4 out of 4 stars
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Every time we are presented with options, our choices, or others' contribute to the outcomes we get. Is it possible to get the same result when we switch our decisions? Maybe A Lucky Turn? by Karl Summers has the answer to this question — or perhaps not.
A Lucky Turn? is a black comedy that revolves around three friends — Frank, Tony, and Sherry. On the 13th of June, their lives become intertwined by a common desire to win a lottery game. Meanwhile, they have their individual stories that fuel this common desire. Frank is in a 13-year marriage that has become a burden to him. He needs the money to process his divorce. Tony's family relies on him for sustenance after his father's restaurant business collapses. Sherry lost her mum at the age of 3 and is left at the mercy of an abusive stepfather. She wants out! The 13th of June is a day that their lives change forever. However, there are intricacies unknown to them. Will they win the lottery? What other significance does the 13th of June hold for them?
When I read the description of this book, my curiosity was heightened. This book was my first attempt at reading black comedy. I had to do little research to have a holistic idea of what to expect or things to look out for. From what I learned from research, the author did an excellent job of crafting a book that fitted the bill. The dark humor in this book would arouse all manner of emotions in the reader. I laughed, screamed, and was pissed (not at the book, but at some of the events that played out). Though it wasn't a spectacular read, A Lucky Turn? had all it took to fall into the black comedy genre.
One key feature of books in the black comedy genre is dark humor. This involves the flagrant use of vulgarity. As I expected, there was an avalanche of vulgar words used in this book. To that end, I wouldn't recommend it to a young reading audience. However, older adults, who wouldn't mind a great deal of profanity, would find this book appealing.
I was impressed the most at how the author built his narrative around the three main characters — Frank, Tony, and Sherry. Though these characters took a more significant percentage of the book, the author didn't isolate them completely — every other character connected to each of the three major players in this book. For instance, Frank's wife of 13 years, Claire, Tony's parents, and Sherry's stepdad played minor roles in the story. This stood out most for me as I read the book.
Apart from a few minor errors in the book, it lived up to expectations. It was written well with the right doses of humor and suspense. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
A Lucky Turn?
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