The Wooden Nickel: A Novel

The Wooden Nickel: A Novel

by William Carpenter

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Wooden Nickel 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
tututhefirst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In The Wooden Nickel, William Carpenter gives us Lucky Lunt, a high school dropout whose entire world is one big mid-life crisis. His home, built by his grandfather, is mortgaged to pay for a new engine for his wooden boat (The Wooden Nickel -the only wooden boat left on the waterfront.) His wife has "found herself" as an artist and has turned his garage loft into a studio. His son, a gay skinhead who has also dropped out of high school, is tattooed, and into drugs, - a combination which does not go over well with Lucky. His daughter, who appears to be the only one taking education at all seriously, is headed for college if the money can somehow be found. She manages to land a position as an au pair to a rich family "from away" and begins (at least in her father's view) to put on airs.To add to all of this, Lucky is without medical insurance and therefore owes the local doctors and hospitals several thousands of dollars to pay for his recent open heart surgery after his heart attack. The doctor's proscriptions against smoking, drinking, cussing, and too much lifting on his boat have left him cross, scared, and totally lost on how to go about getting his life back to the good old days, his son back in school (or at least working on his father's boat), his wife back in his bed, and red meat back on his plate.We read this one for our local book discussion group, and many readers, while admitting that this scenario could be all too real here in Maine, had a very hard time with Lucky's very crude language and overuse of a certain digital expression. Lucky is a man whose choices are limited by his background, his lack of education and a hefty dose of poor luck.Wooden Nickel's Lucky is one of the funniest characters I've come across in a long time. Think Archie Bunker on a lobster boat. His world is inhabited by meatheads who cannot understand or honor his commitment to living in the past, and his frustrations with being misunderstood and unable to articulate his fear, his rage and his feelings of helplessness manifest themselves the only way he knows how - in spicy, raw, crude language and obscene gestures. He's a flawed character you end up loving. The lead female character, Ronette, is a street tough, 20 year old whom Lucky hires as a sternman. Life gets even better (or worse depending on your perspective) after that.If you want the real Maine, I promise you, this is it. It is not the sailboat and lighthouse postcard of the Chamber of Commerce. This book give you hardworking, god-fearing people who are trying to do the best they can with the cards they were dealt.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The Wooden Nickel is a dangerously addictive read, similar to Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. It's a great story about one man's heedless decent into degeneracy. Just when you think things couldn't get worse, they do for Lucky Lunt; he loses his wife, home, son, lobster license, boat, all the while sucking down beer and cigarettes and only occassionally taking the pills that keep his damaged heart going. The penultimate scene involves trying to shoot a rope-wrapped whale, an ill-advised move on Lucky's part, but it was probably for the best.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A beautifully written book describing the life of Lucky Lunt, a maine lobsterman,, who is not so lucky in life but survives because reality is everpresnt and constantly threatens his very survival.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel depicts the life of a lobsterman so vividly that I feel reading Linda Greenlaw's 'The Lobster Chronicles' may be redundant (and I know it will not match the combination of humor, anger, sadness and profanity found here). Loved it!