humour is apparent throughout the book especially when he is in a difficult situation he tries to think what his Gram would do. His take on his Grams advice and education is unique and really raises a smile! Its so simple, his way of looking at things but is so true for example; Perry says, "Convenience means other people do not have to work so hard."

      The other two main characters in Lottery are Cherry and Keith. Keith is Perry's best friend, a Vietnam Veteran who has never looked down on Perry and has always treated him as everyone else. Keith is an important character and someone that Perry can trust when his Gram dies as he is always looking out for him. Keith is a very interesting character, he has many issues due to his suffering in Vietnam and like Perry, has a heart of gold. There is a great love story mixed up in the main thread of this book between him and Cherry. Perry has a crush on Cherry, but Keith saves her from her abusive dad and soon they start a relationship. Again, this is another endearing thread throughout.

      My thoughts

      This is a thoroughly touching and though - provoking book. I found it both wonderfully happy and sad and also frustrating. Perry has such a great outlook on life that is just not apparent in most people, he doesn't need money or fame, just love and companionship. However, the frustration came when his family members came to take advantage, its hard to remember that is disability (and his good nature) means that he cannot see them for what they are. Still, this is a book that has a happy ending and well deserving of its Orange Broadband Prize For Fiction. Its unlike anything I've ever read - but I can see similarities of this and the character of "Forest Gump" played by Tom Hanks. I've also read reviews that say that if you liked "The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night Time" then you would love this, although I've never read this so I couldn't say! All I can say is this is a great book looking at the perceptions of disability and how we cope with it in our society. it's an interesting look into human nature both heartwarming, well written and unique, a story that is hear breaking, sad but ultimately triumphant. I'd definitely recommend as something different to what is currently out there to read.

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