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The Wagers

Written by: Sean Michaels
Narrated by: Sean Michaels
Length: 12 hrs
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

One of CBC Books' 20 Canadian Books to Read in September
One of
Toronto Star's 35 Books to Read in Fall 2019
One of
NOW’s 17 Must-Read Books for Fall 2019

Scotiabank Giller winner Sean Michaels is back with his widely anticipated second novel, The Wagers, a deeply satisfying story of long odds, magical heists, and the dizzying gamble of life. Where does luck come from? What is it worth? And how much of it do you need to be happy?

Theo Potiris is a grocer and a comedian who never repeats his jokes. After 15 years of open mics, he's still waiting for his break - bicycling to the comedy club at night, stacking plums at his family's grand and ramshackle supermarket by day. His girlfriend is halfway around the world, searching for enlightenment with a patron who happens to be the richest man on Earth, and when two other loved-ones get struck by bolts from the blue, Theo decides he can't keep chasing his old dreams any longer. He resolves to trade his wishes in, pursuing a bigger score.

Here, Sean Michaels' novel takes a surprise left turn, away from the price of milk and into a shabby, beautiful, imaginary Montreal where peacocks strut on street corners and gamblers bet on sunny days. Theo uncovers a mysterious association of sports-obsessed mathematicians, The Rabbit's Foot, which is turning probability into riches, and the vigilante No Name Gang, who steal luck from those who have taken more than their fair share. Bursting with sheer story-telling pleasure and stylish prose, The Wagers carries you along on wave after wave of invention - a literary motorcycle chase that soon has you wondering about the randomness of good fortune and all the ways we choose to wage our lives.

©2020 Sean Michaels (P)2020 Penguin Random House Canada

What the critics say

"This novel is like a literary fireworks display, an explosion of joke-filled energy that manages to be a novel of ideas, but one delivered as if it were a caper story.... I had more fun reading this book than I have with any other novel for a very long time." (Antanas Sileika, The Globe and Mail)

"It might look like we’re being set up for a Marc Maron narrative: a brainy but unfocused comic scuffling on the margins, increasingly desperate, only to score an against-the-odds success in middle age.... Suffice to say that the idea of luck plays a central part, and that it takes the novel into speculative realms that will require a leap of faith on the reader’s part. It’s a leap most will be happy to make, such is the author’s deft hand and delightfully skewed world view." (Ian McGillis, Montreal Gazette)

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