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4.5 100
by Patricia Wood

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A funny, poignant, and wise novel about a very rich underdog who shows everyone just how little his IQ says about his smarts.


A funny, poignant, and wise novel about a very rich underdog who shows everyone just how little his IQ says about his smarts.

Editorial Reviews

Patricia Wood’s debut novel tickles your funny bone, tugs your heartstrings, and redefines the word "fortunate" all at once.
Good Housekeeping
[An] irresistible debut novel about what makes people good or bad, smart or stupid.
Carrie Brown
All the familiar ingredients are in this novel: the slow guy with the heart of gold and the disquieting habit of seeing things (and people) for what they are, the unscrupulous family (see Cinderella's evil stepsisters), the unsuitable but loving friends with their steadfast loyalty and kindness. The antidote to the blurry smear of these cliches is a kind of winning particularity. Patricia Wood's portrait of Perry is so vivid and funny and poignant and joyful that it avoids the disappointing flatness of the predictable.
—The Washington Post
Washington Post
It's "wonderful.
Miami Herald
It's "memorable.
Kate Jacobs
Seattle Times
A winning narrator.
Paul Theroux
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.
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. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, June 4). (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

By choosing to tell the story of Perry L. Crandall, a 31-year-old man with an IQ of 76, from Perry's viewpoint and in his own voice, debut author Wood has set herself quite a challenge. Although getting used to Perry's narrative takes a bit of time, the technique ultimately succeeds. Perry's life in a small coastal town is radically changed by two events early in the novel: the death of his caretaker grandmother and his winning $12 million in the Washington State Lottery. Soon, Perry's relatives-who'd only just cheated him out of the inheritance he was due on his grandmother's death-are holding out their hands for money. Wood keeps the reader guessing as to how the story will end, and the resolution is satisfying. She meets her goal of portraying a mentally challenged person as a fully realized, functioning human being. Perry's worldview is so charming and fair that by the end, you might think he's the smartest character in the whole book [See Prepub Alert, LJ5/1/07.]
—Amy Watts

Kirkus Reviews
A first novel told from the perspective of a mentally limited man caught up in forces beyond his control. Perry L. Crandall ("L" for Lucky) isn't retarded-he'll tell you so. His beloved Gram tells him being slow isn't a bad thing; he'll get where he needs to go in his own time. She also warns Perry about whom to trust in the world, and especially to value his own abilities and instincts. After Gram dies, his absent mother and siblings swindle him out of the house she left him. Under the protective eyes of his boss Gary, Vietnam vet Keith and convenience-store clerk Cherry, Perry settles into a new routine on the waterfront in Everett, Wash. He has a job at Holsted's Marine Supply, an apartment over the shop, and he takes weekly trips to the Handy Mart to buy lottery tickets. When one ticket pays off with $12 million, Perry is plunged into a new world of fame, wealth and false friends. Predictably, his avaricious family members plot to get their hands on his fortune, but Perry's well-meaning friends are equally worrisome as they happily help him fritter away his winnings and offer amateurish if well-intentioned advice. Tired of the constant pressure for him to sign his Power, as he calls the power-of-attorney document, Perry makes a surprising decision that settles for good the problem of his family and the money. Wood does a good job of scene setting, and the tension around whether-or when-Perry will be swindled out of his money makes the middle of the book a page turner. At the same time, the narrative voice is rather flat, and some of the developments are unrealistic. A thought-provoking idea imperfectly executed.

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
14 Years

Meet the Author

Patricia Wood is a Ph.D. student at the University of Hawaii, focusing on education, disability, and diversity. Lottery is inspired by her work, as well as a number of events in her life, including her father’s winning the Washington State Lottery. She lives with her husband aboard a sailboat moored in Ko’Olina, Hawaii. This is her first novel.

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Lottery 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 100 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just as Perry could not add enough zeros on a line, I cannot add enough stars for this book! I loved it from the start and still can't stop thinking about it. I read it quickly also, and couldn't wait to get to the end. Yet, I wish it would've continued, so I could keep on reading about Perry and his (mis)adventures in winning the lottery. It is a great story and so true-to-life. As I wrote the author (and it is something I have only done once before), I told her how Perry reminded me of a family friend. The story could be about him and that's why I felt it was so real. I loved the definitions and how Perry described his world. I loved how he was devoted to Gram, to his job, to Keith and Gary and then to Cherry. Perry was a winner, with or without his lottery winnings. I laughed, cried, and read it out loud to my family at parts that I just could not keep to myself. I now passed it on to my mom and dad. Thanks, Patricia, for a wonderful book. Can't wait for your next one.
AvidreaderJD More than 1 year ago
Well written. As you go through life, you can well imagine what others may be facing and how they might handle a situation differently. Definitely shows a another side of life. Makes a person far more kind and considerate. Loved this book and highly recommend to friends.
credden7 More than 1 year ago
This book is so special so heart warming it is the story of a young man who is slow in his thinking, with so much honesty and love in his heart. His whole family is so full of greed and not honest at all and cruel. His grandmother raised him and gave him many wonderful gifts to how life really is and how people can not be trusted. He wins the lottery and you can read how everyone wants his money and how everyone looks at him differently, just because of his winnings, but he teaches them all a lesson.His honesty and naive ways win over everything it is a wonderful book of life, I hope Patricia Wood writes another book soon I really enjoyed this book so very much I had such a good feeling when I finished reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful insightful treatment of people who have many challenges. Uplifting treatment of lots of difficult topics. Recommend this especially for teachers and others who deal with people who are so-called "mentally challenged or developmentally delayed". Author has great insights and the plot was well constructed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author's training and vocation certainly shows in her character portrayals. It's obvious she knows from where she speaks. Perry, the protagonist is a wonderful character, and it was interesting to me to see how his mind worked - his reasoning. This is a good-hearted book, though that doesn't mean there aren't some "villains." I enjoyed this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great escape in to the lives of people worth knowing. Well worth the time. It's a rollercoaster of emotional peaks and valleys with a smooth end. I'm greedy now. I want more. Same characters and all. Please??!!
TLHART More than 1 year ago
Only three books have made me cry, this is one of them. Patricia Wood's an amazing writer, I look forward to her next book.
BibliophileGA More than 1 year ago
Lottery is about Perry L. Crandall, a thirty-two year old with an IQ of 76. His feisty but wise grandmother, better known as Gram, always told him that the 'L' in his name stood for Lucky. Gram taught Perry important life-lessons about whom he could trust and those he shouldn't and couldn't trust, and those he should listen to and those he shouldn't. She also taught him the importance of learning words and their meanings and to write everything down because writing helped him to remember. At the unexpected passing of Gram, his 'long-absent' mother, brothers and their wives, took advantage of Perry's naiveté and IQ and cheated him out of his rightful inheritance of everything Gram had owned. While they took everything of value, Perry only received five hundred dollars from the sale of Gram's house. He heard Gram's cautious voice in his head, "Be careful, Perry." His best friend, Keith, found him an apartment to rent above Holstead's Marine Supply where he and Keith both worked. Perry, found out that what his Gram has told him was true, the 'L' did stand for lucky--he won the Washington State Lottery of twelve million dollars. His relatives did about everything they could to trick and weasel Perry out of his lottery winnings. Just about anyone who heard about Perry winning the lottery, from near or far, had their sob story and hand out. Does Perry lose his millions to his relatives? What does he do with his money? You'll have to read it to find out! I was taken with Perry's wisdom, compassion, and loyalty. Lottery is full of charm and humor. It is a love story; it is uplifting and endearing. It is a must read! Patricia Wood, I'm waiting for your next book!
kjenne More than 1 year ago
This book had surprisingly well defined characters as seen through the eyes of the main character, Perry. It was easy to care about Perry, his buddy Keith and his grandmother as well as dislike his cousin-brothers and mother. The story of a "slow" person winning the lottery and how he was treated before and after he won, was original and stayed with you long after reading the book. This was a very enjoyable story and a great book to pass along to a friend.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An absolute gem. The characters jump off the page and the story rivets from Perry's humble beginning to his surprising and triumphant end. This one is all-quality--Tuesdays with Morrie by way of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. Deserves to be a huge bestseller.
clejtd More than 1 year ago
Lottery was a book I bought light years ago with my previously reviewed book, The Tenderness Of Wolves. Did I buy it for the reviews? Was it on sale? Could I have been hoping that the secrets of winning the lottery were deep within? I’m not sure, but I did feel like I won with this book. Not the big jackpot, but a satisfying amount that allows you to brag a little. This book will be like spending 340 pages with Forest Gump. Their IQ is about the same and both share that charming innocence that we love about Forest. (They said it was a million dollar shot, but the army must keep that money because I never did see a nickel from it). Lottery’s main character Perry L Crandall says ridiculously funny things throughout the book. Often I found myself explaining to the beau why I was snort laughing in the other room. “Oh, Perry. He says the funniest things.” Much like Forest, Randall’s character is taken advantage of frequently during the book. People make fun of him and you are never sure what will make you cry more… when he realizes that they are poking fun at him or when he doesn’t. He such a sweet soul and you’ll find jerks walking all over him throughout the story, especially when the lottery winnings start coming in. His sleazy family can’t wait to get their grubby hands on the goods. His friends try to protect him, including Keith who reminds me a bit of angry, drunk Lieutenant Dan. Even though the book is entertaining, at times it can be like watching a train wreck. Many reviewers commented on the repetition throughout the book. It didn’t bother me, but I can see where it could get annoying. (Nowhere as much as 50 Shades of Grey’s thousands of murmurings.) Lottery is an easy read when you need something to make you giggle. It’s also a nice time to reflect on how some people can be jerks to the sweetest souls. I’ve seen several people say it is a book club read, but I think this is more of one to enjoy on your own.
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biken4him More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read, charactors are fun and believable, you'll laugh love and cry then love again!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It's one of the best I've ever read. Patricia Woods is an excellent writer and on my list of favorites.
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