Lottery: The fortunes and misfortunes of Perry L Crandall, By Patricia Wood
Sunday 04 January 2009
The "L" in Perry L Crandall's name stands, we learn, for "Lucky", but for many years of his life the epithet might not seem to the reader altogether fitting. Perry has an IQ of 76 ("I am not retarded. You have to have an IQ number less than 75 to be retarded"); his mother is almost entirely absent, his brothers despise him and his schoolmates laugh at him. Yet he has "Gram", his crotchety grandmother, and his oddball friends at work. When Gram dies, having imparted to Perry some formidable, though eccentric, survival tips, his brothers sell her house without a by your leave, and Perry must fend for himself. Then he wins the lottery, $12million dollars worth of opportunity for his carrion-hungry siblings.
This novel of innocence vindicated and cunning confounded will not please all; the voice is very distinctive, and Perry's aperçus, for all their impression of saintly simplicity, can feel rather worldly-wise from someone with an IQ of 76. Yet it is heartening to read a story in which the tortoise wins the race, not because of his slowness (as in some crass anti-fable), but because of his steadiness, determination and wiliness. I loved it.
Art Piece taken off website amid 'severe security alert'
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 3 UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
- 4 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 5 Warriors in ancient Iraq suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more than 3,000 years ago, say researchers
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Mr Selfridge series 3: Actress Kara Tointon says 'we're starting to see his demise'
Benedict Cumberbatch says Hollywood is better for black British actors
Downton Abbey season 5 episode 6 - review: Thomas and Lady Edith show sad signs of the times
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd