Saturday, April 10, 2010

Book Review - Lottery: A Novel by Patricia Wood

Title: Lottery: A Novel
Author: Patricia Wood
Year: 2007
Page: 318
Genre: Fiction

New to me author? Yes
Read this author again? Maybe
Tearjerker? A little teary eyed
Where did it take place? US
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Perry Crandall has an IQ of 76, but is not retarded, as he'll have you know: his IQ would need to be less than 75 for that, and he knows the difference even if others may not. Perry, the 32-year-old narrator of Wood's warm-fuzzy debut, has worked at the same marine supply store for half his life and lives with his wisecracking grandmother Gram, whose gems of folk wisdom help him along. But when Gram dies, Perry's selfish, money-grubbing family members swoop in and swindle him out of the proceeds from the sale of her house—and then come a-knocking again when Perry wins $12 million in the Washington State Lottery. Suddenly everyone is paying attention to Perry, but who can he trust? Even his friends from the marine supply store behave differently, and on top of everything else, Perry finds himself falling for convenience store clerk Cherry, who has problems of her own. Despite his family's shenanigans and sinister maneuverings, Perry holds his own and discovers abilities he didn't know he had. The wisdoms here run more cute than deep, but Wood's light humor and likable narrator should have mass appeal.

First Sentence:
My name is Perry l. Crandall and I am not retarded.

Why did I pick this book?
Someone recommended it on a reading forum. I thought it sounds promising

My thoughts:
  • I think I am right that I need to avoid/skip/be cautious of book titles that said "A Novel" which seems to indicate they are more character driven novels... I like twists and surprises in the storyline (think Shutter Island, Sixth Sense)
  • While the voice of the main characters were quite clear (I liked Gram best), the plot was rather flat and predictable for me. The wisdoms/insights displayed by Perry really weren't a-ha moments for me
  • I did like the author's writing, and I think she did a good job using many "vocabulary" throughout the story as it plays a significant role in Perry's life
  • I just wish there was more to the plot or that it's not as cliche. I think I read some reviews comparing it to Forrest Gump. Praises at the back of the book used words like "uplifting... tugs your heartstrings... memorable... lovable... surprising wisdom..." Instead, I felt a little sad, rather than feel-good, after reading it - I can't fully explain without giving spoilers though... 


"It is very important to think of your future, Perry," she tells me, "because at some point it becomes your past. You remember that!" (p5)


Have you read this book? 
If you have, I would love to hear what you think!
I'll link your review here if you wish!

100+ Reading


  1. I should say, the first thing that came to my mind is Forrest Gump. I want to read this one. Sounds intense.

  2. I haven't heard of this one.

    Read through some of your reviews, I have And then there were None, look forward to this one and I have Shutter Island, you have made me excited about this one.

  3. @Aths - Would love to see what you think after you read it!

    @MarceJ - Would love to read your thoughts too! Sometimes I found reading other reviews, I learned something I'd missed myself.