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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!
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,...
Published on June 15 2004 by Brad Cooper

versus
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 10 months ago by nancy hebert


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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
This review is from: The Winner (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Outrageously over the top but superbly entertaining anyway!, Dec 21 2008
By 
Paul Weiss (Dundas, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Winner (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.

These characters are so OVER-written as to have crossed into the realm of cartoonish caricatures - LuAnn Tyler, the brash Southern belle heroine; Jackson, the evil megalomaniac who is a master of disguise; Thomas Donovan, the super sleuth investigative reporter who doesn't know enough to recognize danger when he's knee deep in it; Matthew Riggs, the former hot shot FBI agent now in deep cover in a witness protection program; and Uncle Charlie, the retired boxer who has a soft spot in his heart for LuAnn and her daughter! But, what the heck, they are phenomenally entertaining and - darn it all - every reader is going to fall in love with LuAnn and will be on their feet cheering for her in her battle against Jackson, the FBI, the Georgia state police force and even the IRS.

And I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find out that Baldacci also wanted to make a political statement about lotteries being an irresponsible regressive form of taxation that prey upon the weak represented in their totality by LuAnn and her daughter. I think Baldacci was talking about the very story that he had his reporter Donovan attempting to chase down. You know ... he could be right!

Highly recommended!

Paul Weiss
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, Dec 15 2013
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This review is from: The Winner (Mass Market Paperback)
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.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay read, Sept. 15 2013
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This review is from: The Winner (Kindle Edition)
Not baldacci's best book. Seemed a little too far fetched to mirror real life events. I wouldn't recommend this book to friends
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5.0 out of 5 stars the winner, July 21 2013
This review is from: The Winner (Kindle Edition)
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.ca and reread it and enjoyed it as much as the first time.The authors discriptions of the locations takes me right there. His work is very hard to put down.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Winner, Jan. 28 2013
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This review is from: The Winner (Mass Market Paperback)
This will be the third time reading this book. It was a good read.Hope other readers enjoy it as much as l did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner...., May 8 2012
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This review is from: The Winner (Mass Market Paperback)
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 since. The story kept me captivated and intrigued. When I picked up the book, I was having a sleepless night. I ended up so engrossed in the book that I didn't fall asleep until I read the last page. Baldacci drew me into his story as if I was playing a role in it. I find he makes his characters authentic and people who we can all associate with, but that also have interesting and mysterious streaks to their adventures.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Baldacci phones this one in, Jan. 5 2004
This review is from: The Winner (Mass Market Paperback)
For sake of argument, let's just accept the far fetched premise that the mega-evil "Jackson" can accomplish anything (such as fixing the national lottery), can find out any information about any person, can disguise himself as anyone - even mimicking their voices, and he is a ruthless killer who will eliminate anyone who interferes with his schemes. The heroine, Luann, obviously knows this and rightfully fears Jackson because of this. Yet she explicitly defies Jackson's order never return to the USA. And she does it in grand style by buying a mansion on a huge piece of land in her mother's hometown, and she files a tax return - all under the assumed name that Jackson set up for her! And then she wonders how Jackson found out?!? Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Reading this book makes you feel you are watching a bad movie on late-night cable. You know the plot contrived, and the characters are cliches, and the dialogue is ridiculous, yet somehow you just keep watching... It got hard to focus on the pages because I kept rolling my eyes.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The winner strikes out, April 22 2003
By 
M. Peters "Crazy Guy" (Earth) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Winner (Mass Market Paperback)
You might think that fixing a $100 million lottery would be rather difficult, but according to The Winner's antangonist Mr. "Mysterious" Jackson it is quite easy! No other explanation is given on how someone could rig the lottery other than people are easily bribed and - don't you know - the last lottery was corrupt as well! It doesn't matter really, the book suffers from a pretty weak story and one dimensional characters. You get twist after twist - standard fair for a thriller, but nothing that is remotely suprising. The protangonist is your stereotypical big boobed heroine who is not only immensely smart and beautiful, but incredibly strong as well. In one scene she gets into a wood chopping contest with a lumberjack and not only does she quickly start to out pace him, she finishes his pile after he has to rest from over exertion from trying to keep up with her. And she can leap huge buildings in a single bound! Come on Mr. Baldacci how about some flaws in the protangonist, she's supposed to be human right? The antangonist "Mr. Jackson" seems to be modeled after the character "Kaiser Sose" from The Usual Suspects. Except he isn't half as interesting. Indeed he seems to have great power, but the author never bothers to explain much of it so it doesn't feel very authentic. What's even worse about the character perspectives is that the author frequently changes from one person's view to anothers, sometimes in the same paragraph. It gets a little confusing when you are reading Luanne's chapter and suddenly you get another persons point of view regarding LuAnne (usually admiring one of her many attributes).
The story is moved along by a bunch of very unlikely coincidences and wild twists that are explained by some wild tall tails. Mr. Donovan the maniac reporter locks onto LuAnne based on the statistic that 75% of all lottery winners go bankrupt. He sees that 12 people straight won the lottery without going bankrupt and decides that's just impossible (a pretty amusing conclusion considering the premise of a lottery fix being pretty easy). He of course remembers LuAnne from the bunch and locks onto her. And where does the 75% bankruptcy statistic come from? I'm not sure, since the actual number varies depending on who you get it from (lottery or opponents of the lottery) but generally it is believed to be much closer to 20-30% (still a very scary statistic). Even with a rate of 75% a stretch of 12 winners probably wouldn't seem THAT unuasual when you are looking over a period of 40-50 years. Certainly not enough to justify the intensity at which he goes after her - the first time he confronts her involves a car chase which just about kills the both of them along with a bystander (who just happens to be some sort of ex-spy and involved with working on LuAnne's security fence). Oh boy.
Anyway, I can't recomend this book. Too many predictable turns, bogus explanations, and poor character development.
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5.0 out of 5 stars wow!, July 6 2003
By 
Robert W. Johnson "rjohnsonguffin" (dexter, new york United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Winner (Mass Market Paperback)
Extemely well done! A story that takes twists and turns right up to the end-an end that left me smiling and excited to read another of Baldacci's books. It makes you think -What would I have done given the opportunity? A very nice reading . (A)
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The Winner
The Winner by David Baldacci (Mass Market Paperback - Dec 1 1998)
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