This is the WASTED BLOG. For my main author website, click this link.

Awards: WASTED won the Read it or Else category in the Coventry Award and was runner-up in the North East Book Award. It is longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Manchester, Grampian, Angus, and RED Awards.

Thursday, 27 May 2010


What about other books where chance plays a big part? Do you know any?

Here are some I thought of (with a little help from my Twitter friends). I haven't read them all but I'd like to. So many books, so little time...

The classic - aimed at adults, though likely to be enjoyed by keen teenagers, too

The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart. I'm definitely going to read this. I know there's some kind of similarity with the premise of Wasted. From all the reviews, it's obviously different though - the only similarity is a character who lets an object rule his life; but for very different reasons, in totally different circumstances, with different intention and different results. Here's the product description from Amazon: "The cult classic that can still change your life! Let the dice decide! This is the philosophy that changes the life of bored psychiatrist Luke Rhinehart -- and in some ways changes the world as well. Because once you hand over your life to the dice, anything can happen. Entertaining, humorous, scary, shocking, subversive, The Dice Man is one of the cult bestsellers of our time."

For younger readers - 10+ as a guideline, though I believe readers should read whatever they want whenever they want...

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet was a book your children (older children and young teenagers, I think) that did really well. I haven't read it but I know it was regarded as interesting and unusual and had some excellent reviews - and there's a puzzle to solve. Actually, it was the puzzle that stopped me wanting to read it but don't let that put you off - that's just me! The book plays with the theme of chance and coincidences.

Romantic fiction - aimed at adults

Fortunate Wager by Jan Jones - Jan is a romantic novelist who I know through Twitter. And her regency romance, Fortunate Wager, looks a lot of fun. I loved Georgette Heyer and I think Jan can fairly be called a writer in that tradition, but with extra feistiness to her heroines. What's it got to do with luck, chance or fate? Well, the central character is called Caroline Fortune, for a start; then there's the title itself ... does what it says on the tin, folks! And I'm looking forward to reading it.

Definitely aimed at adults, or at least older teenagers...

Atonement by Ian McEwan - the tragedies of this story hinge on several tiny chance events: an act  accidenttally witnessed, a letter mis-directed, a remark misunderstood. A fabulous read, but quite shocking in lots of ways, so be prepared. One of my favourite books and one of the few where I've felt compelled to go back and read it again as soon as I got to the last page.

And here's one for teenagers and older children

A Crack in the Line by Michael Lawrence. I haven't read it but I've  met Michael a couple of times and he's lovely, which is one way to encourage me to read a book. But also, MUCH more importantly, it sounds really good. Here's a review on Chicklish. AND it's part of a trilogy so if you like it, it will keep you going for a while.

But now - over to you. what books have you read and loved where chance or luck play an important part? Tell us the title and author and maybe say something about the part that chance plays.

WASTED BLOG TOUR - WHERE AM I TODAY? Over at lovely Cat Clarke's blog, This Counts as Writing, Right? Yes, it certainly does.


Jan Jones said...

Ooh! That's me! How lovely.

Amy Slack said...

Hello! I know I've already suggested this book to you, but 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins has a little theme of luck in it. In the opening chapter, there is a raffle-style 'reaping' for two teenagers to take part in the murderous Hunger Games - basically, a death sentence. The protaganist, Katniss, enters her name many times so she can recieve extra food for her starving family, but when the name is read out, it is her little sister - on her first time eligible, with only one paper slip of thousands in the reaping ball.
I really recommend it - it's so intense and unusual. One of the lines that really sticks in my mind is that of the person who picks the names out of the reaping ball: 'May the odds be ever in your favour!'... that will never be true for everyone...

Nicola Morgan said...

Jan - it is indeed!

Amy - oh yes, thank you for reminding me! I have it on my TBR pile and I will get to it straight after the rather long (but good) adult historical novel I'm reading. It sounds fascinating and I've heard great things about it.