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The Winner — not! I had seen the name many times, but had never read anything by David Baldacci until last week. That Baldacci is a prolific writer is evinced in any airport book store. I was expecting something light and easy like Grisham, but it was a whole lot worse. The two main characters, LuAnn Tyler, and Jackson, are completely implausible, and at times self-contradictory.

Baldacci also repea The Winner — not! Baldacci also repeatedly tells us how beautiful and sexy LuAnn Tyler is. In fact, she is quite remarkable. Not only is she drop dead gorgeous, but she can lay a man out with one punch and split firewood faster, and for longer than, a seasoned groundsman can. Some of that I can forgive, even from a best-selling author, but that was not the worst of it. The pages of repetitive narrative in a hick voice is hard to not put down as the boredom sets in. Sentence structure at times is abominable. More than once, I had to stop and check that I had read a sentence correctly, and had not drifted off and slipped into autopilot.

The rice-paper plot limps along towards a predictable, melodramatic, one-woman-army ending after which they all live happily ever after. It will be a long time before I open another Baldacci novel. View all 6 comments. Sep 02, Kristy James rated it it was amazing. I started reading The Winner based on a recommendation from my eye doctor, of all people. Frankly I'd never heard of the author before, but decided to give it a shot.

And I'm glad I did. I'm even more glad I gave up on the hardcover library book and, instead, got the Kindle version it's much lighter! The Winner is a surprisingly interesting and good book. The characters seem very real and you choose your sides very early on. The plot is something else.

Even though I'm a writer, I can't imagine I started reading The Winner based on a recommendation from my eye doctor, of all people. Even though I'm a writer, I can't imagine coming up with something that intricately planned. It just baffles the mind the twists and turns in this book. Just when you think you've got something figured out, it takes another direction and you're left scratching your head. My only real problem with the book is that Mr.

Baldacci writes some of the longest paragraphs I've ever seen If you're distracted by something, it's a little harder to find your place than it would be if they were broken up a little better. However it isn't enough of a detriment to keep me from reading more of his work.

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David Baldacci is a gifted author and I intend to enjoy at least some of his other books. View all 5 comments. Nov 22, Fran rated it it was amazing Shelves: I bought this book it was so good. A twist on the typical rags to riches tale. It begs the question: How would you spend those winnings? Being highly recommended to me I was anxious to absorb myself reading a good book. Unfortunately, this wasn't one of them. Primarily, I was disappointed with descriptive nudity, a masturbation scene and a sex scene, all of which could have been removed and the book as a whole would have been better.

Nonetheless, the premise held the possibility of a good story but it was just too predictable. There was only one surprise in the book and the beginning drug on forever. Baldacci takes over a hundred Being highly recommended to me I was anxious to absorb myself reading a good book. Baldacci takes over a hundred pages to consistently remind the reader that the main character comes from "hick" upbringing. Not very gripping, quite disappointing, nothing new and refreshing. I always have been.

Now, there are two questions that pop up given that information: To the first question I'll say that, in defense of my parents, I usually and probably very poorly tried to cover up the fact that I had snuck back downstairs better lighting by turning off the light as soon as I heard any motion from upstairs as long as dawn was seeping through the window.

If it was that early or late, depending on how you look at it that sound probably wasn't just the house settling.

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If my life were an actual detective novel and my parents actual detectives, had they placed their hands over the lamp's bulb, heat would have still been emanating and my cover blown. Who am I kidding, I'm sure my tiptoes up the stairs weren't nearly as quiet as I thought and they've known all along. They were probably just happy I wasn't at a sleepover where a liquor cabinet was present.

Grisham they could handle, Beam would have been a completely different offense. However addressing the second issue, gets to the heart of this review, so I'll ruminate on that presently. There is something about the mystery genre that allows for the forgiveness of god-awful, terrible writing.

Provided that the plot is there, a simple whodunit could, ostensibly, be written by a person with no more than a fifth-grade vocabulary and still be engaging. At least, that's my opinion. And that's why Grisham had to share nightstand space with my eighth grade graduation invitations.

Set in modern day, which according to the copyright on the book is , The Winner tells the story of LuAnn Tyler, a hick from Hicksville here called Rikersville, GA who just wants a better life for her daughter. After being approached by a man capable of fixing the lottery, she must determine just how much she wants her life to change.

I'll let a very minor spoiler slip in here, so be warned, she decides to take the lotto guarantee. The book then skips ahead ten years to pick up on the ramifications of LuAnn's decision. I'm going to do my best to make the rest of this as spoiler free as I can, but the fact remains that it's been 14 years since the publication of this book, so I'm not promising anything.

The upside for me is that, despite several moments of having to put the book down in order to roll my eyes at the cornball nature of a sentence, I did continue to pick it back up. That could be because I was just thrilled to be reading something that wasn't mentally taxing or it could be because I was legitimately caught up in the suspense. I would like to give the benefit of the doubt and say that it was the latter.

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There is something there that kept the pages turning and there were some legitimate surprises that made me sit back and say "huh The idea itself is intriguing as well, I mean, who hasn't dreamt of their post-lottery-winning life, especially in the current economic situation? It's incredibly easy to relate to the decision to say yes to someone who offers you a completely new, debt-free life.

If I'm being completely honest, and remember this is coming from someone who has never been published, so certainly take it with even less than a grain of salt, there are moments when the writing is terrible. Usually, as I read, the scenario starts to play itself out in my mind and a cinematic quality begins to take shape as the faces and reactions of characters form. It all becomes a mental motion picture. I mean that's why we all read, correct?

And also why so many people are loathe to accept adaptations? Well here, the only thing that formed was a Youtube playback of an over-acted high school play. That's the best analogy I can make. Despite the fact that his main character is indeed a heroine, Mr. Baldacci seems to have no idea how women actually think. By this, I mean to say that women do not speak, or think, like sentences from a romance novel, and we certainly don't assume that men think in those terms either. Here's a passage to illustrate the point His heroine also just happens to be that perfect mixture of independent kick-ass and damsel in distress often described using the help of feline adjectives and placing her body as the main focus of every sentence about her.

It's clear that he's trying so hard not to objectify women that the end result seems to be the exact opposite. I'll try not to even mention the fact that the phrase "making love" is used in seriousness. Throw in the fact that he has to clarify that the cell phone is "portable" as well as that modems and fax machines are high-tech, and it all just felt slightly dated for me, in Also, there's a whole lot of explanation instead of action that goes on, continually pulling you out of the book and back in to your own mind where you say to yourself "yeah, yeah, I get it, now move on".

With it's short chapters and lengthy page count, it's not surprising that this isn't a great book. It probably wasn't meant to be. It was meant to keep people engaged at the beach, or in a cabin, and I can see, and attest to the fact, that it does just that, but re-reads will be unnecessary, and possibly painful unless you really love similes especially involving trains or think Matthew Riggs is totally dreamy. I thank the book for allowing me to check off another book read in my yearly tally, but wish that it would have kept up the Grisham vibe of the first part of the book before veering down the path filled with exclamations, stereotypes and worst of all, the use of the phrase "worldwide crime syndicate".

View all 3 comments. Feb 27, Ryan Sampey rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The genre is a mix of mystery, realistic fiction, and thriller. It follows the story of LuAnn Tyler, a dirt poor twenty year-old with a infant child who is offered a chance to win the lottery. Driven away from her home town by her drug dealing boyfriend, she wins the lottery and spends 10 years living abroad. Coming back to the US, she faces the killer known as Jackson who set up the lottery scheme. She must work to protect her friend Charlie, her boyfriend Matt Riggs, and her daughter Lisa.

They all live and Jackson is killed at the end. The book sees many transformations in characters, a realistic portrayal of a parent doing everything she can to protect her family, and how money is not everything. The book carries the theme that our life affect our personality. Practically every main character both good and bad proves that the events in life shape a person's character. Different experiences result in different kinds of people. LuAnn is a great example. Growing up, she had practically no money and her boyfriend was the biggest of jerks out there. However, she was both smart and was morally correct.

When offered to win the lottery by cheating, she immediately was against it. She only accepted to help her daughter and escape the drug dealers. Her daughter was her first priority and it affected her decision. Ten years later, LuAnn is paranoid and full of lies but hates that she is. Being on the run from the law all this time and disobeying Jackson's orders to leave the US has developed a hard shell around her. On the inside however, she still cares for her daughter more than anything.

Charlie and Matt Riggs experience similar changes. Charlie's care for LuAnn caused him to leave Jackson to protect her and Lisa. He became a uncle to Lisa and a good friend to LuAnn. Riggs was a FBI agent before a drug cartel killed his wife. He'd lived a simple life for 5 years but risked everything for LuAnn. He was so devoted he took two bullets, a knife, and killed Jackson for her. Jackson is a stone cold killer and the antagonist but it explains why he is so.

His father was unloving and treated Jackson badly as a child. He didn't care at all for his brother and only truly loved his sister. As an adult, Jackson made it his goal to earn a fortune greater than his father ever did. His father had spent his inheritance so he was determined to earn it back to beat his father. His lottery scheme earned him billions. Jackson found himself more comfortable if he was someone else.

He had dozens of disguises and his real name wasn't even Jackson. He didn't like who he was a was determined to be who he wanted. He always wanted control of everything. When LuAnn fought him he started to lose that control. That was unacceptable to him and he did everything he could to kill her. He kidnapped her daughter, killed his own brother and sister, and killed multiple others. How the characters were raised and their choices affected their personality greatly.

It is always said that parents would do anything for their child but The Winner really displays this. It is a crucial part to the story. Lisa is LuAnn's life. LuAnn lied to Lisa for 10 years about her life so that she wouldn't know about the lottery. It was her way of protecting her daughter. She risked her life to rescue her daughter. She sent her daughter to hide with Charlie to protect her, she faced a murderer for her daughter, and she did whatever she could to keep her safe. If was her greatest strength and weakness.

Whenever Lisa was in trouble, LuAnn possessed an almost unmatchable strength but it also was the way Jackson got to LuAnn. The last theme displayed by the book was that money isn't everything. It doesn't buy happiness. LuAnn went from no money, to loads of money, to a fair amount of money. When she had no money she certainly wasn't happy but she had her daughter and a lot of friends in her little town.

With her riches, she couldn't enjoy them because she constantly felt the guilt of stealing. She donated millions to charities but still couldn't except that she had stolen it. In the end, she paid the money back but still had a substantial amount however she didn't care. Her daughter was alive, she was going to marry Matt Riggs, and Charlie was as good a friend as ever. LuAnn showed that family and friends matter more than money. The Winner is a great book for many reasons. On the outside, it's a amazing thriller with great pacing, plot twists unfortunately some are obvious, such as the fact that Jackson went for Lisa.

The book talked so much about LuAnn's love for her it was practically telling you that Jackson would kidnap her , and plenty of action. On the inside past the blood and action, it displays many qualities that are a part of our society. A parent's love for her daughter, what truly brings happiness, and how our actions shape our character. The Winner satisfies on all levels and is a must read for Baldacci fans and thriller fans alike.

A single mother is offered a guarantee to win the lottery and after initial hesitation, accepts. Circumstances force her to leave the country but her eventual return is not welcomed by everyone. My main problem with this book is that I could see the pieces, parts and elements of this book while reading it rather than ever reading it as a whole work.

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The protagonist needs to look sympathetic, so there will be an element added…here. The villain needs to escape from this situation, so he will have A single mother is offered a guarantee to win the lottery and after initial hesitation, accepts. The villain needs to escape from this situation, so he will have this skill revealed…here. There needs to be some tension introduced, so Matthew Riggs and his mysterious past will be introduced…here.

Matthew Riggs needs to have a skill that will help at this exact moment, so one will be revealed just…here. It was not as strong as being emotionally manipulated and while I appreciate the need for story elements to fit together, here I found the book had merely the presence of suitable elements rather than being worked together into a cohesive whole.

I eventually finished the book in frustration, the overly lengthy book only heightening my dislike of the book. I loved this book, the story line was brilliant and was one of David Baldaccis easier books to follow. A page turner from the start, I'd happily recommend this. Jul 25, Wendy rated it really liked it.

The Winner () - IMDb

LuAnn Tyler is only 20 years old and already a dirt-poor single mother with an 8-month old daughter living in a trailer in Georgia. When a strange man, whom she thought was offering her a job, says he can guarantee that she'll win the national lottery, LuAnn's better judgement tells her to decline. But she comes home to find her boyfriend murdered and herself killing another intruder in self-defense.

Alone and desperate, she takes the stranger's incredible offer which leads her to New York City to accept her lottery winnings: She has, however, agreed to the stranger's stipulations: Ten years moving around Europe doesn't sound too bad. But LuAnn secretly returns to the US after the ten years, putting herself in grave danger, as well as the lives of her daughter, Lisa, and the two men she loves.

Hard to believe they were written by the same author. Both incredibly well-written but with very different writing styles. Baldacci has outstanding character development. The stranger, the financial genious, is a great villan. It seems there's nothing he can't get done. I also picked up on the changes in LuAnn after the ten years had passed. She's such a strong-willed character. Her growth and maturity is so apparent. I don't know enough about the government or the lotteries to say if "a fix" is really possible. However, Baldacci's brilliant writing makes me want to believe it could happen.

Above average plot with intricate developments, but it was missing the wow factor.

The Winner Is …

Good but not great. To let readers know where I'm coming from, my preferred genre is romance novels. The fact that I liked this should mean something since it is off genre for me. Throughout the book there was the underlying frustration of how can anyone ever stop this bad guy, but he gets it eventually. The story was excellent mechanically with good showing not telling. I would have liked more e Above average plot with intricate developments, but it was missing the wow factor.

I would have liked more emotional draw to the characters. Not necessary, but I also would have liked more witty or thought provoking dialogue. I liked the LuAnn character a lot. She was physically very strong. Her strength of mind and body actually scared some men. There were a couple parts that were a little too convenient to the plot for me. Jackson wanted to kill Charlie and LuAnn. He should have shot them, but he chose to do things that they could survive.

Number of sex scenes: Total number of sex sceen pages: Oct 03, Kelly rated it it was amazing Shelves: My second Baldacci book and it did not disappoint! This is a fast-paced, thoroughly entertaining book I was hooked on page one and stayed hooked through every page until the last.

This would make a killer movie! This book promised so much but delivered so little. The first pages and the last pages were page turning but the bits in between just went on and on and on. He offers her a chance to win the lottery, which she initially refuses until she finds herself falsely accused of murder and needing to run for her life with her young daughter in tow.

When she secretly returns ten years later, Jackson comes to punish her for disobeying him, the FBI is searching for her in connection with the lottery scam, and her only help comes from the mysterious Matthew Riggs. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The Winner Hardcover edition. Novels by David Baldacci. Freddy and the French Fries: The Mystery of Silas Finklebean Retrieved from " https: