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Lottery Paperback – June 3, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; Reprint edition (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425222209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425222201
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran narrator Michael brings his distinct gift for dialogue and vocal mannerisms to Wood's novel. The action centers on how winning a $12-million lottery jackpot complicates the life of 32-year-old Perry L. Crandall, the dedicated employee of a marine supply store in the harbor city of Everett, Wash. With an IQ of 76, Perry emphatically proclaims that he is slow, not retarded! Wood's dichotomy of Perry's impaired cognition does present some challenges for Michael, especially as the unsuspecting protagonist recounts—but does not grasp—the devious conversations among his money-grubbing relatives. The thriller elements manage to move along reasonably well, but the heart and soul of both Wood's storytelling and Michael's performance remains the exchanges between Perry and his close-knit surrogate family, including the beloved grandmother who raised him and the earthy band of characters with whom he shares the docks of Puget Sound. As Perry regularly interjects That is so cool! to his reflections on both the large and small joys of daily life, Michael gives the proceedings a refreshing breeze of Zen rather than garden-variety sentimentality.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A wonderful first novel…profoundly lovable.”
Washington Post

“A memorable character whose voice and world linger in one’s imagination.”
Miami Herald

Lottery is a winner.”
—Kate Jacobs

“A winning narrator.”
Seattle Times

It’s “memorable.”
Miami Herald

It’s “wonderful.”
Washington Post

It’s “irresistible.”
Good Housekeeping

“Uplifting.”
—Kate Jacobs

“Much more than a novel about a windfall affecting a simple soul—it’s a book about a stupendous event affecting a great number of people, especially the reader.”
—Paul Theroux --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Patricia Wood was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She has served in the US Army, worked as a Medical Technologist, been a horseback-riding instructor, and most recently taught marine science in a public high school working with high-risk students in Honolulu. Patricia is an avid SCUBA diver, has assisted with shark research, won the Hawaii State Jumper Championship with her horse Airborne and crewed in a 39-foot sailboat across the Pacific Ocean from Honolulu to San Francisco. Currently she is a PhD student at the University of Hawaii, focusing on education, disability and diversity. Lottery is inspired by her work, as well as by a number of events in her life, including her father winning the Washington State Lottery. She lives with her husband in Hawaii.

Customer Reviews

Lottery is a delightful story, told so very beautifully.
Christina Giulianotti
The book will make you laugh and make you cry, sometimes both at the same time.
RAD Man
You fall in love with his life, and the people most important to him.
Stephanie Elliot

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Susan Tunis TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'm trying to figure out why I enjoyed this novel so much. It's not the writing, which is fine, but ordinary. And it's not a page-turner of a plot--though it has to be said that I read the book easily in two days. It moves quite quickly and kept my interest at all times. But what I really loved about the novel was its first-person protagonist, Perry L. Crandall. It's hard not to fall in love with him!

I've heard the plot described as "high concept." I guess if you can sum it up in a sentence, it is that. Here's the sentence: a cognitively impaired (but adamantly NOT retarded) man wins 12 million dollars in the Washington State Lottery. From there the story is everything you'd expect it to be. There are good, kind people around Perry, and other terrible people who would take every advantage of his good nature. I laughed, I cried, I experienced the full range of human emotion. Really, it's just a very sweet book with a whole cast of incredibly endearing characters. It was simply a pleasure to read.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer VINE VOICE on January 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A Basic Overview
This book tells the story of Perry L. Crandall. (His grandmother tells him the L stands for "Lucky.") Perry has an IQ of 76 -- but he'll be the first to tell you that he "is not retarded." However, much of the world treats his as such. Most of his family has abandoned him except for his grandparents, who raise him. After the death of his grandfather, Perry lives with his grandmother, who does her best to teach him ways to protect himself--spend half, save half; write things down; learn your words; and trust only certain people. Perry has a job and a good friend Keith, who accepts him as he is. He fancies a girl named Cherry who works at the local mini-mart. But things take a turn for the worse when his grandmother dies -- leaving Perry to fend for himself. His family members swoop in and quickly ransack his life and essentially sell his home out from under him -- leaving him on his own to cope. Only Keith and his boss are willing to help Perry rebuild his life, and his family abandons him again. Then one day, Perry wins $12 million in the Washington State Lottery. Suddenly, his family is back -- circling like vultures. But his grandmother has taught him well, and Perry teaches them an important lesson: "Never underestimate Perry L. Crandall."

My Thoughts
I think writing a book from the perspective of a mentally challenged person is difficult. Besides telling the story, the author faces the additional challenge of being true to the narrator's voice. I thought the author did a good job of balancing the childlike qualities inherent in Perry with the narrative elements needed to keep the story moving.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Mary Akers on August 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Perry L. Crandall would like you to know that he is not retarded. Retarded would be 75 on an IQ test, and he is 76. Besides, Perry takes care not only of himself, but also of his Gran, a crusty, no-nonsense woman who loves him for who he is and lets him shine his light through his own accomplishments. (She tells him the L in his name stands for Lucky.)

Perry describes his life in simple and succinct sentences that manage to be full of wonder and surprise. As he speaks, we see all too clearly the many ways in which his nuclear family has failed him, but Perry never sees it that way. His glass is always half full. Shoot, his glass is three-quarters full--it only looks half-full to those of us too blind to see things the Perry Crandall way. And it's this innocence and optimism that makes his family betrayals all the more heartbreaking to the reader. We want to crawl into the book and protect Perry from the vultures, especially when he faces the biggest tragedy of his life.

But Perry insists he doesn't need protecting, and he proceeds to prove it us and to the three remaining people who care the most about him: Gary, the owner of Holsted's Marine Supply who has employed Perry since he was sixteen years old; Keith, Perry's heavy, flatulent, potty-mouthed co-worker; and Cherry a young, tattooed and pierced cashier at the local Marina Handy Mart.

When Perry wins the Washington state lottery we learn just who his real friends (and real family) are. His mostly estranged cousin-brothers come knocking, strangers arrive on his doorstep...and we hope--oh how we hope--that Perry can learn to distinguish the friends from the leeches.

There is so much to love about this big-hearted first novel. The characters are rich and real and alive.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Such a delightful novel! I suspect that many of us could learn a lot from Perry L. Crandall and his Gram.

Perry's world is an interesting blend of keen observation, acquired learning and intuitive feeling. He may not always know why something is happening but he is able to make a form of sense of it quicker than many others can. Perry, or Per to his best friends, is able to work out what is right for him even if some of his logic is foreign to others.
I enjoyed this novel: I like where it finished and the neat sense of hope for the future, despite some sad aspects to the journey.

Sentimental? Sure it is. That's what makes this novel come alive. Ms Wood has delivered an unlikely but likeable hero, some well-developed secondary characters and some despicable villains.

Perry may be an auditor, but he is also a contributor.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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