Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Review: MURPHY'S LUCK by Benjamin Laskin

“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” --Carl Jung (67)

Murphy Drummer seems to be bad luck on sneakers, the black cat that crosses your path, the mirror that shatters at your feet. In general, disaster follows whenever he's around. And it's been that way ever since he was a little kid.

Although you somewhat pity the poor boy, you also can't help but chuckle at all the bumbling catastrophes that happen. Too funny!

In a way and certainly on occasion, we all feel like Murphy--an outcast, a buffoon, a jinx, a pariah on society. But what makes Murphy so exceptional is not the bad luck he draws, but the unique talents he quickly absorbs, like speed-reading. Wow, he was a smart boy! Pretty soon, he becomes an expert linguist, an exceptional speller, a fast typist, a great musician, and a primo craftsman and builder. And that's how, ladies and gentlemen, he becomes the Hobby Guy.

Even though bad luck magically appears with Murphy, some good luck follows. At times, Murphy is able to prevent certain disasters, almost being able to foresee them before they happen like some clairvoyant. He was almost like a superhero. Cool! Of course, to us, it seems cool, but to a hard-headed philosopher like Murphy, it's all about the peace, harmony, and the "vibrations of the universe." Weirdo! I admit, I was a little put off by Murphy's "song" and the whole Xanadu "wax on, wax off" theory. C'mon, anybody would think that's a load of whooey. He was definitely a Forrest Gump--an introverted man-child with exceptional talents and a dry, alien personality.

Somehow Murphy intrigues and captures the attention of Joy, a dedicated journalist, and surrounding the odd, budding friendship between the two is a cast of reclusive characters sharing their sorrows, fears, and ambitions. Superstition and luck play a key role in the story, and readers will certainly enjoy seeing how these characters handle the events foretold by the enchanting tarot cards. You'll want to hang on to your rabbit's foot for this one.

A witty, plucky, and strange novel!

My rating: 3.5 stars

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