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Lucky Man

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  62 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
Lucky Man is a quintessentially American tale about friendship, growing-up, moving-on, and whether or not it takes luck to do so. It is also about sex, drugs, death, and road trips, not to mention the profound insights provided by the Twilight Zone, the Grateful Dead, and The Greatest American Hero.
Paperback, 220 pages
Published March 15th 2007 by Manx Media
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(showing 1-30)
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Jul 27, 2007 Don rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
A really fast-paced read, and character-driven, which I like. I've been sort of lucky, myself. This is only the fifth novel I've read in four years (the rest being story collections, mostly), and it was a decent read.

Was a little thrown by the ending, but it's my own fault, not the author's (I met him at the reading he had in town, here). When you've been reading stuff like the anthologies Interfictions and Paraspheres , your mind expands into weird places, much like some of the characters
Michael rated it it was amazing
Nov 13, 2007
John rated it it was amazing
Nov 14, 2007
Ann Marshall
Ann Marshall rated it it was amazing
Nov 18, 2007
Beth A
Oct 01, 2010 Beth A rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all good readers!
Ok, Ben, FINALLY!!!!! A+...last chapter, A+++
Jason Pettus
Nov 30, 2007 Jason Pettus rated it really liked it
(My full review of this book is larger than GoodReads' word-count limitations. Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE: Some of Tanzer's newest work is currently being considered for CCLaP's upcoming publishing program, which starts in spring 2008. The person ultimately making the decision is the same person who wrote today's review.)

As regular readers know, it can be a real crap shoot with me sometimes when it comes to t
Kelly Moran
Feb 05, 2008 Kelly Moran rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews
I just finished reading/reviewing this book for the author, Ben. Findings are below...

In this book, Lucky Man, by Ben Tanzer, I found many grammatical errors, such as commas needed in several places and words missing to complete phrases, such as the/and/a. I found misspellings and words used out of context, such as their/there, and anyways/ any way. At times the language can be abusive, but given the situation and the characters I don’t feel it takes away from the story. In my
Nov 29, 2008 Rusty rated it really liked it
Yeah, so this has only taken me months to review(I don't really know how long (Sorry Ben!). This is a very slick debut. I'd call it a coming-of-age novel, but it's more complex than that. I found all the relationships (esp the father/son dynamic) to be right on target. Some layout issues and typos make the book feel less than professional sometimes, and that's too bad: this book deserves better.
Feb 11, 2008 S. added it
It is funny, but also sad and strange and surprising and many other engaging ‘S’ words. I was especially impressed by his range of emotion and for his clever plotting. As the novel went from coming-of-age to On the Road-like road trip, I was happy to bum along, expecting it to end in the requisite literary epiphany, but I was excited by the deft turn in the book’s conclusion. Lucky Man makes me eager for more from Tanzer.
Mar 19, 2008 Gerald rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of fratire
To the extent that Lucky Man is a first-person narrative about young men coming of age, you could say it’s fratire. But this is damned serious stuff, making the book much more ambitious, I think, than some of the other puke-on-my-own-shoes books in that genre.

This is, as the reader will guess soon enough, a last-man-standing story. In the end, the question is, “What’s it all mean?” Tanzer gives no clue, but I do give him a great deal of credit for at least raising the question.

A longer review is
Terri Griffith
Terri Griffith rated it really liked it
Mar 07, 2008
Jason Jordan
Oct 03, 2008 Jason Jordan rated it really liked it
Structurally similar to Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, or Dills’s Sons of the Rapture contemporarily speaking, Ben Tanzer’s debut novel Lucky Man (Manx Media, 2007) splits the narration among the four chief characters, who are otherwise known as Gabe, Jake, Louie, and Sammy. And as the back of the book aptly puts it, “Lucky Man follows four friends from their final days of high school through their first couple of years out of college. Each has personal demons they are battling – anger, substance ab ...more
Aug 27, 2008 Ken rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: I know Ben Tanzer (although we’ve yet to meet in person) and will actually be reading with him at Freebird Books in Brooklyn, NY on September 28. (

Some books have a way of winning you over. I remember the first time I picked up John Fante’s Wait Until Spring, Bandini. It was not Ask the Dust. When the former was written, the author had not developed into the great teacher of Bukowski that can be found in the latter. And yet, as I delved d
Oct 09, 2008 Ginnetta rated it it was amazing
I was drawn in and became captivated. The drug trips were vivid to my imagination as was the escapism.
I changed my mind and gave this book 5 stars instead of
4 stars. From now on. In my world every writer gets 5 stars and poops Pulitzers.
Oct 23, 2008 Maria rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
This is a book about four friends, Gabe, Jake, Louie and Sammy, following their last years in school/college; however, it is not only a book for teenagers. I think everyone, young and old, will enjoy reading this book. It is a book about growing up, relationships, family problems and teenage social behaviour. The writing style is unconventional - there are no quotation marks used to signify speech, which first seems very unusual, but once you get used to it, doesn't seem that bad. Each chapter i ...more
Aug 11, 2008 Ross rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 07, 2009 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
It changed my life.
Monkeybicycle rated it really liked it
Jan 31, 2009
Brandon Will
Jul 27, 2009 Brandon Will rated it really liked it
God damn this book is good! It takes a few short chapters to get used to the format (which is confusing at first, switching P.O.V.s without saying who's who when you're still trying to figure out who's who and whom's whom and where they are and what's going on), but if you give it that much, you'll be wrapped up in no time.

The story moves fast. Huge events happen, little moments happen, all the while it keeps moving forward, rolling along, like the neverending calendar-page-flips of life itself,
Ryan rated it really liked it
Aug 29, 2010
David rated it really liked it
Sep 11, 2014
Mar 15, 2012 Ben rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
It most definitely changed my life.
David Gutowski
David Gutowski rated it really liked it
Apr 25, 2012
Jesse rated it really liked it
Jun 03, 2012
Dec 31, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, fiction
Mr. Tanzer's such a nice guy...can't give a "bad review" on any of his books. I thought of this book as a "Stand by Me" with curse words. Get past those bleeping words, and the story rolls merrily along.
May 09, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's suddenly amusing me that I'm trying to wrap my head around a book centering on the lives of four guys who epitomize how we spend our entire lives hopelessly trying to wrap our heads around what the heck we're doing and what our lives mean. Regardless, I dug this book. I dug the characters, the interrelation both between them and their internal problems, and the way that this was manifested in the structure of the book. There are some absolutely stunning moments, at least partially from how ...more
Burke Burke
Burke Burke rated it really liked it
Jun 25, 2013
Jun 27, 2014 Leesa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dudes, friendships, relationships, sex, drugs, sadness, family. Emo! And also, really great. (I esp. loved the hippie stuff b/c I always love the hippie stuff.)
Civil Mechanisms
Civil Mechanisms rated it it was amazing
Jul 07, 2014
Reza Mahani
Jun 18, 2016 Reza Mahani rated it liked it
Very strange book, very well written and quite interesting. My main problem with it is its bleakness and a view throughout the book that borders with lack of humanity and respect for life.
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Ben Tanzer is the author of the books Orphans, which won the 24th Annual Midwest Book Award in Fantasy/SciFi/Horror/Paranormal and a Bronze medal in the Science Fiction category at the 2015 IPPY Awards, Lost in Space, which received the 2015 Devil's Kitchen Reading Award in Prose Nonfiction, The New York Stories, SEX AND DEATH and Be Cool - a memoir (sort of), among others. He has also contributed ...more
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