The Odds: A Love Story

3.33 avg rating
( 2,928 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780143122272: The Odds: A Love Story

In the new novel from the author of Last Night at the Lobster, a middle-age couple goes all in for love at a Niagara Falls casino

Lokk out for City of Secrets coming from Viking on April 26, 2016

 

Stewart O'Nan's thirteenth novel is another wildly original, bittersweet gem like his celebrated Last Night at the Lobster. Valentine's weekend, Art and Marion Fowler flee their Cleveland suburb for Niagara Falls, desperate to recoup their losses. Jobless, with their home approaching foreclosure and their marriage on the brink of collapse, Art and Marion liquidate their savings account and book a bridal suite at the Falls' ritziest casino for a second honeymoon. While they sightsee like tourists during the day, at night they risk it all at the roulette wheel to fix their finances-and save their marriage. A tender yet honest exploration of faith, forgiveness and last chances, The Odds is a reminder that love, like life, is always a gamble.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Stewart O'Nan is the author of twelve previous novels, including Songs for the Missing, A Prayer for the Dying, and Snow Angels. In Faithful, he and Stephen King chronicled the 2004 Boston Red Sox. He was born, raised, and lives in Pittsburgh with his family.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Praise for The Odds by Stewart O’Nan

 

“Haunting, funny, and gorgeously eloquent . . . O’Nan’s expertly drawn tension builds to a conclusion that’s as surprising and satisfying as an unexpected kiss. In the end, The Odds is a gorgeous fable, a stunning meditation, and a hope-filled Valentine about what is won in love, what falls away, and how truly, it is always, always worth the cost.”

The Boston Globe

“Stewart O’Nan seems incapable of writing a false line. Whether describing the unimaginable or the mundane, his modest sentences crystallize the lives of ordinary people. . . . O’Nan is an author you learn to trust, no matter what he’s writing about. . . . A few hours with this witty, sad, surprisingly romantic novel might be a better investment for troubled couples than a month of marriage counseling. . . . Odds of enjoying this novel: 1 in 1.”

—Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“What O’Nan has done perhaps better than anybody else the past ten years is deliver us the complexity, heartbreak, and human drama of everyday people living everyday lives. . . . Art and Marion Fowler are nothing if not ordinary people whose lives are disturbed and disrupted by external forces—both economic and social—imposed on them by the larger culture. The result is an intimate and deeply moving portrait of the high-stakes game that we call marriage, one in which the reader is bound, almost obligated, to recognize in some measure, with crystal clarity, their own marriage.”

—Jonathan Evison, Salon.com

“[O’Nan] brings lightness to every scene, while still making the characters tremendously real, recognizable yet fresh. He works in the micro—the novel slips in under two hundred pages—writing close, with fine detail. There is a clarity to O’Nan’s prose: It doesn’t call attention to itself, doesn’t flaunt dazzling sentences or stunning descriptions. . . . Cracking open The Odds is like settling back to watch a film as the theater lights come down: It plays out, brightly, before your eyes.”

—Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times

“Art and Marion have come to see themselves as losers. But with flashes of gentle husband-and-wife humor, O’Nan has created far more than a marital train wreck. . . . [He] is never condescending, ever sympathetic to his main characters. . . . It’s a heartless reader who doesn’t end up rooting for them, despite the odds.”

USA Today

“Relentlessly honest, O’Nan never averts his eyes from the unpleasant eruptions of the body or soul, nor is he shy of giving affection, admiration, and tolerance their due. . . . O’Nan’s settings—the bus from Ohio, the bridal suite in the hotel, the layers of the casino, the freezing falls, the Heart concert—are rendered with such vivid intelligence that they have the verve of the exotic.”

The Atlantic

“Powerful . . . O’Nan is an unfailingly smart and affecting novelist, but never more so, I think, than when he writes about the economic struggles of ordinary folks. . . . [Niagara Falls] is a perfect setting to dramatize the ultimate middle-class nightmare: the fear of falling.”

—Maureen Corrigan, National Public Radio

“This compact page-turner of a novel examines how much good luck a long-term marriage requires, and it dares to suggest that if Art risks everything, he just might win back all he ever really wanted: Marion’s trust and love.”

—Pam Houston, More

“O’Nan is a master of that ambiguity that can never be mistaken for confusion. In cold-as-glacier-melt prose, his quotidian characters grow indelible in Last Night at the Lobster and Emily, Alone, and now The Odds.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Odds is a slim volume, sparse in its language and as finely crafted as the tightest of short stories. Some use a barrage of details to make a point. O’Nan trains his eye on the one or two that, in their nakedness, reveal much. The reader cannot help but recognize the rhythms of [a] relationship, disturbed by the pressure imposed by external forces. O’Nan makes points, but never belabors them. The result is an experience that is colored as much by the reader’s experience as by this fine writer’s craft.”

The Denver Post

“[O’Nan] deftly captures Art and Marion’s genuine (if mixed) emotions. These heartfelt portraits contrast sharply with those of their tacky surroundings. . . . There are also cannily observed scenes of the casual affection and familiarity in long-term marriages, as well as unexpected surprises.”

The Seattle Times

“O’Nan . . . captures the emotional machinery that binds and separates two people in love.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Delightful in its candor and moving in its perceptiveness . . . The Odds will strike more than a few chords for long-married baby boomers . . . who will appreciate its honest and raw depiction of what marriage can be like after many years. . . . The novel is not without O’Nan’s trademark humor, subtly sprinkled throughout.”

The Miami Herald

The Odds . . . offers a compelling window into the way that the 2008 economic collapse has affected the lives of average Americans.”

The New Yorker Book Bench

“[The Odds] keeps you on the edge of your seat through the 179 pages of this brisk, pungent journey into a marriage afflicted by the twenty-first century.”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“The odds of the Fowlers reconciling should their marriage fail may be slim (1 in 20,480 that a divorced couple will remarry), but the odds that O’Nan will write winsome fiction—be it long or short-form—are forever high.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The Odds is a remarkable portrait of a marriage stressed to the breaking point, a husband and wife united and divided by bad luck and their own thorny history. This slender, moving book confirms O’Nan’s status as one of the best writers of his generation, a novelist who can illuminate the drama and complexity of everyday life with compassion, wry humor, and unflinching honesty.”

—Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of The Leftovers

“Stewart O’Nan once drove me too fast through Manhattan at 3 A.M. This book feels just like that. Dangerous, domestic, sad, thrilling, slyly hilarious, and painful. It’s a love song, yes, but a love song to a dying marriage. Read it, please.”

—Sherman Alexie, National Book Award–winning author of War Dances

“Stewart O’Nan is a novelist of the everyday. . . . The Odds . . . concerns people you might run into at Target. . . . O’Nan packs his granular observations about domestic life into a smart, fast-paced romantic-comedy format. . . . Call it Bonnie and Clyde meets the old Albert Brooks’ film Lost in America. . . . What’s portrayed especially well, even in the farcical circumstances, is the everyday negotiations, internal and interpersonal, governing the spouses’ lives: their calculations of what to say when, and how. . . . [It’s] a funny book, too. . . . O’Nan even grants his characters (and readers) that the cheap magic of a tourist trap like Niagara Falls can be magic, nonetheless.”

Pittsburgh City Paper

The Odds is a realistic fairy tale about the gravitational pull of an enduring relationship. In deft, knowing strokes, Stewart O’Nan exposes all the tenderness and tension, the compromises and evasions that lie at the heart of any long-term marriage. . . . Anyone who’s experienced those emotions and doesn’t confess to seeing at least a cloudy reflection in the mirror O’Nan has so lovingly crafted isn’t telling the truth.”

—Shelf Awareness

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stewart O’Nan is the author of fourteen novels, including The Odds; Emily, Alone; and Last Night at the Lobster, as well as several works of nonfiction, including, with Stephen King, the bestselling Faithful. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, where he lives with his family.

ALSO BY STEWART O’NAN

FICTION
Emily, Alone
Songs for the Missing
Last Night at the Lobster
The Good Wife
The Night Country
Wish You Were Here
Everyday People
A Prayer for the Dying
A World Away
The Speed Queen
The Names of the Dead
Snow Angels
In the Walled City

NONFICTION
Faithful (with Stephen King)
The Circus Fire
The Vietnam Reader (editor)
On Writers and Writing , by John Gardner (editor)

SCREENPLAY
Poe

The wheel of fortune
goes spinning round
Will the arrow point my way?
Will this be the day?
O wheel of fortune
don’t pass me by
Let me know the magic of
a kiss and a sigh
While the wheel is spinning, spinning, spinning
I’ll not dream of winning
fortune or fame
While the wheel is turning, turning, turning
I’ll be ever yearning
for love’s precious flame
O wheel of fortune
I’m hoping somehow
if you’ll ever smile on me
please let it be now.

              —Dinah Washington

Table of Contents

Praise for THE ODDS

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Epigraph

 

Odds of a U.S. tourist visiting Niagara Falls: 1 in 195

Odds of being killed in a bus accident: 1 in 436,212

Odds of a vehicle being searched by Canadian customs: 1 in 384

Odds of a U.S. citizen being an American Express cardholder: 1 in 10

Odds of a married couple reaching their 25th anniversary: 1 in 6

Odds of getting sick on vacation: 1 in 9

Odds of vomiting on vacation: 1 in 6

Odds of a married couple making love on a given night: 1 in 5

Odds of seeing a shooting star: 1 in 5,800

Odds of the sun coming up: 1 in 1

Odds of surviving going over the Falls in a barrel: 1 in 3

Odds of a couple taking a second honeymoon to the same destination: 1 in 9

Odds of a U.S. citizen filing for bankruptcy: 1 in 17

Odds of surviving going over the Falls without a barrel: 1 in 1,500,000

Odds of a marriage proposal being accepted: 1 in 1.001

Odds of a 53-year-old woman being a grandmother: 1 in 3

Odds of Heart playing “Crazy on You” in concert: 1 in 1

Odds of a black number coming up in roulette (European): 1 in 2.06

Odds of a couple making love on Valentine’s Day: 1 in 1.4

Odds of being served breakfast in bed on Valentine’s Day: 1 in 4

Odds of a jazz band playing “My Funny Valentine” on Valentine’s Day: 1 in 1

Odds of a married woman having an affair: 1 in 3

Odds of a lover proposing on Valentine’s Day: 1 in 17

Odds of winning an Olympic gold medal: 1 in 4,500,000

Odds of a couple fighting on Valentine’s Day: 1 in 5

Odds of the Cleveland Indians winning the World Series: 1 in 25,000

Odds of a divorced couple remarrying: 1 in 20,480

Odds of a U.S. tourist visiting Niagara Falls:
        1 in 195

    The final weekend of their marriage, hounded by insolvency, indecision, and, stupidly, half secretly, in the never-distant past ruled by memory, infidelity, Art and Marion Fowler fled the country. North, to Canada. “Like the slaves,” Marion told her sister Celia. They would spend their last days and nights as man and wife as they’d spent the first, nearly thirty years ago, in Niagara Falls, as if, across the border, by that fabled and overwrought cauldron of new beginnings, away from any domestic, everyday claims, they might find each other again. Or at least Art hoped so. Marion was just hoping to endure it with some grace and get back home so she could start dealing with the paperwork required to become, for the first time in her life, a single-filing taxpayer.

They told their daughter Emma they were taking a second honeymoon.

“Plus they’re doing another open house here, so...” Marion, on the other line, qualified.

They weren’t good liars, they were just afraid of the truth and what it might say about them. They were middle-class, prey to the tyranny of appearances and what they could afford, or dare, which was part of their problem. They were too settled and practical for what they were doing, uncomfortable with desperate measures. They could barely discuss the plan between themselves, as if, exposed to light and air, it might evaporate.

With Jeremy, it was enough to say they wanted to see the new casino, a Frank Gehry knockoff featured on the covers of Sunday travel sections and in-flight magazines. He was impressed with the rate they’d gotten. Art had dug around online to find a bargain.

“Your father the high roller,” Marion joked.

The Valentine’s Getaway Special, it was called: $249, inclusive of meals and a stake of fifty Lucky Bucks toward table games.

They took the bus because it was part of the package, but now, burrowing through a dark wind tunnel of blowing snow somewhere on the outskirts of Buffalo, surrounded by much younger couples—including, frozen zoetropically in the light of oncoming cars, a fleshy pair in Harley gear necking directly across the aisle—they both wished they’d driven.

They’d already made their separate cases at home, so there was no sense going over it again. Art, ever the math major, always bringing matters back to the stingy reality of numbers, had pointed out it would save them fifty dollars in gas, not to mention parking, which Marion thought absurd, and typical. They were so far beyond the stage where fifty dollars might help—like this ridiculous gamble, betting their marriage, essentially, on the spin of a wheel—yet he clung to his old a-penny-saved-is-a-penny-earned bookkeeping, forgetting the ledger he was tending was drenched in red. Taking the bus represented yet another loss of control, giving themselves up to the hand of fate, or at least a sleep-deprived driver. The only reason she went along with it—besides not wanting to fight—was that she wouldn’t have to worry about Art tailgating people the whole way in this weather, though of course she didn’t say that.

The bus, additionally, was supposed to provide them with cover, as if in gray middle age they weren’t invisible enough. From the beginning Art had conceived of the trip as a secret mission, a fantastic last-ditch escape from the snares of their real life, and while Marion refused to believe in the possibility, as at first she’d refused to believe the severity of their situation, she also knew they’d run out of options. The house had been on the market over a year now without a nibble. They would lose it—had already lost it, h...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Stewart O Nan
Published by Penguin Books, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 0143122274 ISBN 13: 9780143122272
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the new novel from the author of Last Night at the Lobster, a middle-age couple goes all in for love at a Niagara Falls casino Lokk out for City of Secrets coming from Viking on April 26, 2016 Stewart O Nan s thirteenth novel is another wildly original, bittersweet gem like his celebrated Last Night at the Lobster. Valentine s weekend, Art and Marion Fowler flee their Cleveland suburb for Niagara Falls, desperate to recoup their losses. Jobless, with their home approaching foreclosure and their marriage on the brink of collapse, Art and Marion liquidate their savings account and book a bridal suite at the Falls ritziest casino for a second honeymoon. While they sightsee like tourists during the day, at night they risk it all at the roulette wheel to fix their finances-and save their marriage. A tender yet honest exploration of faith, forgiveness and last chances, The Odds is a reminder that love, like life, is always a gamble. Bookseller Inventory # KNV9780143122272

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.45
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Stewart O Nan
Published by Penguin Books, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 0143122274 ISBN 13: 9780143122272
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In the new novel from the author of Last Night at the Lobster, a middle-age couple goes all in for love at a Niagara Falls casino Lokk out for City of Secrets coming from Viking on April 26, 2016 Stewart O Nan s thirteenth novel is another wildly original, bittersweet gem like his celebrated Last Night at the Lobster. Valentine s weekend, Art and Marion Fowler flee their Cleveland suburb for Niagara Falls, desperate to recoup their losses. Jobless, with their home approaching foreclosure and their marriage on the brink of collapse, Art and Marion liquidate their savings account and book a bridal suite at the Falls ritziest casino for a second honeymoon. While they sightsee like tourists during the day, at night they risk it all at the roulette wheel to fix their finances-and save their marriage. A tender yet honest exploration of faith, forgiveness and last chances, The Odds is a reminder that love, like life, is always a gamble. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780143122272

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.43
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

O'Nan, Stewart
ISBN 10: 0143122274 ISBN 13: 9780143122272
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2012. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VP-9780143122272

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.55
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.02
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Stewart O Nan
Published by Penguin Books, United States (2012)
ISBN 10: 0143122274 ISBN 13: 9780143122272
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, United States, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In the new novel from the author of Last Night at the Lobster, a middle-age couple goes all in for love at a Niagara Falls casino Lokk out for City of Secrets coming from Viking on April 26, 2016 Stewart O Nan s thirteenth novel is another wildly original, bittersweet gem like his celebrated Last Night at the Lobster. Valentine s weekend, Art and Marion Fowler flee their Cleveland suburb for Niagara Falls, desperate to recoup their losses. Jobless, with their home approaching foreclosure and their marriage on the brink of collapse, Art and Marion liquidate their savings account and book a bridal suite at the Falls ritziest casino for a second honeymoon. While they sightsee like tourists during the day, at night they risk it all at the roulette wheel to fix their finances-and save their marriage. A tender yet honest exploration of faith, forgiveness and last chances, The Odds is a reminder that love, like life, is always a gamble. Bookseller Inventory # KNV9780143122272

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.66
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

O'Nan, Stewart (Author)
Published by Penguin Random House
ISBN 10: 0143122274 ISBN 13: 9780143122272
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Random House. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0143122274

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
6.35
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.65
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

O'Nan, Stewart
Published by Penguin Books (2012)
ISBN 10: 0143122274 ISBN 13: 9780143122272
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # 0143122274

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.55
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 1.51
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

O'Nan, Stewart
Published by Penguin Books
ISBN 10: 0143122274 ISBN 13: 9780143122272
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Mediaoutlet12345
(Springfield, VA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0143122274 *BRAND NEW* Ships Same Day or Next!. Bookseller Inventory # SWATI2132136739

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.24
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.02
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

O'Nan, Stewart
ISBN 10: 0143122274 ISBN 13: 9780143122272
New Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Publisher/Verlag: Penguin US | A Love Story | Stewart O'Nan's thirteenth novel is another wildly original, bittersweet gem like his celebrated Last Night at the Lobster. Valentine's weekend, Art and Marion Fowler flee their Cleveland suburb for Niagara Falls, desperate to recoup their losses. | In the new novel from the author of Last Night at the Lobster , a middle-age couple goes all in for love at a Niagara Falls casinoLokk out for City of Secrets coming from Viking on April 26, 2016Stewart O'Nan's thirteenth novel is another wildly original, bittersweet gem like his celebrated Last Night at the Lobster . Valentine's weekend, Art and Marion Fowler flee their Cleveland suburb for Niagara Falls, desperate to recoup their losses. Jobless, with their home approaching foreclosure and their marriage on the brink of collapse, Art and Marion liquidate their savings account and book a bridal suite at the Falls' ritziest casino for a second honeymoon. While they sightsee like tourists during the day, at night they risk it all at the roulette wheel to fix their finances-and save their marriage. A tender yet honest exploration of faith, forgiveness and last chances, The Odds is a reminder that love, like life, is always a gamble. | Format: Paperback | Language/Sprache: english | 137 gr | 192 pp. Bookseller Inventory # K9780143122272

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
8.74
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 2.66
From Germany to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Stewart ONan
Published by Penguin Books
ISBN 10: 0143122274 ISBN 13: 9780143122272
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Books. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Bookseller Inventory # B9780143122272

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
5.87
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 6.94
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Stewart O'Nan
Published by Penguin Publishing Group 2012-09-25, New York (2012)
ISBN 10: 0143122274 ISBN 13: 9780143122272
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Blackwell's
(Oxford, OX, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Publishing Group 2012-09-25, New York, 2012. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 9780143122272

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
7.46
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 6
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book