Just as she did in her New York Times Notable debut novel, The Metal
Shredders, Nancy Zafris follows a colorful cast of characters into uncharted
fictional territory, this time landing in the canyon country of the desert
Southwest in 1954. For motivations as straightforward as striking it rich to
reasons far more complex and confounding, they each embark on very personal
divergent journeys across an unforgiving countryside, even while their quest to
find uranium unites them. By turns meditative and funny, frightening, witty and
refreshingly wise, Lucky Strike explores the ways that language simply
put can mine the inexpressible. In the process, a young widow and her two
children learn much about uranium but even more about the nature of the love
that binds them. This is a story to touch your heart.
This is a bitter-sweet novel, contrasting upbeat dialogue with Charlie's illness, overshadowed by the effects of uranimum poisoning (which was unknown to the general public at the time). (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The Denver Post - Sybil Downing
Laced with quiet tongue-in-cheek humor and told from multiple viewpoints, the adventures of this cast of quirky characters makes for a warmhearted, entertaining read.
The Boston Globe - Diane White
The sinister, thrilling mushroom cloud of the bomb casts its shadow over everything. ''Lucky Strike" is a quirky novel that rewards careful reading.
Library Journal - Lisa Nussbaum
Starred Review. What a wild ride this book is. The characters are plucky, sympathetic, and memorable, the situations sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and sometimes bittersweet, and the pacing just right. Zafris is a keen observer of the human comedy; highly recommended for all libraries.
In this lovely book, Zafris finds power in the slow, mute strangeness of everyday anxiety, the blossoming of hope in a barren desert and the terrible irony of what uranium means to those who seek it.
Booklist - Joanne Wilkinson
Starred Review. Charlie's debilitating illness and the effects of uranium poisoning (unknown at the time) sit in counterpoint to the loopy banter and endearing cast of characters. Like Marianne Wiggins' quirky, superb Evidence of Things Unseen (2003), this novel is both disturbing and hypnotic.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Deborah Kennedy The best kind of book It is not often that one finds a book so subtle, compelling and smart as Lucky Strike and its story line is as touching as it is ironic. This book will make you think about the destructive power of the atomic bomb while also making you feel, along... Read More
Rated of 5
by M. Sims Lucky Strike: A Rare Find The novel Lucky Strike by Nancy Zafris is gentle, funny, sometimes strange and always thought-provoking. The 50's Utah desert setting is full of both magic and danger.
A Mormon uranium prospector (Harry), a bristly widow from Ohio (Jean), her... Read More
Rated of 5
by Giacomo Lucky Strike Strikes the Heart A quick look at Zafris' last two books -- Metal Shredders and Lucky Strike -- might cause you to think she is a metallurgist. Instead, she is a first class writer whose characters are lonely and faded but cheerfully hopeful of finding the jackpot... Read More
Nancy Zafris is the author of two novels, Lucky Strike and The Metal
Shredders (2002), and a book of stories, The People I Know (1990).
She says that she was struck with the idea for Lucky Strike after reading a
Utah guidebook that talked about the 1950s uranium rush, comparing it
to the gold rush a century earlier.
Although the USA government sponsored Uranium Rush is far less well
remembered than the Gold Rush, at the time it was big news. Some
sources claim that more prospectors scoured the Utah deserts during
the mid 1950s than ever invaded California during the rush for gold!
Nancy's currently busy writing a book for her son's 12th birthday, then she's planning to start work on another adult title.
- An article about the
Great Uranimum Rush of the 1950s.
- A popular
board game of the...
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