The Wagers

Sean Michaels. Tin House, $15.95 trade paper (398p) ISBN 978-1-947793-63-7
Luck (and the lack of it) is the subject of this quirky work from Michaels (Us Conductors). At 36, Theo Potiris is a struggling stand-up comedian, despite one appearance on Conan. He works in his parents’ grocery store and plays the local comedy clubs on open-mic nights. Then, one day, he takes his 13-year-old niece, Hanna, to the track, where she wins $4 million on her first pick. This rocks Theo’s world to the point where he quits his job in favor of employment with the Rabbit Foot, a consortium of scientists who are attempting to quantify luck and monetize it. Then, he meets a woman named Simone who recruits him for the No Name Gang, which attempts to steal luck from those who hoard it. As part of this gang, Theo helps hijack luck from novelist Daniel Merrett Leys, author of The Labrador Sea, and billionaire businessman Z. Largo, with ever increasing risk of arrest or betrayal. What starts out as a fairly realistic drama eventually morphs into a surreal caper, with luck as an actual commodity to be prized—though to what end is never made entirely clear by the author. Some readers will be overwhelmed by the whimsy of the story, while others will enjoy Michaels’s unflagging imagination. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/16/2019
Release date: 01/21/2020
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 384 pages - 978-0-7352-7811-0
Show other formats
Discover what to read next