Wednesday, March 07, 2012

First Wednesday Book Review Club: THE ODDS, Stewart O'Nan



Another brilliant novel by the master.

A middle-aged couple, headed for divorce, decides to spend their final weekend together (Valentine's Day) at Niagara Falls, where they spent their first one.

They also decide to take the money left in the bank after some disastrous decisions and see if they can solve some of their troubles at the casino tables. This is not a travelogue of Niagara Falls but one that winds through their past a bit. They seldom leave the hotel, restaurants and casino in this book.

Sad, lovely, romantic, despairing, hopeful--all of these in this portrait of a marriage and what can go wrong and right with it. Just great stuff. There is no better contemporary writer (ahem, well maybe one) for me.

Check out other reviews at Barrie Summy's place.

9 comments:

George said...

I was lucky to read THE ODDS when I friend shared an Advance Reading Copy with me. Like you, I thought the book was brilliant. I'll read anything O'Nan writes.

Dave Zeltserman said...

The Odds got reviewed very nicely on NPR, along with a couple of other stellar books ;)

http://www.npr.org/2012/02/02/146279441/fired-and-foreclosed-unemployment-lit#member146281715

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yay, Dave!

Linda McLaughlin said...

This sounds good, Patti. And yes, you can use my review of Lost Horizon for the Forgotten Books blog. :)

Linda

Sarahlynn said...

If it were a movie, I'd want it to be a romantic comedy where they win a lot of money and save their marriage over 94 painfully embarrassing contrived minutes.

But it's O'Nan (the only of his books I've is Last Night at the Lobster) so I suspect it reads as painfully real, poignant, understated, and melancholy.

pattinase (abbott) said...

You got it.

Barrie said...

I have to read this!

Anonymous said...

I figured you'd be all over this one, Patti. I'll be picking up my reserved copy at the library today. When I heard it compared favorably with LAST NIGHT AT THE LOBSTER I knew it was for me.

Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I liked it a lot but not quite as much as LAST NIGHT AT THE LOBSTER.