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Are You Ready to be Lucky?

This book falls somewhere between a novel-in-stories and an interconnected short story collection. At the outset, the editor described the structure as something like a pinball machine. You never know exactly which character you’re going to get, as they pop up and then disappear, in a relentless pursuit of happiness, trying again and again to get it right. The three male silhouettes on the circular bumpers represent the men Roslyn ricochets between: Harold, Duncan, and Floyd.

One of the stories (called “In Which Floyd’s Speedometer Surpasses the Million Kilometer Mark and Friends and Acquaintances Reduce Their Clutter”) even shares pinball game terms in the footnotes. For your delight and education:

Thwacker: A funnel-shaped device where the ball enters at the wide top and spins to the narrow bottom. 

The backbox: The backbox portion of the table serves two purposes:  to hold the main electronics of the game.  And to attract players. 

Nudge: A method of trying to control the ball by moving the machine.   

After many hours and coins spent on “research,” my arcade illustration was declared unduly frivolous — a far too literal depiction of “luck.” So it was GAME OVER for me. (Couldn’t resist.)