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When an impoverished mother is invited to join a crooked lottery scheme, she refuses -- at least until abruptly she finds herself a single-mom, framed for murder. Joining the scam so that she can support her baby girl, she becomes rich and tries to lead a normal life. But her past catches up with her....
- ANOTHER WINNER!
I got hooked on David Baldacci"s CAMEL CLUB and then HOUR GAME... now I look for anything he has written and am never disappointed...... One of our best authors today....more info
- good story
I read The Camel Club at the end of last year, and I thought that this book was a little slower (especially in the middle). Also, I'm not sure why Baldacci always has a character whose super-strong (as evidenced by his/her handshake), but it was a little distracting when he kept describing LuAnn's strength in this book. Overall, though, this book's movie-like plot made it a good read....more info
- LOVE IT
I am new to Baldacci. I just finished Total Control and really enjoyed it. SO I was looking forward to this book and IT DOES NOT DISAPPOINT!! Once you get past the long set up with "Jackson" and LuAnn and her friends, the book really picks up once she comes back to the states. It IS A PAGE TURNER!! The other thing I like about Baldacci is that he gives great descriptions of the characters and you get involved with them. Scott Turow's books I feel have TOO MANY CHARACTERS WITH VERY LONG DESCRIPTIONS. I dont care about the plot or the people, if I have to read 3 pages about one person. Steve Martini is another author I enjoy. His protagonist, Madriani, is likeable, you want him to win but the books dont grip me the way this author does. I like Martini and have several of his books but if you want to go on a ride, get this book. Grisham doesnt hold a candle to Baldacci or Martini.. He could take writing classes from them on how to have depth to characters and a story. I also think because I read many books, I Can sometimes figure out the plot twist before it happens. With Baldacci, I have NOT BEEN ABLE to figure it out. That is the sign of a great writer- when an experienced reader isnt able to figure out the plot twists. I look forward to reading Simple Truth and Whole Truth....more info
- Baldacci phones this one in
For sake of argument, let's just accept the far fetched premise that the mega-evil "Jackson" can accomplish anything (such as fixing the national lottery), can find out any information about any person, can disguise himself as anyone - even mimicking their voices, and he is a ruthless killer who will eliminate anyone who interferes with his schemes. The heroine, Luann, obviously knows this and rightfully fears Jackson because of this. Yet she explicitly defies Jackson's order never return to the USA. And she does it in grand style by buying a mansion on a huge piece of land in her mother's hometown, and she files a tax return - all under the assumed name that Jackson set up for her! And then she wonders how Jackson found out?!? Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Reading this book makes you feel you are watching a bad movie on late-night cable. You know the plot contrived, and the characters are cliches, and the dialogue is ridiculous, yet somehow you just keep watching... It got hard to focus on the pages because I kept rolling my eyes....more info
- B aldacci Continues to Amaze
I have been a fan of Baldacci since I read the first book. He keeps the plot moving. I have found a new author who I enjoy as much although their styles are very different. Andie Peterson, author of Northern Explosion, keeps the plot moving with believable characters and setting. I gave her a five star rating, too. I recommend these authors wholeheartedly....more info
- The Winner is a winner.
The winner is a supurb read. Great fun. Hat's off to David Baldacci for another great book....more info
- Interesting Plot
The National Lottery sponsored by The Government was fixed for one year by an evil genius. He carefully selected the winners to be. An investigative newspaper reporter discovered the scheme and threatened to expose it. Lot's of excitement along the way. But, the ending was fairly predictable. Still, a good read....more info
- GOOD OLD FASHION FUN
The more I read, the more I could not put this book down. I was already a fan of David Baldacci and this book did not disappoint. All the characters are likable and interesting. The story has a great villian. At the end, it really keeps you wondering which one of the supporting characters will survive. Some reviews have mentioned unrealistic aspects of the story, however, it is categorized as fiction and thus was meant to entertain, not tell a real life story. Like most fiction, you will not enjoy it if you take the story line too serious.
It does a good job of relating what it would be like to come into a lot of money by dishonest means. One of the underlining themes is that you need more than money to be happy and that often times it is not until you have some that you truly realize it. I personally felt vested emotionally in the characters and wanted good for them.
I highly recommend it and hope you enjoy it as much as me.
- The Book is a Winner
This is a great story because it allows you to think about what you would do in Luann Taylor's (Main Character) situation. The question is: Does she want to win the lottery? She is approached by a strange man who says he can make this happen. She is dirt poor and does not know what to do. This could be her only shot to do something with her life and she can't let it pass her by.
A great read for entertainment and an interesting look at the lottery industry. Baldacci keeps you turning the page until the end....more info
- Baldacci delivers
This was my first Baldacci book and I'm sure I'll read more by this gifted writer. Lead character LuAnn Tyler, a trailer park mom who suddenly wins a "fixed" 100 million dollar lottery, was so real and human you had to cheer for her, even when she did something stupid, you hoped it would work out. She meets Charlie, and together they make the rest of the story suspenseful as they battle wits with the ruthless Jackson, the evil lottery bad-guy.
The ending could have been better, but the total sum for this reader was a good read, and a good time. ...more info
Extemely well done! A story that takes twists and turns right up to the end-an end that left me smiling and excited to read another of Baldacci's books. It makes you think -What would I have done given the opportunity? A very nice reading . (A)...more info
- White Trash Meets Millions
David Baldacci is a truly gifted writer. He has that unique ability to paint a picture such that one can actually picture themselves in the trailer with LuAnn, holding our breaths as we wish her the best in making her escape.
I had a hard time putting this book down. In fact, I finished it in two days.
After winning her millions and making a successful break, we are re-introduced to LuAnn a decade later. The two LuAnn's are not even comprable--a testimony to what millions and proper tutoring can do!
For anyone who enjoys suspensful fiction, this is a great read....more info
- Excellent society portrait- and a good read.
'The Winner' is one of the best books I read this year. Don't stop reading there, because what I actually have to say is important. David Baldacci didn't only prove himself as an awesome storyteller but he dared to go a step further. This book successfully portrays a society from its bottom to its very top.
'The Winner' starts off with an unavoidable picture of endless poverty- full of despair and hate. Later it becomes a statement on the extremely rich people not being happy at all. LuAnn Tyler, the sympathetic heroine of the story, lives in a trailer with the ever-drunk boyfriend and her baby daughter. Unexpectedly she receives an offer of hitting the jackpot in the National Lottery. What sounds like a fairy tale evolves into a true drama about false identities and relationships. Of course a love story is included as well as action. And there's also the evil mastermind Jackson with a wide, admirable range of talents and abilities. The characters in common are very colorful. Another good aspect about the story is that the author touches a real problem- the lottery. This book relieves the fact of the lottery being closed some centuries ago because of the corruption in it...believe or not believe, but I haven't bought a lottery ticket since having read 'The Winner'.
'The Winner' is an excellent book that wants to be read by you... but be warned, this story is likely to destroy some illusions of life you may have.
Have a good read!...more info
- Quite good
This is my second novel by Baldacci, having read his "Christmas Train" first. I wasn't disappointed in this effort in the least! It seems Baldacci has a knack for strong character development. Some authors go on too long, trying to describe their characters, while others don't divulge nearly enough. Baldacci gets it right!
LuAnn Tyler is a strong female character, and Charlie is a wonderful "oversized teddy-bear" like man. The ambition and charisma of these two have you hoping for their success. The plot is great, and the setting is described wonderfully. Some things about the antagonist irked me a bit, but not enough to take away from the story.
This certainly will not be my last novel by Baldacci!...more info
- Ultimate vacation book
If your wondering which of the many excellent Baldacci books to read first. The winner is his best.
3)Camel Club trilogy
5)Last man standing
Read em in that order....more info
- Average book; Excellent Author
I have always enjoyed David Baldacci's work and make an effort to pick up anything I may not have read. For the most part I consider them well written; unfortunately, this one misses the mark. First, it is undeniably a "chick book." Second, the ability to suspend disbelief is relatively impossible (even for this chick,) considering the outlandish premise, the superhuman deeds, and occasional contradictions. LuAnn supposedly has incredible athletic ability, and states she remembers every minute of the last 10 years. Even allowing for hyperbole, how on earth does she forget, even briefly, what her even more superhuman nemesis looks like? I'm afraid this book should be considered more in the genre of Iris Johanson and Katherine Coulter.
Come on, David! You can, and have, done much, much better than this....more info
- Simplistic plot, weak characterization
The book has an interesting plot: a man who can manipulate the lottery, seemingly at will and with ease, offers a chance to Lu Ann Tyler, a 20 year old mother living a life of poverty and no hope in Georgia, to win the national lottery, worth $100 million. The book rapidly goes downhill from here, for several reasons:
1. The characters are very black-and-white, with little or no detail behind them.
2. Everyone is superhuman. The protagonist is a woman who can outrun even the most athletic of men, has a handshake that makes grown men wince, is beautiful, has a heart of gold, and a conscience to boot. The villain is master of disguises, can assume the shape and looks of a swelte blond or a man 20 years younger, or older. When he says "I don't age", you don't know whether it is made in jest or seriousness.
3. No time is spent on adding details that would reveal that the author had taken more than 15 minutes to do anything beyond the most superficial of research, and thus make the plot a little more believable. Contrast this with authors like Frederick Forsythe or Arthur Hailey and Baldacci's looks like an embarassingly amateur effort.
Two stars because there is a lot of rubbish out there that's much, much worse. This book could have been a lot more......more info
- It would have been a great first book
As a fan of Baldacci (the 'Camel Club' series in particular) and fast running out of books to read, I turned to 'The Winner' in the hopes that it would fill my 'Balducci Void'.
A well seeded plot with some intriguing characters and what I would call a 'Big' small story to tell were the only things that kept me labouring to wallow through pages of what seemed to be repetitive motive justification for (in particular) the main character, LuAnn Tyler through the first third of this novel.
Baldacci has always done a great job of detailing a character's profile to build a believable platform for a character's actions without hanging the motion of the story, but I felt that he struggled to achieve this in 'The Winner'.
It feels as though he is uncomfortable writing in the voice of LuAnn Tyler and this awkwardness shone through to make this book an uncomfortable read in places, lacking the fluidity of classic Balducci thrillers.
On the whole though, this was an enjoyable read with a well crafted and original story line and Baldacci writes a bad guy here who is unusually motivated and chillingly cold and calculating which makes the plot turns less predictable without relying on bizarre and irrational changes in character to force a climax. Had I not have had the high expectations of the usual Balducci rollercoaster ride I would have given this close to full marks.
- A New Baldacci Fan!
This was the first book I have read by Baldacci and he has really drawn me in! I've recently read through all of the booys by John Grisham and Dan Brown and I've been looking for a new author to read. After this book, I have found one. This book was captavating. I found myself staying up late to read it, and trying to get in a page or two as I brushed my teeth in the morning. I highly recommend this book....more info
- Unbelievable events and characters ruin interesting story
The idea is fascinating- what would you do if someone offered you a guaranteed chance to win 100 million and all you had to do was to keep your mouth shut? What would you do? How would you spend the money?
Of course nothing is that simple, or you wouldn't have this third rate "thriller." Naturally the person who "wins" is flawed and on the same day she is to buy the winning ticket gets involved with what looks like a murder, with her as the murderer. Of course.
And it goes downhill from there, one unbelievable thing after another happens, stretching even the most open "John Grisham" minded minds. The main villain here continently speaks in "expose," like some James Bond villain, telling his would be victims exactly how he did things. This is lazy writing folks, show, don't "tell."
There are "amazing" coincidences that pop up in the book, connections between characters that you never see coming because they are not necessary to tell the story, people being able to anticipate other's actions- 100% of the time, the list just goes on.
The story also skips a ten year period that would have been interesting and helpful to character development. Instead the ten year period is used as a handy way to explain away an changes in the characters.
Good idea, lazy execution....more info
- The Winner is a Winner
This was one of the best novels I've read in a long time. A tiny slow spot in the middle but other than that the book was totally engaging. One can really root for the heroine and the suspense just keeps on going. Suspend reality and go for a page turner about a young woman with nothing to lose who makes a decision that changes her life as well as the lives of those around her. From my experince, it's a different type of Baldacci book....more info
- The Winner by David Baldacci
Wow, what a thrill ride this book was! I couln't put it down! It is so well written, and fun to read from the very first chapter. Baldacci is an amazing story teller!!!...more info
- Original story written very well
I got hooked right away on this book. I'd recommend this book to anyone who has a free evening on their hands. This one is hard to put down....more info
- Pretty good
This is the first Baldacci book I've read. Was recommended by a neighbour of mine. The book is about a destute mother of an 8 month old in Georgia, named Louann. She lives in a trailer with the alcoholic and drug addicted father of her child. She works full-time at a truck stop diner and has dreams of a better life for her and her child. Then one day, an elusive master of disguise named Jackson calls her and offers her a job. $100 a day for two weeks, just giving her opinon on events, fashion, etc,. When she turns up at a local mall to meet with Jackson, she receives an offer that she cannot resist; winning the national lottery. She accepts and finds that there is a catch; she must leave the country and never return.
This book was very well done, especially for a novelist novice. There are a few gripes, however. The ten year gap. The weak character development on most characters. Otherwise, not very pretentious, very descriptive without dragging on--a well written thriller....more info
- Outrageously over the top but superbly entertaining anyway!
LuAnn Tyler is quintessential Georgia "white trash" - a young, beautiful, uneducated and unmarried mother with a typical Southern drawl living in a beat-up trailer with Duane Harvey, a no-account beer-guzzling low-life drug runner! But she is sharp enough to realize that her meaningless life is a dead end and she's trying to find a way out for her daughter.
When a shadowy character known only as "Jackson" offers her the opportunity to win a $100 million jackpot in a national lottery long before the drawing takes place, she's not able to figure out how it will happen but her lack of education doesn't stop her from realizing that however it will be done is well outside of the law.
Despite her poverty, LuAnn holds onto her integrity. Although she has reached the decision to turn down Jackson's "offer", a violent encounter with Duane's "colleagues" in the drug trade turns nasty and she is forced to run from the long reach of Georgia law. The $100 million becomes an offer she can no longer refuse and with her winnings, LuAnn Tyler and her daughter become lifelong fugitives from US law and from "Jackson", the sociopathic criminal mastermind who can do anything - fix a national lottery and savagely kill anyone who stands in his way or who threatens his world wide empire.
These characters are so OVER-written as to have crossed into the realm of cartoonish caricatures - LuAnn Tyler, the brash Southern belle heroine; Jackson, the evil megalomaniac who is a master of disguise; Thomas Donovan, the super sleuth investigative reporter who doesn't know enough to recognize danger when he's knee deep in it; Matthew Riggs, the former hot shot FBI agent now in deep cover in a witness protection program; and Uncle Charlie, the retired boxer who has a soft spot in his heart for LuAnn and her daughter! But, what the heck, they are phenomenally entertaining and - darn it all - every reader is going to fall in love with LuAnn and will be on their feet cheering for her in her battle against Jackson, the FBI, the Georgia state police force and even the IRS.
And I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find out that Baldacci also wanted to make a political statement about lotteries being an irresponsible regressive form of taxation that prey upon the weak represented in their totality by LuAnn and her daughter. I think Baldacci was talking about the very story that he had his reporter Donovan attempting to chase down. You know ... he could be right!
Paul Weiss...more info
- Good book
I loved the premise of this book... a lottery scam which would empower persons to live a 'fabulous' life. However, the book's protagonist was extremely irritating. Her betrayal and backstabbing of the antagonist in the book was very irritating and I found that I couldn't care less what happened to her. In fact, I was rooting ' for the bad guy '.
Otherwise, the book was a fast and enjoyable read....more info
Baldacci is very good at spinning an entertaining yarn with sympathetic characters and very canny villains. Lots of action here in a story that almost anyone can relate to in regard to imagining how we might deal with winning a huge lottery. The story remained tight and well paced for better than two thirds of the book, but got a little bogged down in technicalities toward the end, and the plot was wrapped up just a little bit too neatly IMHO. I got this book on my Kindle and intend to keep my favs as long as I can. When I need to clean house to make room for more books, The Winner may be the first to go. It was fun while it lasted, but certainly not something I'd plan to revisit....more info
- The Winner IS a winner!
David Baldacci has crafted a great story that really gets the reader to empathize with the plight and life of LuAnn Tyler. The intense and controlling Jackson is both amazing and extremely frightening.
Incredible read, couldn't put it down!...more info
- Another WINNER for Baldacci
The reason I love the way David Baldacci writes are many and THE WINNER is another example of a great page-turner. His writing is very compelling--one can become involved in the story on the first page. His books are very thrilling with a lot of twists and turns. There is always an evil villain that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Oftentimes I'll have trouble sleeping if I read Baldacci before going to bed! My heart does so race! My favorite books by this author also have a touch of romance, which fits the bill for my favorite 'happily ever after' books. THE WINNER has all of the above ingredients, I'm happy to say. LuAnn Tyler, a twenty-year old down on her luck mother agrees to help throw the lottery (against her better judgment). The man who makes all of this possible (Mr. Jackson) is an evil genius whose plan slowly unravels ten years later due to a newspaper reporter's inquisitiveness. Mr. Jackson will eliminate anyone who tries to get to close to him. Anyway, you get the picture......
So, if you want to read a wonderful story that will keep you glued to a great book, try THE WINNER--you will be the winner for having read it!...more info
- If only I could become a WINNER, I'd jump a the chance...
Read it! Read it! Read it! I really enjoyed this suspense-thriller. The story of LuAnn Tyler was well put together. It was hard to put the book down. Each time I did I wanted to find out what happened next. There were some bits which seemed too sensationalized, like the fight scene in the end between Jackson and LuAnn's boyfriend. We read this book for our book club and those who read it really enjoyed it. I want to read another Balducci book but I haven't gotten around to it yet....more info
- RAGS TO RICHES
this was a superb book by david baldacci and personally my favorite so far by this author this story keeps with the old adage that there is nothing for free without a catch...more info
- COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN !!!!!!!
It's one of those books you get hooked on right away. My sister won't read anything unless it reaches out and holds her captive right from the beginning. This did....more info