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The Winner [Paperback]

3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute thrill ride. One of Baldacci's best! June 15 2004
Format:Hardcover
David Baldacci set the bar high for himself with his first huge hit, ABSOLUTE POWER (which later became a movie starring Clint Eastwood). He also reaches that bar with this effort, THE WINNER. Combining a plot not previously explored in popular fiction with believable characters and great writing, Baldacci produces a book worthy of a future screenplay.
The heroine, LuAnn Tyler, is a young Southern woman who receives an offer she can't refuse...an offer to win millions of dollars in a lottery that is fixed. The offer is made by a mysterious man named Jackson. As the novel progresses, Jackson develops into one of the most brilliant, calculating antagonists of recent memory. The man seems unstoppable! LuAnn's bodyguard Charlie is a constantly important character as is Matt Riggs, who is thrust into LuAnn's life by random chance.
As the novel progresses, it thrives not only on the lottery scam but also LuAnn's love for her daughter and her desire to protect her at any cost...and it plays into the hands of the reader, making you ask yourself if YOU would make the same decisions and take the same risks as she had. This added element really adds to the reading experience.
All in all, this is Baldacci's best work since Absolute Power. Hopefully, the trend will continue in his future works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
LuAnn Tyler is quintessential Georgia "white trash" - a young, beautiful, uneducated and unmarried mother with a typical Southern drawl living in a beat-up trailer with Duane Harvey, a no-account beer-guzzling low-life drug runner! But she is sharp enough to realize that her meaningless life is a dead end and she's trying to find a way out for her daughter.

When a shadowy character known only as "Jackson" offers her the opportunity to win a $100 million jackpot in a national lottery long before the drawing takes place, she's not able to figure out how it will happen but her lack of education doesn't stop her from realizing that however it will be done is well outside of the law.

Despite her poverty, LuAnn holds onto her integrity. Although she has reached the decision to turn down Jackson's "offer", a violent encounter with Duane's "colleagues" in the drug trade turns nasty and she is forced to run from the long reach of Georgia law. The $100 million becomes an offer she can no longer refuse and with her winnings, LuAnn Tyler and her daughter become lifelong fugitives from US law and from "Jackson", the sociopathic criminal mastermind who can do anything - fix a national lottery and savagely kill anyone who stands in his way or who threatens his world wide empire.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent society portrait- and a good read. Sept. 29 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
'The Winner' is one of the best books I read this year. Don't stop reading there, because what I actually have to say is important. David Baldacci didn't only prove himself as an awesome storyteller but he dared to go a step further. This book successfully portrays a society from its bottom to its very top.
'The Winner' starts off with an unavoidable picture of endless poverty- full of despair and hate. Later it becomes a statement on the extremely rich people not being happy at all. LuAnn Tyler, the sympathetic heroine of the story, lives in a trailer with the ever-drunk boyfriend and her baby daughter. Unexpectedly she receives an offer of hitting the jackpot in the National Lottery. What sounds like a fairy tale evolves into a true drama about false identities and relationships. Of course a love story is included as well as action. And there's also the evil mastermind Jackson with a wide, admirable range of talents and abilities. The characters in common are very colorful. Another good aspect about the story is that the author touches a real problem- the lottery. This book relieves the fact of the lottery being closed some centuries ago because of the corruption in it...believe or not believe, but I haven't bought a lottery ticket since having read 'The Winner'.
'The Winner' is an excellent book that wants to be read by you... but be warned, this story is likely to destroy some illusions of life you may have.
Have a good read!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Beach Reading! Sept. 12 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the perfect novel to take with you on a relaxing vacation and read at the beach. The book is fast paced and suspenseful with very intriguing characters.
The story centers around LuAnn Tyler, a poor desparate woman who is caught in a situation from which there is no escape. Enter a mysterious man by the name of Jackson who offers a way out of her troubles that all of us wish could happen to us. That is, to be assurred of buy the winning ticket in a 100 million dollar lottery. LuAnn is reluctant to do this because she feels it is too "dishonest." Yeah right!
Anyway her situation keeps gets to the point where taking Jackson's offer is the only choice. LuAnn retires with the money and disappears for 10 years as to the agreement with Jackson. The story should end there but lo and behold, LuAnn decides to disobey Jackson's orders to disaappear. Of course Jackson is the one person on the planet whose orders you never disobey. Such is the setup for a nail bitting fast-paced tale.
I would have rated this book slightly higher but I feel the author went way overboard in portraying Jackson's abilities. He would have us believe that Jackson could make-up himself to passably look like any individual, male or female and also be able to talk like the person. Some of Jackson's abilities and resources go way beyond what even Bruce Wayne (Batman) had.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read with numerous twists and turns
Published 15 days ago by Tim Dunning
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
One of my favourite Baldacci jbooks. It was exciting and a page turner from beginning to end and yet still had a good story line. I truly enjoyed this book.
Published 10 months ago by Suzyvg
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay read
Not baldacci's best book. Seemed a little too far fetched to mirror real life events. I wouldn't recommend this book to friends
Published 13 months ago by nancy hebert
5.0 out of 5 stars the winner
I read this book several years ago and was impressed with the intricate plot. That got me started reading Baldacci's books. I bought the ebook from amazon. Read more
Published 15 months ago by kper
5.0 out of 5 stars The Winner
This will be the third time reading this book. It was a good read.Hope other readers enjoy it as much as l did.
Published 21 months ago by rose martin
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner....
I read this book many years ago but I'll always have a special fondness it. It was the very first David Baldacci book I have read - I've since read almost each one he has written... Read more
Published on May 8 2012 by Shoeless
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!!
When someone writes "The concept of the book was a little far fetched" it drives me a little CRAZY!! Read more
Published on April 19 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but this yarn's a little hard to swallow...
This book is well-written and very suspenseful, but the plot is a bit convoluted and hard to believe at times. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2004 by vincent_anton
5.0 out of 5 stars This was a Great Book!
This was the first Baldacci book Ive read and I have to admit I loved it. I was a little unsure at first after reading some of the reviews but It turned out to be an excellent... Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2004 by C Leonard
4.0 out of 5 stars Good action....too lengthy
David Baldacci is an outstanding novel of bestselling thrillers. He has a knack that will keep you on the edge of your seating, wondering what will happen next. Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2004 by P. Solinger
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