With explosive energy, Luck chronicles the seething tensions that culminate in disaster during one sweltering summer in a small tobacco farming community in North Carolina. Mike Olive returns to his hometown with a group of fellow Duke students to investigate the overall decline of tobacco farming as well as the use, and abuse, of Mexican migrant workers. Determined to rid his town of corruption and bigotry, Mike makes the migrant workers his crusade, much to the consternation of his father and his neighbors. Conflicts mount as he accuses farmers of rumored crimes and falls in love with Hermalinda, the beautiful and remarkably self-possessed daughter of one of his father's workers. Mike's "townie" rival, the wickedly charming but fatefully doomed Harvey Dickerson, deftly challenges Mike's nave and nearly evangelical convictions. Long-standing family rivalries and loyalties erupt into brutal violence that forever changes the town. From Hermalinda's rich and turbulent life on the Texas-Mexico border and her conflicting feelings about her affair with the boss's son to Harvey's silver-tongued philosophizing and Mike's well-intentioned but woefully destructive actions, the complex community of this troubled southern town is vividly realized. Luck is a compelling, incisive, and stunningly written novel. Eric Martin is a unique and brilliant new voice in fiction.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.3 lbs.
Release Date Feb 15, 2005
ISBN 1931561931 ISBN13 9781931561938
Availability 0 units.
More About Eric Martin
Martin is Research Associate at the University of Savoie, France.
Eric Martin's "Luck" was given to me as a gift for Christmas. On the plane ride home I began to read it, and couldn't put it down. It's one of those rare books that stirs something inside you, where by the end you feel the hot North Carolina sun beating on your back and the dirt of the tobacco fields underneath your own nails. It is not often that you find a story so moving and vividly written that you feel as if you are there with the characters.
As a Duke student, reading this book was truly a gift. Coming from Santa Rosa, in Northern California where migrant workers are part of a very segregated wine-growing community, and also having experiences in North Carolina and Duke, this book really hit home. The drive to help others, the frustration of feeling that the "system" supposed to help you is only working against you, the tragedy of the deck stacked against people born into poverty despite their potential, falling in love....these are all things beautifully crafted into a touching story in "Luck" and coincidentally, things I have experienced during the last couple years I have been at Duke. At times I felt this book couldn't be closer to the experiences I've had.
Even if you have nothing in common with the themes of this book, read it. It is as amazing and touching a novel as you will find. Eric Martin, thank you for a wonderful novel, it has helped me answer questions that previously I felt no one understood.
What a find! Sep 21, 2000
It's always a treat to find a writer who can tell a good story, but to discover one who can also weave magic with words is doubly so. But perhaps what struck me most was the author's social vision, not a simple idealistic dream or a cynic's rant but a carefully crafted picture of the complexities of life in our multicultural society. An excellent read.
WOW. A storyteller in our midst Aug 25, 2000
The characters, whether good guys/girls or bad (and sometimes it is hard to tell who is which) are beautifully presented. The reader cares about them, while knowing an inevitable conflict looms to explode their lives and their community. Lyrical, terse writing meshes with a dramatic, tense plot to keep the reader engrossed. What a find!
Terrific story and characters Aug 24, 2000
This is a powerful, wrenching story. The conflicts, between cultures, family and self, are told with understanding and clarity. And it is funny too. The author captures the humor in language and life which is always hard to describe. LUCK kept me laughing, crying and most of all, reading until the amazing last pages which kept me thinking.
Intelligent and Thrilling Aug 22, 2000
Any book that takes on a serious social issue (migrant labor, in this case) risks moralizing but Martin's mind is too sharp to fall into that trap. While recognizing the human tendency to draw lines between dark and light (many of his characters try and fail to do just that), the author never lets his readers off so easily. Which is not to say he wearies us with wishy-washy waffling (forgive my tribute to "w"). There is right and wrong throughout the novel, it's just that every character gets ample portions of both. The brilliance of the novel is in the main character, Mike Olive, and his foil, Harvey Dickerson. They are essentially enemies, but only by circumstance; personality-wise, we see that they should have been friends.
But I'm making the book sound dull. Stop reading this review and buy "Luck". It's a terrific story and when I say story I mean good old fashioned plot that will have you tearing through the pages without once insulting your intelligence.