Kemper's Reviews > Lucky Bastard

Lucky Bastard by S.G. Browne
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
405390
's review
Sep 19, 12

bookshelves: 2012, crime-mystery, detectives, spooky-powers, sci-fi, humor
Read from September 09 to 18, 2012

Nick Monday pretends to be a private investigator in San Francisco, but he really…. Wait a second. Nick Monday in San Francisco? This guy has to be related to our own mark monday. I assume this is some kind of long lost cousin, but since Nick is kind of a jerk, mark remains the only good Monday.

Anyhow, Nick Monday does some detective work but that’s just a cover for his real profession, luck poaching. As Nick explains, there are people born that are inherently lucky or unlucky and some have the ability to steal that luck just by shaking hands. However, he can’t just keep the luck forever so he processes it and sells it off.

Nick made a huge mistake a few years back when he broke one of his own rules and poached bad luck for a big payday. Unfortunately, that evil karma has clung to him like body odor even after he sold it, and it all seems to be coming to back on him on one bad day in which a Chinese gang leader tries to coerce him into poaching for him while the government hounds him to dose the gangster with bad luck. Plus, a beautiful woman tries to hire him to find out who swiped her father’s good luck and Nick is the guy who did it so that makes for an awkward situation.

I loved S.G. Browne’s Breathers and Fated so I was disappointed that this one didn’t measure up to those two. In fairness, I had some fairly specific problems with this book that may not bother other readers as much as they did me.

First off is that Nick is a relentless smart-ass who constantly pops off when he has every reason in the world to keep his mouth shut. Secondly is that Nick is kind of a moron who spends most of the book being drugged, beaten and kidnapped by various people. So our protagonist is almost completely passive and yet reacts to every situation like a bad stand-up comic. I almost thought I’d picked up a Harry Dresden novel by accident.

Third is that the most interesting part of the book is the whole luck poaching angle yet we never get any feeling of how that whole underworld acts other than Nick’s exposition. It would have been helpful if we’d actually got some interactions with that aspect other than Nick’s memories and explanations of how it works in between kidnappings.

Finally, and this definitely falls in the pet peeve category, the whole idea of passing along the luck is that it’s done by drinking urine. The poacher snatches the luck and then processes the urine and sells it off to be guzzled by the customer, but in a pinch, the luck can be absorbed by sucking down some straight pee. So by the end of the book we’ve got Nick pissing into Cokes and drinking them down, and urine is used as the primary weapon against the bad guys.

Just…...No. I read a lot of crime and horror, and I can pretty much sit there with a book in one hand and a sandwich in the other through the most depraved scenes imaginable, but everybody has their own limitations. Mine is reading repeatedly about people drinking their own piss. I don’t care how much good luck I can absorb, I ain’t acting like a cup of urine is a glass of lemonade.

It sounds like I’m trashing this one, and that isn’t my intention. It’s still got an interesting premise as well as some funny stuff. Fans of Christopher Moore would probably find it entertaining, and I’ll still be checking out whatever Browne does next. I just hope it doesn’t involve consuming bodily fluids.
33 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Lucky Bastard.
sign in »

Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Sounds like you've found Mr. Tinkle Fingers's xmas gift!


Kemper Richard wrote: "Sounds like you've found Mr. Tinkle Fingers's xmas gift!"

That clueless bastard probably wouldn't get it.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways *goggle*

No. C'mon. NO!


Kemper Richard wrote: "*goggle*

No. C'mon. NO!"


Considering his complete disregard for public restroom protocol and workplace hygiene, I'm gonna assume he's beyond picking up on subtle hints.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Your point is compelling.

If distressing. And disgusting.


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

So the author is trying to say luck is like piss?


Kemper Anthony wrote: "So the author is trying to say luck is like piss?"

He equates poaching luck to drug addiction in a lot of ways. I was scratching my head as to why you can steal someone's luck by shaking hands yet keeping or transferring it required drinking the piss of the poacher after his body chemistry processes it.

In fairness, Browne could have just been going for gross humor with that aspect, but I couldn't laugh with all the gagging I was doing at the thought of it.


Seak (Bryce L.) It sounds like you came to pretty much the exact same conclusion as me. I had TONS of complaints, but still liked it for the most part.


message 9: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Keeten I think of myself as a pretty luck guy. Am I missing out not bottling all my piss and selling it as LUCKY LEMONADE? I'll offer you the first distributorship options. Is it a Chinese thing do we need to open up a smuggling ring to China?


Kemper Seak (Bryce L.) wrote: "It sounds like you came to pretty much the exact same conclusion as me. I had TONS of complaints, but still liked it for the most part."

I just read your write-up and it does sound like we had a pretty similar experience with it. Great minds think alike.


Kemper Jeffrey wrote: "I think of myself as a pretty luck guy. Am I missing out not bottling all my piss and selling it as LUCKY LEMONADE? I'll offer you the first distributorship options. Is it a Chinese thing do we nee..."

You go ahead and set up your lemonade stand if you feel like it. I don't want anything to do with a business model that goes:
Step 1- Pee in a bottle.
Step 2 - Profit!


message 12: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Keeten Kemper wrote: "Jeffrey wrote: "I think of myself as a pretty luck guy. Am I missing out not bottling all my piss and selling it as LUCKY LEMONADE? I'll offer you the first distributorship options. Is it a Chinese..."

It is sort of similar to the Roman laundry concept.


Kemper Jeffrey wrote: "It is sort of similar to the Roman laundry concept.

I won't be investing in a Roman laundromat either.


message 14: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Keeten Kemper wrote: "Jeffrey wrote: "It is sort of similar to the Roman laundry concept.

I won't be investing in a Roman laundromat either."


You'd have to convince all your neighbors to piss in the vat. Then some poor bastard has to stir it and move the clothes around so the togas come out sparkling white. The local Roman reenacting society would pay BIG BUCKS I'm sure for an authentic pee pee cleaned wardrobe. Ok, ok I'm done I don't want you getting queasy over there contemplating all this opportunity.


Kemper Jeffrey wrote: "You'd have to convince all your neighbors to piss in the vat. Then some poor bastard has to stir it and move the clothes around so the togas come out sparkling white. The local Roman reenacting society would pay BIG BUCKS I'm sure for an authentic pee pee cleaned wardrobe. Ok, ok I'm done I don't want you getting queasy over there contemplating all this opportunity.

You can definately put me on the Do Not Call list for any urine based business opportunities....


message 16: by mark (new)

mark monday This guy has to be related to our own mark monday. I assume this is some kind of long lost cousin, but since Nick is kind of a jerk, mark remains the only good Monday.

indeed! this doesn't surprise me. i have found that most of my fellow mondays are in dire need of counseling, empathy, and a firm guiding hand.

Nick is a relentless smart-ass who constantly pops off when he has every reason in the world to keep his mouth shut.

sadly, a monday hallmark. i blame both nature and nurture.

drinking urine.

even more sadly, another hallmark. also good for cleaning wounds and kitchen appliances.


message 17: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I'm now convinced that the whole "urine test" part of the employment process is part of an underground pissy-luck ring. Especially since I often felt profoundly unlucky after getting any job that required one. That's right, Wal-Mart and Pizza Inn, I'm looking at you.


message 18: by D.G. (new)

D.G. mark - I always thought you were related to Carl Monday.

Maybe Nick is too! Although he should be careful with all that sharing of urine...Carl Monday could take it seriously and tape it, just like he did that guy who was masturbating in the library.


message 19: by mark (new)

mark monday D.G. ~Shameless Hussy~ wrote: "mark - I always thought you were related to Carl Monday.

Maybe Nick is too! Although he should be careful with all that sharing of urine...Carl Monday could take it seriously and tape it, just lik..."


oh, my dear old dad and his investigative hobbies. growing up, he wouldn't let us get away with anything. and masturbating was definitely out of the question - his cameras were everywhere!


Kemper Amanda wrote: "I'm now convinced that the whole "urine test" part of the employment process is part of an underground pissy-luck ring. Especially since I often felt profoundly unlucky after getting any job that ..."

I hadn't thought about this but I had to take a piss test again a few years back, and everything has been terrible ever since...


Kemper mark wrote: "Nick is a relentless smart-ass who constantly pops off when he has every reason in the world to keep his mouth shut.

sadly, a monday hallmark. i blame both nature and nurture.


Ah, but when you're a smart ass, I find it highly entertaining. Your relative here wasn't nearly so clever.

I do find your familiy's close association with urine disturbing though...


message 22: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Peto Maybe the drinking urine thing is just to spoof on those people who actually do it. Isn't there some mixed up bunch of followers who do that because they think it's healthy?


Kemper Jonathan wrote: "Maybe the drinking urine thing is just to spoof on those people who actually do it. Isn't there some mixed up bunch of followers who do that because they think it's healthy?"

I don't know. I try to avoid finding out too much information about anything that involves drinking urine. I like my ignorance regarding that.


message 24: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Anheuser-Busch owns all Busch Gardens and Sea Worlds, they require a drug test at hire then do random acts of drug test when they felt you looked a little funny. They also gave each employee a case of beer a month! So, they didn't mind you using drugs as long as it was their drug.

Disney does not drug test and is very liberal on same sex partner benefits ....I like them better.


message 25: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Peto Kemper wrote: "I try to avoid finding out too much information about anything that involves drinking urine."

Say what you will, Kemper. One more word: astronauts.


back to top