Lottery by Patricia Wood
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publication Date: 2007
Read by: Paul Michael
I’m changing up the format a bit with this review because I have The Hubster as a guest reviewer. We listened to this book on a road trip to Southern Oregon last weekend. I read the book and loved it back in 2008. The Hubster hadn’t read it and I’ve heard from several bloggers I trust that the audio version is good. So I loaded it up on the iPod and didn’t tell The Hubster anything about it. Since I’ve already reviewed the book I’m turning the rest of this review over to him.
The Short Version:
A more realistic version of Forrest Gump.
Why I Read It:
Because my wife put it on the iPod for our road trip audio book.
From the publisher:
Perry L. Crandall knows what it’s like to be an outsider. With an IQ of 76, he’s an easy mark. Before his grandmother died, she armed Perry well with what he’d need to know: the importance of words and writing things down, and how to play the lottery. Most important, she taught him whom to trust—a crucial lesson for Perry when he wins the multimillion-dollar jackpot. As his family descends, moving in on his fortune, his fate, and his few true friends, he has a lesson for them: never, ever underestimate Perry Crandall.
I enjoyed it very much. I liked how the flashbacks to Perry’s earlier life were interjected into the present day story. That painted a more complete picture of him and how he came to be the person he is. I liked that the author made me want to know those things.
The other characters were all entertaining in different ways. Keith was probably the best friend that someone like Perry could have had. I thought it was interesting how beautiful Perry thought Cherry was despite the fact that the one time she was described it was not what you might think of as classic beauty.
Gary was always kind to and liked Perry. I found it interesting the way his relationship with Perry changed profoundly through the course of the story moving from protector to more of a equal.
The actions of Perry’s family were probably overdone but after all, they were the bad guys in the story.
Perry’s reactions to the bad things that happened to him were such that they made me feel better. His lack of understanding and naïveté often helped him to move on without dwelling on the negative emotions. Instead he often focused on what his Gram would have been saying to him. He had great coping skills.
I thought it lacked some character development. I really wanted to know more about Keith and about how someone who was raised in Eastern Oregon learned to sail. I wasn’t fully satisfied with the explanation of how Perry ended up being raised by his Grandparents. I wanted to know more about how that came to be perhaps from characters who knew more about it than Perry.
I really didn’t know anything about the book and missed the title and author in the opening credits because we were talking. At the end I was stunned to find out it was written by a woman. It was primarily male characters and the sailing aspect is something that I think of as more of an activity for men so the author being a woman came as a surprise.
About the audio production:
Perry was read slowly like someone with his IQ would probably speak. If I’d read this I would not have read it that way in my head. That made the audio version worthwhile to listen to because it made that characterization of Perry more complete. That did not make the audio production tiresome or tedious to hear at all. The narrator’s character voices were differentiated enough to make them all distinct and the story moved along at an easy to listen to pace. I thought he did a very good job and he would be a narrator I’d be happy to listen to again.
SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.