Audiobook – Lottery by Patricia Wood

>> Friday, April 13, 2012

Lottery by Patricia Wood

Lottery by Patricia Wood

Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publication Date: 2007
Read by: Paul Michael
Source: Library

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.

The 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.

My Thoughts:
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.

4 stars Rating 4/5

SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.


Jenn's Bookshelves 4/13/2012 7:15 AM  

Great job! I hope we see more reviews from your Hubster :)

JoAnn 4/13/2012 10:56 AM  

I love it when the audio production gives a character more dimension, and it sounds like that was definitely the case with Lottery. It's been on my wish list since it first came out. Now I'll be sure to listen - thanks.

Bookfool 4/13/2012 11:45 AM  

That was fun! Does the hubster know that Pat Wood *lives* on a sailboat, now that you've finished the book? She's pretty amazing.

As a person who has dealt with greedy relatives (or, rather, basically watched them strip my grandmother's house), I can tell you that wasn't exaggerated -- even though it may seem to be the case. It's amazing how the bad side of people comes out when money and/or possessions are involved. Those same relatives actually called us up and asked for my mother's most valuable possessions when she died (basically, the few things my parents got from Grandma's house). Isn't that wild? Haven't heard from them since we said, "No."

Glad he enjoyed the audio! I keep thinking I need to reread Lottery. It's been in my top 5 favorite books I've read in the last 5 years, since I read it. Hasn't come anywhere close to dropping off.

ORION 4/13/2012 5:32 PM  

Thanks for a great review of my novel. Interestingly enough I was asked by CNN to do an op-ed piece to do with the recent bit lottery win by the teachers in Maryland.
Heres a link to it on the opinion page of CNN- you might find it interesting.

You see I realize the family is over the top but I toned it down from real life LOL!
Much aloha,
Patricia Wood

Amy 4/14/2012 5:31 AM  

I've never been much interested in audiobooks, but you've raised a good point about the actor's reading adding insight about the character. Thanks.

Vickie 4/14/2012 7:14 AM  

A narrator can make or break a story. I've re-read a book by listening to it after having read it in the past and had a new dimension added to the story by the narrator giving it that little nuance. Or tell me how to pronounce that person's name....

Kailana 4/14/2012 11:31 AM  

I have wanted to read this for ages. Maybe I will go the audiobook route...

Anonymous,  4/14/2012 4:32 PM  

The Hubster here...

Thank you for the insightful comments about my "review"! I had the easy job; all I had to do was answer questions of what I thought about the book. No literary analysis required - hooray!

And I'm completely floored that the author of the book took the time to respond too. That's like getting the autograph of a famous athlete. "That it is SO cool!"

The Hubster

Jen - Devourer of Books 4/19/2012 7:59 AM  

I'm glad that the slowness didn't make this tedious, that is what I was worried about.

Les 4/22/2012 7:50 AM  

I read Lottery several years ago and absolutely loved it. After reading your review, I need to add the audio to my list. I can't wait to read another book by Pat and hope there's a new one soon! She's amazing and I'm quite green with envy. I'd love to live in Hawaii on a boat. Or in the San Juans, for that matter.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

I do moderate comments on posts older than 14 days in order to control spam. I will approve your legitimate comments as soon as I can.

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