Follow Here To Purchase You Never Know: Tales of Tobias, an Accidental Lottery Winner

Author: Lilian Duval
ISBN: 978-1-60494-520-1
Publisher: Wheatmark

This is a good debut novel.  In my rating scale it comes somewhere between a 3.5 star and 4 star read.  There are some five star moments, which is why I have settled with 4 stars as the overall rating. 
The thing that stops this from being a 5 star read is pacing, and there is far too much detail in places.  For example, where Tobias and Martin are playing tennis.  I am a tennis fan, but it’s just not the same reading about the shots that the players are taking.  Duval went a bit too far with this detail, in my honest opinion.

The novel is split into four ‘books’.  The first two books are written in the past tense, whereas book three and book four are written in the present tense.  It seemed a bit of an awkward transition to me.  Having said that, I am glad that the last two books were written in the present tense as otherwise I may not have got through the book --  I was finding the slow pace of the novel in the first half to be off-putting.  The switch to present tense definitely made the story unfold more quickly.

I think one thing that may have let the book down, for me, was the expectation.  It’s promoted as being about an accidental lottery winner, but he doesn’t actually win the lottery until about two thirds of the way through.  Rather than enjoying the anticipation, I was left wondering whether he would ever win the lottery!

Despite the shortcomings, I have to say that I did enjoy this story and I am glad I read it to the end.  I believe that people who prefer more traditional, mainstream literature would love this book.  I prefer more fast-paced books that don’t require too much concentration.  And this book is much longer than the usual novel I would choose to read. 

I have to say that my reaction to this book is not dissimilar to the reaction I have when I read Booker prize winning novels, or best-sellers.  So, perhaps it’s just me. 
I would say that there are moments of brilliance, and even one segment that nearly brought me to tears

This is a fascinating story, told from a very original perspective, and although I have said that it is too detailed, there are some parts of the detail that are excellent; for example where the family go away on an exotic break, and Duval describes their trip down to the last detail, it really was amazing, as if I was seeing and hearing the sights and sounds.  Perhaps it was because that action occurs near the end of the book where the story is more fast-paced.

The characters are all believable and seem like real people.  The author does a great job at weaving many different and diverse subjects into the story line.  It is obvious that a lot of research, hard work and effort went into producing this book. 
The writing is flawless. For me, if the first part of the book had been more fast-paced it would have been the perfect read.  For those who like to take their time over literature I would highly recommend it.


Follow Here To Purchase You Never Know: Tales of Tobias, an Accidental Lottery Winner