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How Lucky: A Novel Kindle Edition
“A fantastic novel. . . . You are going to like this a lot.”—Stephen King
“What’s more thrilling than a fictional character speaking to us in a voice we haven’t heard before, a voice so authentic and immediate—think Huck Finn, Holden Caulfield, Mattie Ross—that we suspect it must’ve been there all along, that we somehow managed to miss it? Daniel, the protagonist of Will Leitch’s smart, funny, heartbreaking new novel How Lucky, is just such a voice, and I’m not sure it will ever completely leave my head, or that I want it to.”—Richard Russo
For readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Nothing to See Here, a first novel as suspenseful and funny as it is moving, the unforgettable story of a fiercely resilient young man living with a physical disability, and his efforts to solve a mystery unfolding right outside his door.
Daniel leads a rich life in the university town of Athens, Georgia. He’s got a couple close friends, a steady paycheck working for a regional airline, and of course, for a few glorious days each Fall, college football tailgates. He considers himself to be a mostly lucky guy—despite the fact that he’s suffered from a debilitating disease since he was a small child, one that has left him unable to speak or to move without a wheelchair.
Largely confined to his home, Daniel spends the hours he’s not online communicating with irate air travelers observing his neighborhood from his front porch. One young woman passes by so frequently that spotting her out the window has almost become part of his daily routine. Until the day he’s almost sure he sees her being kidnapped...
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"I'm reading a fantastic novel by Will Leitch called How Lucky. Publishes in May, I think. It's suspenseful and often wildly funny. You are going to like this a lot, and I think a lot of you are going to like it. It has that Where the Crawdads Sing vibe." -- Stephen King
“What’s more thrilling than a fictional character speaking to us in a voice we haven’t heard before, a voice so authentic and immediate - think Huck Finn, Holden Caulfield, Mattie Ross - that we suspect it must’ve been there all along, that we somehow managed to miss it? Daniel, the protagonist of Will Leitch’s smart, funny, heartbreaking new novel How Lucky, is just such a voice, and I’m not sure it will ever completely leave my head, or that I want it to.” -- Richard Russo
“How Lucky is a gem: a riveting plot and a narrator who is charming, engaging, and downright inspiring. Will Leitch brilliantly juggles hilarity and horror. I loved this novel — every page.” -- Chris Bohjalian, #1 Bestselling Author of The Flight Attendant and Hour of the Witch
“It's a testament to Will Leitch's ability that he can blend seemingly disparate elements – mystery and illness and humor and football –and come away with something so winning. How Lucky asserts that "the world is a terrifying place these days" and the novel explores those terrors quite convincingly, yet I was heartened by the depth of Leitch's writing, his obvious love for the world and what it could be. He imbues his hero with a kind of hopefulness that comes from seeing the worst and finding some way to keep living.” -- Kevin Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to See Here
- ASIN : B08FK7C4QK
- Publisher : Harper (May 11, 2021)
- Publication date : May 11, 2021
- Language : English
- File size : 2916 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 298 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0063073056
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,169 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Daniel has been afflicted by SMA (Spinal Muscular Atrophy) which he calls “Lou Gehrig’s disease for kids.” Living in Athens, Georgia on the periphery of the University of Georgia and its football program, Daniel works social media from his home, cared for by Marjani, a professional caregiver who works all manner of odd jobs to provide for her son, and Travis, his longtime best friend and good-natured stoner.
One morning, Daniel watches from a porch as a Georgia student enters a car. Soon that same student is missing and Daniel finds himself pulled into the mystery as both the campus and community respond to her disappearance and an ominous direct message finds him on Reddit.
I adore Leitch’s prose in general but he has a deft touch with his debut novel. Daniel is funny and thoughtful and delightfully real, but he is also uncompromising in his honesty about SMA’s impact on his life. Seeing the people around him through his eyes is beautiful; I found myself as attached to Marjani and Travis as I was Daniel because he was. These were portraits of love in dual directions, and Daniel’s works felt fully realized because all three of them were.
Paired with the suspenseful search for Ai-Chen and all that it invites into Daniel’s world, the novel moves with a torrid pace but also feels contemplative in a way that wouldn’t seem to work but does. The comparison to Rear Window is low-hanging fruit—both protagonists must grapple with impaired mobility while investigating a crime that falls into their laps—but Daniel’s medical profile and self-awareness elevate that story into something far greater. Daniel will not get better, so there is an urgency to his involvement. He’s not seeking answers and trying to help this student because he’s antsy and frustrated; he’s doing it to leverage all he has to do for others what the people in his life do for him.
In any event, How Lucky succeeds on all fronts. I snickered, I pondered, I cried; my heart raced as I worried about fictional characters. This is a top-shelf book that reads light but carries with it surprising oomph, not unlike Daniel’s chair. And Chapter 49 is one of my favorite things I’ve ever read and took conscious restraint to not highlight every line of.
How Lucky is a good one.
One star off for the number of times Daniel mentions why college football is evil (to be fair, I do agree, but didn't need it mentioned so often, especially in a book that revolves around a SEC college football home game), and how one dimensional the two major secondary characters (Daniel's best friend and main caregiver) are.
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