Customer Reviews for

The Winner

Average Rating 4
( 216 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(112)

4 Star

(48)

3 Star

(29)

2 Star

(15)

1 Star

(12)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Not fantastic, but it is a lot of fun

David Baldacci proved his mastery of the modern thriller with Absolute Power and Total Control. The Winner was released in 1998 and looked to continue the Baldacci brand of storytelling. Destitute waitress LuAnn Tyler lives a ramshackle existence with her newborn daugh...
David Baldacci proved his mastery of the modern thriller with Absolute Power and Total Control. The Winner was released in 1998 and looked to continue the Baldacci brand of storytelling. Destitute waitress LuAnn Tyler lives a ramshackle existence with her newborn daughter in a poverty stricken southern town. At least that's the case until she is approach by a man named Jackson who promises her the unthinkable - a certain win in the national lottery of $100 million dollars. Her conscience tells her to say no, but before she can, events conspire to make Jackson's offer the only hope for LuAnn and her daughter. At the time, Jackson's conditions are acceptable, but ten years later, LuAnn decides to defy those conditions to take back her life with the hopes that the seemingly invincible puppet-master Jackson will be none the wiser.

The Winner drags a bit early on as it tries to flesh out every thought of every character, but once the action gets going, it is intense and fun. You will root for LuAnn, but just like her, you won't always know who is on her side. Baldacci is at his best when he is putting his characters in deadly situations where they don't know where the trouble is coming from and they need to find that one hole to squeeze through to safety - and The Winner offers that up more than once. The story could have been a bit tighter and there were moments where the plot stretched believability to the edge. However, this is frankly when Baldacci is at his best. Baldacci's stories are like McDonald's Big Macs - you know they aren't fine dining, but you love them for what they are. All in all, Baldacci provides exactly what should be expected from his novels - a thrill-ride of a story that keeps the pages turning.

posted by ChadAaronSayban on September 9, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Enjoyable read.

Exciting, fast moving, and thought provoking.

posted by 5097237 on October 23, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2012

    Great book from beginning to end

    I enjoyed the characters & the suspense from beginning to end. Well done sir! Well done!

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  • Posted May 3, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Another good book by David Baldacci. A lot of his books center around the DC area and concern politics and suspense. Since I reside in Virginia and have family in the Northern Virginia area where Mr. Baldacci resides, I love to read anything he writes because his books mentions locations I am very familiar with. This is book is a little different; but like most of his book it was hard to put down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2011

    Highly Recommend

    I really enjoy all of David Baldacci's books. I usually finish too quickly and then have to wait for his next book. You're almost tempted to go to the end to see how it ends but don't because it's always good to find out if you are able to figure out what's going to happen.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    Very good read!

    A friend recommended this book and I'm glad she did!

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    Great book!

    I highly recommend this book. It was a true thriller and the characters were interesting as I routed for them and hoped they would prevail against the evil and uncertainty that haunted them throughout. This book was definitely worth the money and worth the time!

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  • Posted December 30, 2010

    A must read

    This was the 1st book I read by this author and I have to say it was by far a great read. The stiry line was good and it kept me reading all night long, because I just couldn't put it down. Read it, you won't be sorry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2010

    I truly loved every word. Could not put it down!

    The first time I read this book, I fell in love with the author's writing. Many months later I picked up this book and read again. It was just as wonderful and entertaining as the first time. The second read was like visiting old friends. I highly recommend.

    E. F. Stortz
    Kenner, Louisiana

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  • Posted August 20, 2010

    It kept me stuck for all its lenght...

    I like this author, his fantasy and style. I will always look up to his novels...

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Way below expectations

    Cartoonish plot and characters. A woman is given a fortune by someone who can manipulate the lottery and her only requirement is to live outside the US. We are expected to believe that after ten years of untold wealth she suddenly decides she can outwit her omnipotent, controling patron and return to the US without him knowing. Instead of staying under the radar, she buys a vast estate - without a security system. It's hard to sympathize with such a stupid woman. Too many inconsistancies in details to mention here.

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  • Posted March 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Two thumbs up!!!

    I took this book with me on my holiday for a week, when i went skiing. I read the whole book that week! I loved it, such a page turner!

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  • Posted December 21, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Outrageously over the top but superbly entertaining anyway!

    LuAnn Tyler is quintessential Georgia "white trash" - a young, beautiful, uneducated and unmarried mother with a typical Southern drawl living in a beat-up trailer with Duane Harvey, a no-account beer-guzzling low-life drug runner! But she is sharp enough to realize that her meaningless life is a dead end and she's trying to find a way out for her daughter. <BR/><BR/>When a shadowy character known only as "Jackson" offers her the opportunity to win a $100 million jackpot in a national lottery long before the drawing takes place, she's not able to figure out how it will happen but her lack of education doesn't stop her from realizing that however it will be done is well outside of the law. <BR/><BR/>Despite her poverty, LuAnn holds onto her integrity. Although she has reached the decision to turn down Jackson's "offer", a violent encounter with Duane's "colleagues" in the drug trade turns nasty and she is forced to run from the long reach of Georgia law. The $100 million becomes an offer she can no longer refuse and with her winnings, LuAnn Tyler and her daughter become lifelong fugitives from US law and from "Jackson", the sociopathic criminal mastermind who can do anything - fix a national lottery and savagely kill anyone who stands in his way or who threatens his world wide empire. <BR/><BR/>These characters are so OVER-written as to have crossed into the realm of cartoonish caricatures - LuAnn Tyler, the brash Southern belle heroine; Jackson, the evil megalomaniac who is a master of disguise; Thomas Donovan, the super sleuth investigative reporter who doesn't know enough to recognize danger when he's knee deep in it; Matthew Riggs, the former hot shot FBI agent now in deep cover in a witness protection program; and Uncle Charlie, the retired boxer who has a soft spot in his heart for LuAnn and her daughter! But, what the heck, they are phenomenally entertaining and - darn it all - every reader is going to fall in love with LuAnn and will be on their feet cheering for her in her battle against Jackson, the FBI, the Georgia state police force and even the IRS. <BR/><BR/>And I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find out that Baldacci also wanted to make a political statement about lotteries being an irresponsible regressive form of taxation that prey upon the weak represented in their totality by LuAnn and her daughter. I think Baldacci was talking about the very story that he had his reporter Donovan attempting to chase down. You know ... he could be right! <BR/><BR/>Highly recommended! <BR/><BR/>Paul Weiss

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2008

    Riveting on the edge of the seat

    this is my first baldacci book n boy was it fantastic. just couldnt put it down keep me going for hours....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2007

    Not a fan of this one....

    The rating says it all....'okay, but not great.' I've read several of Baldacci's books - Total Control, Last Man Standing, Camel Club, Saving Faith and now this. The Winner rates at least one full star below all the others. Plot wasn't bad, but it was methodical and plodding I just did not feel the 'rush' from reading it. Again, 'ok, but not great.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2007

    A reviewer

    This was my first Baldacci book and I really enjoyed it. It was a really engaging read, although parts were a little far fetched, but usually these types of books are anyway. It had everything I like in a book: action, thrills, romance, and a satisfying ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2006

    The Winner - a Loser

    This book is too lengthy, characters overdone,main character is impossible, egotistical, dominating,and overpowering.This master of disguise is so complex he trips on his own plans. As I stated in the beginning too long Skimming this book is a means to the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2006

    Excellent Read!!!!!!!

    I loved this book and the story I could feel myself opening up and getting involved in this book. It was different from my usual books I read romance but in was a bit of it in there but lots of supense and mystery.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2006

    A Book that's unmatched

    When i first began reading Baldacci's novels, it took me about 2 months to finish them. This book was different in that it only took me 1 week to finish. The evil vilan is so sadistic, something that I havent found. This book is Baldacci's best novel. I also believe they said it kicked a lot of other writters grass.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2005

    Strong start, weak middle and end

    This is the first book that I have read by this author. The book has an overall interesting plot and framework with the use of a rigged national lottery and with good versus evil reprresented by the two main characters. Some have complained that the two main antagonists, Luann Tyler and Jackson, are overdone and almost superhuman but I think that this could have worked. I liked the first one third of the book. After a strong start, the rest of the book does not live up. Ultimately, the plot is not believable. The author seems to have no knowledge of basic economics and the scale of money. For example, Jackson is able to consistently produce 600 to 800 percent returns on the monney through old family connections on wall street. With this ability then the whole lottery scam becomes irrelevant. Jackson could have just rigged the lottery once for himself and been just as wealthy without the additional murders and complexity. Many mistakes of this type are made and ultimately detract from the story. Second, Jackson does not 'live up' to Hannibal or other personifications of evil. Finally, in the end we do not care whether Lu Ann or Jackson win or lose.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2005

    Easy, FUN read!

    I thought this was an excellent novel. Baldacci had me up all hours of the night because I couldn't put the book down. Someone needs to make this a movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2004

    Entertaining. A worthy read.

    While a decent read, the plot was a little over the top at times. Lu Ann is perfect, a little too much at times, but hey, this is fiction. Worth the price though because of the antogonist, Jackson. He is to be feared by all. It drags a little. Perhaps a good fill-in book when you just don't know what else to read.

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Sort by: Showing 41 – 60 of 217 Customer Reviews
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