Veteran narrator Michael brings his distinct gift for dialogue and vocal mannerisms to Wood's novel. The action centers on how winning a $12-million lottery jackpot complicates the life of 32-year-old Perry L. Crandall, the dedicated employee of a marine supply store in the harbor city of Everett, Wash. With an IQ of 76, Perry emphatically proclaims that he is "slow, not retarded!" Wood's dichotomy of Perry's impaired cognition does present some challenges for Michael, especially as the unsuspecting protagonist recounts-but does not grasp-the devious conversations among his money-grubbing relatives. The thriller elements manage to move along reasonably well, but the heart and soul of both Wood's storytelling and Michael's performance remains the exchanges between Perry and his close-knit surrogate family, including the beloved grandmother who raised him and the earthy band of characters with whom he shares the docks of Puget Sound. As Perry regularly interjects "That is so cool!" to his reflections on both the large and small joys of daily life, Michael gives the proceedings a refreshing breeze of Zen rather than garden-variety sentimentality. Simultaneous release with the Putnam hardcover (Reviews, June 4). (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Patricia Wood's debut novel tickles your funny bone, tugs your heartstrings, and redefines the word 'fortunate' all at once." -"Redbook" "[An] irresistible debut novel about what makes people good or bad, smart or stupid." -"Good Housekeeping"