Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Lucky Bastard"

S.G. Browne worked in Hollywood for several years before moving to Santa Cruz to be a writer. He currently lives and writes in San Francisco. His novels include Breathers: A Zombie's Lament.

Browne applied the Page 69 Test to his latest novel, Lucky Bastard, and reported the following:
From Page 69:
A few years later, when Mandy and Ted got married and I missed the wedding because I was poaching luck from a lottery winner in Iowa, Mandy called to ream me out.

“Where were you?”

No “Hey” or “How’s it going?” Just right into attack mode.

“Where was I when?”

“Last weekend, asshole.”

“I was in Iowa. Why? What are you so upset about?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I’m upset because you missed my wedding!”

That’s one of those ohhh moments, when you realize no matter what you say it’s not going to make things better.

“Ohhh. I’m sorry. I totally forgot.”

But you can definitely make them worse.

“You forgot?”

“Yeah. I was poaching from a Powerball winner who won three hundred and eighteen million dollars in the lottery.”
Page 69 of Lucky Bastard is the middle of a brief three page flashback by the protagonist, Nick Monday, about his sister, Mandy. While Mandy plays a significant role in the story and in Nick’s character development, I wouldn’t say the page is representative of the rest of the novel.

First of all, there’s not much humor or banter here and Nick’s sarcastic wisecracks are in limited supply. So I’d say his narrative voice isn’t fully on display here.

Second, considering the novel starts out on the roof of a hotel with a naked woman holding Nick at knifepoint and then recounts over the course of a single day how he ended up on the hotel roof, the novel has more action than is indicated by this sampling.

Finally, while Page 69 touches on Nick’s ability to poach luck, it lacks his whimsical philosophizing about good luck and bad luck that permeates the rest of the novel.
Learn more about the book and author at S.G. Browne's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Breathers: A Zombie's Lament.

--Marshal Zeringue