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Lucky You (1997)

by Carl Hiaasen

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,282395,704 (3.66)25
Grange, Florida, is famous for its miracles--the weeping fiberglass Madonna, the Road-Stain Jesus, the stigmata man. And now it has JoLayne Lucks, unlikely winner of the state lottery. Unfortunately, JoLayne's winning ticket isn't the only one. The other belongs to Bodean Gazzer and his raunchy sidekick, Chub, who believe they're entitled to the whole $28 million jackpot. And they need it quickly, to start their own underground militia before NATO troops invade America. But JoLayne Lucks has her own plans for the Lotto money--an Eden-like forest in Grange must be saved from strip-malling. When Bode and Chub brutally assault her and steal her ticket, JoLayne vows to track them down, take it back--and get revenge. The only one who can help is Tom Krome, a big-city investigative journalist now bitterly consigned to writing frothy features for a midsized central Florida newspaper. With a persuasive nudge from JoLayne, Krome is about to become part of a story that's bigger and more bizarre than anything he's ever covered. Chasing two heavily armed psychopaths down the coast of Florida is reckless enough, but Tom's got other problems--the murderous attention of a jealous judge; an actress wife who turns fugitive to avoid divorce court; an editor who speaks in tongues; and Tom's own growing fondness for the future millionairess with whom he's risking his neck. The pursuit takes them from the surreal streets of Grange to a buzzard-infested island deep in Florida Bay, where they finally catch up with the fledgling militia--Chub, Bode Gazzer, a newly recruited convenience-store clerk and their baffled hostage, a Hooters waitress. The climax explodes with the hilarious mayhem that is Carl Hiaasen's hallmark. Lucky You is his funniest, most deliriously gripping novel yet.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
I enjoy a good Hiassen book, and this was one of my favorites. I read Hiassen. when I need something funny and creative and this one really hit the spot. ( )
  carolfoisset | Aug 16, 2022 |
"Lucky You" is a very good book, and great through most of it. I was a bit turned off by the excessive "miracles" and white supremacists parts of the story; those were near-novellas in themselves. There were many other characters and sides to the story that were handled with much less material.

Hiaasen does a tremendous job though portraying all the nutcases in the US and particularly Florida, no shortage of material when they constitute half the population of the former and an even greater percentage of the latter. The good, the bad, and the oh-so very ugly, he will make you laugh when really you should be crying.

Recommended reading. ( )
  Picathartes | Mar 9, 2022 |
Carl Hiaasen's books are always funny and a bit weird. Lucky You is no exception. Two redneck type ignorant young white men with racist white supremacist beliefs try to form a militia. When the win the Florida lottery they think they can now fund the Rebel White Militia and defeat the international forces they are sure are lurking in the Bahamas ready to invade Florida. Their winning lottery ticket would be worth 28 million dollars if another lottery player hadn't played the exact same numbers that Saturday. A young black woman has the other ticket and our redneck militia wants it. Do Bode and Chub get the other ticket away from JoLayne? What part does an unhappy newspaper reporter play in the story? Hiaasen takes the reader from the Florida Panhandle to the Everglades and the Keys as lottery winners pursue each other. Very funny in places. Weird in others. Not for everybody. Hiaasen also writes for younger readers, this is not one of those books. Definitely for adults. ( )
  MMc009 | Jan 30, 2022 |
This is the 5th book I have read by Hiaasen and they are all interesting and amusing. Don't think I have ever read a series of books that has so many wacky but seemingly true characters. ( )
  Nefersw | Jan 14, 2022 |
I figured that since I live in Florida now, I've got to read some Carl Hiaasen. I may have read one or two of his books in the part, but I really can't remember, and it would have been years ago.

As expected, this one goes over the top, but I could accept that here. The book is very funny. Jo Layne, a black veterinarian assistant has won the lottery with a $28 million jackpot. There's a second winning ticket as well, but Jo Layne doesn't mind because $14 million is plenty for what she wants to do, which is purchase a small plot of undeveloped land and leave it as a nature preserve for the animals, particularly turtles, or cooters. Unfortunately, the second winning ticket is held by Bode and Chubb, two lowlifes, and they want it all. They are White Nationalists, and want to establish a militia to protect the white people when NATO invades from the Bahamas. (They are even stupider than they sound here). So Bode and Chubb head to Grange Florida, beat up Jo Layne, and steal her ticket. Unfortunately for them, they didn't know who they were dealing with in Jo Layne, and she takes off after them to retrieve her winning ticket.

Along the way, we meet lots of other exotic characters: the town of Grange is on the tourist route for Christian fundamentalists, so we meet a man and his wife who maintain a weeping Madonna in their front yard, perfumed tears and all. There's the woman who maintains the image of Christ which miraculously appeared on the highway from oil drippings. There's the man who maintains the "stigmata" on his palms with Crisco, and the newspaper editor who falls under the spell of the cooters and starts talking in tongues. The "straight" character, a newspaper reporter along for the ride to help Jo Layne has his house firebombed by the corrupt judge whose wife he was having an affair with. And along the way, Bode and Chubb, to their great detriment, fall in love with a Hooter's waitress, and decide to kidnap here and take her along for the ride. She turns out to be another woman, like Jo Layne, they didn't reckon on being aeons smarter than them.

This was laugh out loud funny. I wouldn't want a steady diet of Carl Hiaasen, but I thoroughly enjoyed this.

Recommended.
3 stars ( )
1 vote arubabookwoman | Dec 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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For Laureen,
one in a million

-- LUCKY YOU
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On the afternoon of November 25, a woman named JoLayne Lucks drove to the Grab N'Go minimart in Grange, Florida, and purchased spearmint Certs, unwaxed dental floss and one ticket for the state Lotto.
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Grange, Florida, is famous for its miracles--the weeping fiberglass Madonna, the Road-Stain Jesus, the stigmata man. And now it has JoLayne Lucks, unlikely winner of the state lottery. Unfortunately, JoLayne's winning ticket isn't the only one. The other belongs to Bodean Gazzer and his raunchy sidekick, Chub, who believe they're entitled to the whole $28 million jackpot. And they need it quickly, to start their own underground militia before NATO troops invade America. But JoLayne Lucks has her own plans for the Lotto money--an Eden-like forest in Grange must be saved from strip-malling. When Bode and Chub brutally assault her and steal her ticket, JoLayne vows to track them down, take it back--and get revenge. The only one who can help is Tom Krome, a big-city investigative journalist now bitterly consigned to writing frothy features for a midsized central Florida newspaper. With a persuasive nudge from JoLayne, Krome is about to become part of a story that's bigger and more bizarre than anything he's ever covered. Chasing two heavily armed psychopaths down the coast of Florida is reckless enough, but Tom's got other problems--the murderous attention of a jealous judge; an actress wife who turns fugitive to avoid divorce court; an editor who speaks in tongues; and Tom's own growing fondness for the future millionairess with whom he's risking his neck. The pursuit takes them from the surreal streets of Grange to a buzzard-infested island deep in Florida Bay, where they finally catch up with the fledgling militia--Chub, Bode Gazzer, a newly recruited convenience-store clerk and their baffled hostage, a Hooters waitress. The climax explodes with the hilarious mayhem that is Carl Hiaasen's hallmark. Lucky You is his funniest, most deliriously gripping novel yet.

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Hachette Book Group

2 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 0446604658, 0446695653

 

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