Book Jacket


rank 5936
word count 10137
date submitted 17.01.2010
date updated 18.02.2010
genres: Fiction, Comedy
classification: universal

Just a Slow News Day

Gene Cryer

A satiric tale of a chronic loser who learns on Christmas morning that he has won a $100 million lottery prize...and then things get worse.


Luke Wahrm, labeled at birth as a chronic loser, has been unsuccessful all of his life, even at commiting suicide. After a Christmas Eve encounter with a woman he believes to be a prostitute and a visit to a church run by a recovering alcoholic, ex-con, mail order preacher, a friendly but somewhat eccentric lady cop conducts an exorcism of the ghosts of Christmases Past in a ceremony in Florida's Everglades.
On Christmas morning, Luke discovers he has won $100 million in the Florida Lottery. And then things get worse.
Million dollar gifts to friends and family are greeted with hostility, suspicion and greed. His sudden sucess as the author of a controversial novel generates what seems to be incessant picketing and TV news attention. But all of that discomfort is mild compared to his attempted kidnapping by two derelicts armed with a water pistol.

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Raymond Nickford wrote 1609 days ago

The first scene succinctly conveys Wahrm as a likeable is not hapless loser, the superstitious comforts of his grandmother also neatly mirroring the kind of humble person he is. On ending the first scene, there's a sense of the biblical doctrine 'the meek shall inherit the earth' - except that the Bible failed to refer to a lottery ticket.
The 'tenth of a gallon of gasoline' and a variety of other interwoven details very nicely maintain the consistency of Wahrm's meagre assets left and build for the moment when he discovers that Fate has delivered him fabulous wealth.
I warmed to Wahrm - if that's not a tautology - for 'Wahrm cleared his throat. He hated what was coming. "Lucas", he mumbled,' when the barmaid asks him with some incredulity whether Wahrm is really his name.
As he shares domestic woes with the lady who calls him ' darlin' ', he grows as the sort of man I root for as a candidate for good luck. Backed
(A Child from the Wishing Well)

vkon wrote 1615 days ago

Sounds like my kinda book and humor!!! It'sbacked

Sheila Belshaw wrote 1615 days ago



I love the justaposition between the laconic title and the vibrancy and drama of the pitch. A pitch that promises a roller coaster of a ride for Luke, this complex protagonist who in spite of his failure at everything including attempted suicide, has the luck of one in a million and then seems at first unable to handle the inevitable adverse repurcussions.

With a cleverly constructed plot like this, the novel is destined to be unputdownable. Especially at the hands of such a talented writer as yourself. (Oh, how I envy that journalistic background.)

Backed with admiration and my best wishes for its success.

Sheila (Pinpoint)

lionel25 wrote 1617 days ago

Gene, your chapter one flows smoothly. Good writing. Only thing I can nitpick is your spelling of "ceremony" in the synopsis.


Joffrey (The Silver Spoon Effect)

SRFire wrote 1619 days ago

Backed with pleasure, Sana

Harold2 wrote 1619 days ago

I thought I had already commented on this as I know I had read it before. Was more than happy to read some more though.
Hope this keeps climbing to the top 5

MiniMePom wrote 1620 days ago

Wonderful. I would definitely buy this book. I like the focus on ordinary people with problems, rather than than characters with perfect lives who just happen to stumble onto an adventure. This book drew me in from the first word.

Andee Hughes wrote 1622 days ago

Hi Gene. Very enjoyable, well-written with a strong main character.
Andrea. Breach of Faith.

Helena wrote 1624 days ago

Hi Gene, this is really well written, great dialogue I find it hard but you have an authentic voice and ear for it. I like the premise, Wahrm is a good character, strongly written I think you know him well. On my shelf. Helena (A Load of Rubbish)

Carrots wrote 1635 days ago

This is rather good (Brit. understatement). It does come over that the author is not new to writing. This reader felt instantly comfortable with the style and the story. This is a writer who knows exactly what he's doing....main character POV, given up smoking,dry, divorced (twice), bit of a loser (on the surface)....but honest. You know that you're in for a damn good, well-told story. Backed.

CarolinaAl wrote 1635 days ago

Tight, straight forward storytelling. Luke is an interesting character. I like him. Your dialogue is realistic. Your imagery is vivid. Masterful use of words. For example, 'when the day exhausted itself on the western horizon.' Great verb choice. Great premise. A delightful read. Backed.

KW wrote 1636 days ago

". . . and then things get worse." "Wahrm had enough money left in his pocket to complete the weekly ritual of mailing inquiries to literary agents followed by a beer and a burger at Skip's bar." Sounds familiar. Writing is no simple task, but "it's harder than writing." Yeah, almost impossible anymore. About as probable as winning $100 million in a lottery. This starts very well, I like your clean descriptive abilities and your realistic dialogue. It's full of life lived by many. I'll be back when I get a some more time. Backed with pleasure. I love the live, "Luke's mind was an empire of bad attitude . . ." Very nice turn of phrase. I've been there, done that.

T.L Tyson wrote 1640 days ago

I love reading, but lately Authonomy seemed to have sucked it out of me. Well your little gem of a book here revived me. The amount of character you put into your MC is just amazing. Really you do a wonderful job of depicting Luke to us. His tone, his car, his style. The way he is. It just leaped off the page for me. He is believable because he is flawed. He is believable because he isn't a hero. Most of us aren't. I really think you do an amazing job with peppering in his life throughout the first chapter and to be blunt, you have brought him to life. You have simply gave him breath. i read up to chapter three, as it is getting late and Five Am comes too soon for me. But I love some of the imagery and the style you write in is relaxed and enjoyable.
i loved the premise but your cover and title got me over here. A delight, to be honest.
I didn't see any errors. I did notice a lot of 'had' sentences which I would look into culling some down because it give the opening a really passive voice but all in a ll a good story.
T.L Tyson-Seeking Eleanor

DDickson wrote 1640 days ago

First things first - a complaint - I have just had an enforced two day break, sat down to whizz through a few reads and opened this. I am now on chapter 8. That is not funny, I usually read one chapter and then dip and dive.

Anyway - Just a slow news day.

I only ever comment as a reader - that is because I don't feel qualified to do more, I am however a voracious reader!

I immediately liked your main character. In Luke we have a man who is not only down on his luck but is bedeviled with disaster after misfortune, over and over and over. Poor man, however he has such a strong outlook that although he elictits sympathy we don't pity him. The dialogue reads as unforced and natural and the first telephone conversation between Julie and Luke is heart wrenching.

I admire your use of metaphores, they are appropriate and imaginative. I loved the "empire of bad attitude" and the "schizophrenic weather" - very good. I have made a note here that Paragraph one of Chapter two was particularly good.

I was a little puzzled by the leap in Chapter 3 to the conversation with the priest but I suppose that all falls into place as we go along. I am sure that you are aware of the layout issues and all I can say now is that I have enjoyed reading this hugely. I am sure that is going to carry on climbing and quite rightly too. Good luck with this - backed - Diane

Jared wrote 1640 days ago

Gene, I love the title and your pitches are enticing and packed with interest although I'd suggest replacing "satiric" in "A satiric tale of a chronic loser" with the more traditional "satirical."
I've read all your nine chapters posted to date. The short chapters do a great job of keeping the story moving along and you've given us a fine character in Luke. This is a thoughtfully constructed book and there seems every reason to believe that the rest of the story will enfold in an equally entertaining and engaging manner. I've enjoyed this. Backed.

David Fearnhead wrote 1641 days ago

This is solid work, both in construction and execution. You manage to pen Luke as one of life's misfortunates. Though you refer to him as a loser, he still has enough about him for the reader not to write him of completely. I didn't find myself pitying him to the extent where I thought I'd like to help him out with his next suicide bid, as can sometimes happen with a less skillful writer. I thought I'll stick with this guy because I'm waiting for him to prove us wrong and come good. Nice Work.

Bailey of the Saints

gillyflower wrote 1641 days ago

Your very funny and attractive pitch make me eager to read this book, and it's been a great read. Your writing matches the pitch in being both amusing and interesting. Luke is a character I fell for at once. I suppose a writer trying to get published is naturally someone whom I, as a similar writer, can easily relate to; but you've made Luke a very vivid character. His voice is excellent, both in dialogue and in his thoughts. I loved the scene in the church where Luke attributes the thunder to his forgetting to say,"Amen." Really funny. Luke's background is sketched in beautifully, with just enough information not to overwhelm us, and coming from his various conversations, as it should. Altogether an excellent book, well worth supporting. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls.

Paige Pendleton wrote 1641 days ago

Great read. Luke wormed his way right in, the humor is great. There is something about Florida that is conducive to humor, and you've tapped into it. Great pace, great dialogue, setting/descriptives delivered easily in/as the story.

Roe wrote 1641 days ago

Great start, like the characters and your style of writing. A great title, too. Backed

Christina McClean wrote 1641 days ago

I immediately took a liking to Wahrm, feeling sorry for him - bit of a loser. I found the dialogue came across as naturel and believable. Liked the conversation with Candy. Is Candy going to appear later on I wonder. There are sentences I love like, "Lukes mind was an empire of bad attitude." and "I've had enough screw ups and failures to make a necklace if I could turn them into beads. The short chapters make it very easy to read and keep the pages turning. I love this story, has loads of potential.
Backed with pleasure

Jed Oliver wrote 1641 days ago

Gene, this is really good stuff. You build sympathy for Luke almost instantly. The humor is wonderful. Shelved.
Best regards, Jedward (Knut)

Jed Oliver wrote 1641 days ago

Gene, this is really good stuff. You build sympathy for Luke almost instantly. The humor is wonderful. Shelved.
Best regards, Jedward (Knut)

Francis Albert McGrath wrote 1641 days ago

A great pitch, a great opening (I would delete the first para), and a great character (Wahrm). The lotto-winner who runs into problems is a hackneyed theme, but you bring new life to it. I can see this as a movie, with a Bill Murray type character as Wahrm.

ellen911 wrote 1642 days ago

I love Wahrm. What a great character. Truly lovable and easy to laugh with (not at)! You are a wonderful, natural storyteller! Backed with utter pleasure.
Please take a moment to read my work, THoughts of a Teenage Girl.

klouholmes wrote 1642 days ago

Hi Gene, Here's a true-to-life character that seems to have tried many things, even another chance with Julie - one that is entertaining and could lift me out of a mood. The writing is clever and the dialogue, especially with Jack, verifies that Luke isn't just in a mood. He's somehow picked out things that aren't what he hoped. Although the dialogue sometimes furnishes background, what you've accomplished here is enjoyment of the story before the lottery win. I didn't feel the need to race towards an event. It must get better when that happens! Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

hot lips wrote 1643 days ago

Great dialogue, and very entertaining, I can be picky, and I found nothing I would change. I also bonded stronly with poor Luke Wharm. Backed with great pleasure.

Harold2 wrote 1643 days ago

I#ll be keeping an eye on this. Destinied for the top I think

Melcom wrote 1643 days ago

Extremely polished and easy to read.

Fantastic dialogue.

Another professional amongst us.

Good luck

phillipross wrote 1644 days ago

this sounds really interesting. i've backed it in the meantime, based purely on the pitch, and i'll get to it in due course (i've a few other reads i've promised people to get to first). want to swap reads?

AnnabelleC wrote 1644 days ago

Luke Wahrm and a mail order minister... love it. Your style is not just easy to read, it's funny. Good funny, where the humour springs from real life, rather than forced funny, where everything is an excuse for a joke. Your professional writing background shines through.
I wish you all the best with this and, of course, backed.

Thomas J. Winton wrote 1644 days ago

Gene, this is a highly polished, enjoyable read. Puts me to mind of Hiaason -- tongue in cheek and all that. Very interesting characters. You've written for many years (yeah, I know, a different kind of writing) and it is obvious in your work. I really do expect this to go far. Backed because if I had more time I would definitely read on.
Thomas J Winton
Beyond Nostalgia

Richard Daybell wrote 1644 days ago

This rolls along very easily until suddenly your five chapters into it. Luke makes a great Everyloser adrift among assholes. Nice writing with good dialogue. Happy to back it.

Richard Daybell
Zombie Jamboree

mikegilli wrote 1644 days ago

Well I´m enjoying this. Backed.
More than a disaster Luke turns out to be a regular guy.
I´m impressed with the down to earth hard boiled details
casually thrown in to give the irritating atmosphere, combined with
the obvious gut level belief in human nature and the wild sense of humour.
I didn´t find typios...All The best with it.............Mikell.....The Free

paxie wrote 1645 days ago

Sitting looking over sunny London, enjoying Lukes lifes journey, when I should be working ..............It's like he's treading through treacle..

...Dialogue is your special gift, I feel like an eavesdropper....When I first read your pitch I admit I kind of raised my eyebrows.....It promises much.....But I'm sure you deliver....Backed with enthusiasm and good wishes....

C.C.McKinnon wrote 1645 days ago

As a reader I would like to say that I did enjoy this book. I think that the tale really warms up in the fourth chapter. Misery sales. :)

Telegraph wrote 1645 days ago

This is a unique work with great diolouge a slow burn as if you'll never reach the core of the script. But then it just explodes in your face and you can't stop reading. C W

Rosali Webb wrote 1646 days ago

Read four chapters. At first I was thinking what a waster! By the time I had read on I found it wasn't that simple. Interesting story, I will read on as I would like to know how it all gets worse. Sounds like he's in it up to his ears already. Backed
Fieldtrip to Mars

GeneCryer wrote 1646 days ago

Thank you for the kinds words. I'm beginning to believe I should have posted the whole manuscript. Your thoughts?
Gene Cryer

GeneCryer wrote 1646 days ago

Gene, You are going to give Carl Hiaasen a run for his money. Luke Wahrm??? So funny. The way you build his frustration layer upon layer. If the reader has read the pitch, they are aching for this poor guy to win the lottery. But you say that is only the beginning of his troubles? I will have to tune in again. I read to chapter 5 and loved every sentence. Great dialogue. Poor Luke Wahrm. Backed with pleasure. Barbara Silkstone

Barbara...I'm wondering if I should post the whole manuscript. Some of the really fun stuff isn't in the first nine chapters. Your thoughts?

GeneCryer wrote 1646 days ago

Pia... Thank you for the kind words. Kinda makes me wish I'd posted the whole manuscript. Think I should?

Pia wrote 1646 days ago

Hi Gene -

Just a Slow News Day - Wohrm's ode to miserey is quite exceptional, hard to imagine how it could get any worse, yet misery never fails to entertain, especially with such spot on voice and dialogue. Curious about what's to come, since even a hundred million dollars won't change a state of insufficiency inside. So what will happen when genius strikes a blow to the author. The theme should fetch a huge audience. Great voice and dialogues. Best success.

Pia (Course of Mirrors)

Barbara Silkstone wrote 1646 days ago

Gene, You are going to give Carl Hiaasen a run for his money. Luke Wahrm??? So funny. The way you build his frustration layer upon layer. If the reader has read the pitch, they are aching for this poor guy to win the lottery. But you say that is only the beginning of his troubles? I will have to tune in again. I read to chapter 5 and loved every sentence. Great dialogue. Poor Luke Wahrm. Backed with pleasure. Barbara Silkstone

S.D. Gillen wrote 1646 days ago

Luke Wahrm. Oh boy! I was giggling at that one! I absolutely love the humor in this story. This is exceptionaly well written and I could find nothing to change. You've got a hit here. I wish I could give you a great critique, but all I can say is that as a reader, I've loved the few chapters I've read. I really like your main character as well. Nice job!

SD Gillen

GeneCryer wrote 1647 days ago

G--Thank you for the kind words and for backing my book. Hope you'll find the time to read more.

brinskie1 wrote 1647 days ago

Gene - the dialogue in the first chapter [all I've read so far] of Slow News Day is about as good as it gets. One of the best opening chapters I've read here and with a pretty good hook to boot. Since we are supposed to make some sort of constructive criticism I really had to press myself to find anything at worth the bother. The only possible flaw I've come across is in Luke's conversation with the barmaid when he says - 'Give her a call and mention my name.' and she replies 'I hate to mention this but I don't know your name." The repetition on 'mention' might be in need of a remedy. Like I said, I had to dig for that one and am a little embarrassed to mention it. Backed

Einstein's Road Trip