Murphy’s Luck by Benjamin Laskin is a picturesque and satisfying magically-real novel wherein Murphy Drummer is a reclusive man who is convinced that he brings bad luck wherever he goes. He is gifted with the extra-sensory perception of when things will go south and strives to counteract his influence wherever he goes, frequently to no avail. He has filled his life with hobbies to pass the time he spends away from humanity, but when his father passes, Murphy heads out into the world to try to find a place in it where he can do as little harm as possible while still having some human contact.
This novel is a quaint and lyrical portrayal of one man’s struggle against the tides of chaos around him, with love and misadventure hiding behind every page turn. While the language is at times a bit simplistic, it is also that simplicity that lends itself to an enjoyable read. Murphy is a simple man, with a simple life, who strives to avoid the extraordinary whenever he can, and the writing reflects that. There is also quite a bit of deus ex machina involved in the story, but in such a way as to become hilarious. It’s like fate is train wreck of epic proportions, and as a reader you can’t wait to see what insanity comes next.
I recommend this book for a quick and easy read with a satisfying ending wherein the ends are all neatly tied up in a complicated knot of reality.