The Odds of Reading a Great Review of The Odds: 3 in 3

The latest batch of reviews for The Odds.

The Miami Herald

Can Art and Marion revive their marriage?

What do you do when you’re in your 50s and have been laid off, your house is about to be foreclosed on and you’re on the brink of bankruptcy and divorce? If you’re Art and Marion Fowler, the couple in Stewart O’Nan’s endearing new novel, you head for Niagara Falls and try to beat the odds.


The Columbus Dispatch
Troubled couple give marriage a final throw of the dice

The Odds gambles without flaunting how much it’s putting at stake.

Stewart O’Nan, whose fictional territory is the microscopic changes of everyday life, here enters the more colorful region of romance.

And not romance in the elegant, sophisticated sense. He tackles the cheesiest of situations — Valentine’s Day at Niagara Falls, where proposals, marriages and honeymoons are at their heights. Out of this sappy setup, he makes a subtle study of marriage, with its complicated system of rewards and risks.


The L.A. Times
In ‘The Odds: A Love Story,’ Stewart O’Nan uses a light but steady touch to provide an intimate portrait of a couple in crisis.

There is a clarity to O’Nan’s prose: It doesn’t call attention to itself, doesn’t flaunt dazzling sentences or stunning descriptions. This may undersell his work, which is delightful. There is something movie-like in it — not that this should be a movie, as his novel “Snow Angels” was — but it’s movie-like in its easy immersion. 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.


Reviews of The Odds

This post will be updated as new reviews come in.

The Christian Science Monitor

“The Odds” is a comedy, but a rueful one that anyone who’s ever stayed up late wondering how to pay the bills or if a marriage was worth saving will recognize.

USA Today

O’Nan weaves in vivid descriptions of the falls’ natural wonders and the cheesy attractions. (Art insists on touring Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum, as they did on their honeymoon.) O’Nan is never condescending, ever sympathetic to his main characters.

The Globe and Mail

O’Nan’s prose is agile, light and utterly unself-conscious. Very contemporary. At the same time, his superb rendering of psychological drama recalls 19th-century novelists like George Eliot. He has good fun with this story.

Niagara Falls Review

Released late last month, The Odds is a crisp 180 pages with plenty of humour and O’Nan’s sharp dialogue (a chapter where the couple believes they see Nancy Wilson of Heart at a local restaurant shows O’Nan’s impeccable grasp of characters). But all throughout is the ominous feeling something bad is about to happen to them, which is only natural when happiness rides on red or black at the roulette table.

NPR Books
Fired And Foreclosed: Unemployment Lit

Stewart 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. His great 2007 novella, Last Night at the Lobster, is about the last shift at a closing seafood restaurant in a crummy New England mall. Now, O’Nan has just published a powerful new novella about the unemployed called The Odds.


Continue reading

Interview in The New Yorker’s Book Bench

January 17, 2012
Posted by Jon Michaud

O’Nan, the author of a dozen novels and co-author, with Stephen King, of a book about the 2004 Boston Red Sox, kindly agreed to answer questions from his home in Pittsburgh.

“The Odds” is set almost entirely at Niagara Falls. Aside from the Falls’ reputation as a honeymoon destination, what drew you to this setting?

I wanted Art and Marion to work out their private feelings in a public space, and one most people know. Niagara Falls is a fantasyland, both natural and artificial, beautiful and ugly, American and Canadian. We associate it with corny, old-time romance but also with risk and danger, so it seemed like a perfect stage for a pair of reluctant daredevils.

[read the full interview]

The Odds Book Tour

Information will be updated under Appearances as they come in.

The Odds Book Tour

Thursday, Jan 19 2012
American Booksellers Association
Winter Institute, Author Reception
New Orleans, LA

Monday, Jan 23 2012 8PM
Books & Books
Coral Gables, FL

Tuesday, Jan 24 2012 4PM
Alabama Booksmith
Homewood, AL

Wednesday, Jan 25 2012 7PM
St. Louis County Library
St. Louis, MO

Date Thursday, Jan 26 2012 7PM
Watermark Books & Cafe
Wichita, KS

Monday, Jan 30 2012 7PM
Seattle Public Library
Seattle, WA

Wednesday, Feb 01 2012 7PM
Southdale Library
Edina, MN 55435

Thursday, Feb 09 2012
Penguin Bookshop
Sewickley, PA

Thursday, Feb 16 2012
McNally Jackson Books
New York, NY

Friday, Feb 17 2012
Savannah Book Festival
Savannah, GA

Wednesday, Feb 29 2012
2012 AWP Annual Conference
Chicago, IL

The Odds: A Love Story

Buy the Book at Barnes & Noble buyfromamazon IndieBound

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

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.

Publication Date: January 19, 2012