Lucky Bastard by S.G. Browne
Author: S.G. Browne
Genre: Fiction (Contemporary / San Francisco / P.I. / Comedy / Satire / Light Fantasy)
Publisher/Publication Date: Gallery Books (4/17/2012)
Source: The author
Did I finish?: I did, in a few zippy days.
One-sentence summary: Luck poacher and San Francisco PI Nick Monday finds himself embroiled in a confusing battle between the government, gangsters, interlopers, and his sister.
Do I like the cover?: I adore the cover, from the fonts to the bold graphic.
I'm reminded of...: Alex Bledsoe, Terry Pratchett, Daniel Pyne
First line: It's my understanding that naked women don't generally tend to carry knives.
Buy, Borrow, or Avoid?: Borrow or buy -- this is a good one to pass along to friends as it reads fast and funny.
Why did I get this book?: I'm a sucker for PIs!
Review: This is one of those books I fell in love with at the first line, and my breathless passion for it lasted through to the very final line. Ours is a timeless affair.
Seriously, though, this book is hilarious. A little rude, wicked funny, and surprisingly meaty.
Nick Monday is a private investigator in San Francisco, but not all of his business comes from investigating. He's one of a rare handful of people who can feel, and steal, another person's luck. Someone survive a horrifying accident? They're lucky. Politician have a life ruining scandal? Someone stole their luck. Luck poachers, like Nick, make money trading in various grades of luck (and the way they distill luck gleaned from others is horrifying!).
But things get a bit skunky for Nick when he's tapped by the government to deliver bad luck to a local gangster. That same day, said gangster hires him to steal luck, and worse, the foxy daughter of a politician he poached from hires him to find out who poached her father's luck. If it sounds confusing, it's only because I'm explaining it wrong -- Browne makes this crazy plot work.
There's a bouncy, banter-y sense to the novel which made effortless to read -- I raced through it -- and I loved Nick. He's got a line for everything.
"But I don't poach bad luck," I whisper. "At least, not anymore. And I only did it once."
She shrugs and takes another bite of her tortellini. "It's like herpes. Once is all it takes."
It's bad enough to get turned down for sex by a cute little luck poacher who screwed you over once already. But when you've been compared to herpes, that's when you know you should have stayed in bed. (p142)
This book had me snickering and snortling on my commute to work -- hilarious to read, and I'm sure laugh-out-loud funny as an audiobook. This is the kind of book I think might lure a non-reader who likes comedic action flicks -- my brother and brother-in-law are both getting a copy -- and I would describe it as a kind of fluff beach read for guys. In the best way. Seriously fun.
*** *** ***
I'm thrilled to offer a copy of Lucky Bastard to one lucky (ha!) reader! To enter, fill out this brief form. Open to US/Canadian readers, ends 9/21.