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The Odds: A Love Story by Stewart O'Nan
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The Odds: A Love Story (edition 2012)

by Stewart O'Nan

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3553930,716 (3.59)26
Member:BALE
Title:The Odds: A Love Story
Authors:Stewart O'Nan
Info:Viking, Published by Penguin Group (2012), Hard-cover Edition, 179pages
Collections:Read, Your library
Rating:***1/2
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The Odds: A Love Story by Stewart O'Nan

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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
I liked this. O"Nan is adept at character development and relationships. Marion and Art are on verge of losing their home,bankruptcy and celebrating the anniversary of their troubled marriage. They go back to Niagara Falls where they spent their honeymoon. They plan to risk everything in the casino.The failures of their lives hanging over them.This is a short read of love,acceptance endurance.Loved the scenes at the Heart concert and surprisingly, the BIG gambling scene had me on the edge of my seat. This book and "Wish you were here" take place in the region I live in. I love O'Nan's accuracy and his love and honest portrayal of places featured in his books.Excellent writing-interesting story.I loved and disliked both Art and Marion throughout the story,but ultimately liked them as they struggled to face their future. ( )
  LauGal | Aug 16, 2016 |
Wonderful look at a marriage in a completely unique story line. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
Wonderful look at a marriage in a completely unique story line. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
Unabashedly, I'm declaring the Stewart O'Nan fan club is back in session.

In The Odds Stewart O'Nan explores a marriage in crisis. Art and Marion Fowler have lost their jobs, are heading for bankruptcy, about to lose their home, and are on the brink of divorce. In a last ditch effort to salvage something, Art and Marion withdrawal all their remaining savings and book a bridal suite at a Niagara Falls casino. They are telling others it is a second honeymoon. They actually plan to gamble their money into enough cash to save them.

This is a bittersweet novel. Art and Marion are also taking all sorts of emotional baggage with them from their almost thirty years of marriage. It soon becomes clear that Art is a hopeful optimist, sure that their marriage and life can be salvaged. Marion is more pessimistic, and trying to simply humor Art for one more weekend before she begins her single life. The desperation of their plan, combined with a thread of optimism, underpins their weekend.

Setting The Odds in Niagara Falls was really a brilliant move. The tourist trap feeling combined with the romance and grandeur of the falls plays off Art and Marion's personal emotional drama. Will this gamble save their marriage, their lives? What are their odds?

The title of the book, The Odds, is emphasized with each new chapter of the book giving the odds that pertains to some event in the chapter. For example, the opening is: "Odds of a U.S. tourist visiting Niagara Falls: 1 in 95." Others include: "Odds of a married couple reaching their 25th anniversary: 1 in 6"; "Odds of seeing a shooting star: 1 in 5,800"; "Odds of a 53-year-old woman being a grandmother: 1 in 3."

While the novel is short and the setting and action are deceptively simple, The Odds is a complex character study. The novel works based on the strength of O'Nan's writing. This is an honest, intimate, emotional novel. These are real people with all the anxieties, desires, faults, and pressures that many people face. They have both made mistakes. Through O'Nan we are privy to all of Art and Marion's thoughts and emotions. O'Nan is a master at character studies.

Very Highly Recommended - one of the best. http://shetreadssoftly.blogspot.com/
( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
The odds of liking this book: 1 in 4

Each chapter in this short book starts by giving the odds of something happening, so I attempted to guess the odds that people would like this book. It tells the story of a couple married for thirty years who are facing bankruptcy in the financial sense due to job loss and in the marital sense due to an impending divorce. The husband convinces his wife to take all of their remaining money out of the bank and go to Niagara Falls, the site of their honeymoon. He hopes to save their marriage and rekindle romance with lavish meals, accommodations and gifts. He hopes to save their finances with a plan of risking it all and beating the odds at the Canadian casino.
What are the odds that you will read this book to find out if it worked?
( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
"Readers of contemporary literary fiction should enjoy the subtle dry humor and a story that gains momentum and pitches toward a satisfying, if somewhat ambiguous happy ending."
added by Christa_Josh | editLibrary Journal, Christine DeZelar-Tiedman (Nov 1, 2011)
 
The novels of American author Stewart O’Nan – he has written about a dozen – are models of craftsmanship, empathy, psychological insight and social acumen. ....O’Nan’s prose is agile, light and utterly unself-conscious. Very contemporary. At the same time, his superb rendering of psychological drama recalls 19th-century novelists like George Eliot. He has good fun with this story. While the couple prepare for their big gamble, Art does his best to create a honeymoon atmosphere. Out of pity and exhaustion, Marion humours him......And about halfway through the novel, we begin to hope they can work things out. What are the odds?
 
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Epigraph
The wheel of fortune/ goes spinning round/Will the arrow point my way?/Will this be the day?/O wheel of fortune/don't pass me by/Let me know the magic of/a kiss and a sigh/While the wheel is spinning, spinning, spinning/I'll not dream of winning/fortune or fame/While the wheel is turning/turning/turning/I'll be ever yearning/for love's precious flame/O wheel of fortune/I'm hoping somehow/if you'll ever smile on me/please let it be now. - Dinah Washington
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The final weekend of their marriage, hounded by insolvency, indecision, and, stupidly, half secretly, in the never-distant past ruled by memory, infidelity, Art and Marion Fowler fled the country.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670023167, Hardcover)

In the new novel from the author of Last Night at the Lobster, a middle-age couple goes all in for love at a Niagara Falls casino

Stewart O'Nan's thirteenth novel is another wildly original, bittersweet gem like his celebrated Last Night at the Lobster. Valentine's weekend, Art and Marion Fowler flee their Cleveland suburb for Niagara Falls, desperate to recoup their losses. Jobless, with their home approaching foreclosure and their marriage on the brink of collapse, Art and Marion liquidate their savings account and book a bridal suite at the Falls' ritziest casino for a second honeymoon. While they sightsee like tourists during the day, at night they risk it all at the roulette wheel to fix their finances-and save their marriage. A tender yet honest exploration of faith, forgiveness and last chances, The Odds is a reminder that love, like life, is always a gamble.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:44 -0400)

"A middle aged couple goes all in for love at a Niagara Falls casino"--

(summary from another edition)

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