Murphy’s Luck 2
Murphy’s Luck 2: Revenge of the Jinx sees the return of Murphy Drummer for another unlucky adventure. Murphy is living life to the fullest with his wife, Joy, and five-year-old daughter, Phaedra. Joy’s attempts to convince him that his jinx isn’t real, sends Murphy venturing back into town for the first time in years. He quickly learns the townspeople haven’t forgotten his name or his reputation. His trip to the bank goes from a quick visit to a safety deposit box to a robbery by two infamous criminals. When the FBI investigate, all trails point to Murphy. They show up at his home not quite believing in any jinx, but a fall in the pond later may make them believers. Murphy is recruited to get close to infamous mobster Lucius Valentine, who may be his biggest fan. Seeing his chance to get his daughter the puppy of her dreams, Murphy agrees to go undercover as a tutor, but his bad luck won’t be the only trouble he finds.
It’s all fun and bad luck in this hilarious sequel to Murphy’s Luck. A delightful twang is seen in the dialogue with phrases like “let’s git these doggies rollin” and “dagnabbit.” The dialogue primarily consists of witty banter between characters set in a tone that’s a cross between stand-up comedy mixed with sarcasm and puns. Several of the situations are outrageous plays off of Murphy’s bad luck, this time playing off the saying “two birds with one stone,” which is said early on by Joy and springs into crazy incidents. This is mentioned when Joy ends up in a fender bender as “two firebirds with one ford,” and, when Murphy helps stop a bank robbery, as “two jailbirds with one jawbreaker.” The jokes throughout also center on FBI Agent Lowenstein’s unfortunate situation with hemorrhoids in the first half of the story, playing off the use of the word “but,” and his discomfort at hearing the word.
Cloverville is an important location in the story, acting as a cross between the family’s fantasy land and their safe haven. It’s located in the backyard of Murphy’s home and is often seen with awe by the other characters and described as a fantastic place, even being compared to a piece of Disney World. It’s a mix of various places with names that have a child-like pronunciation to them and a slight wonder to it that includes a giant trampoline. Cloverville plays a key part in this family’s life and in Murphy’s personality, as it’s his safe place where he hides from his bad luck. It’s sweet and eccentric, but also has humor in it as Murphy has the FBI agents dress in protective gear and helmets. The situations are bizarre, going from Murphy ending up in the middle of a robbery perpetrated by Bonnie and Clyde which he ends up stopping with the use of a jawbreaker to working as a tutor for a mobster in order to get a puppy for his daughter. The other eccentric moments are just as adorable and spiral out of a chain events, including the funny moment of Lowenstein stepping on a rake, then getting hit when the top flies off, falling into the pond, nearly drowning, dealing up with a briefcase of amnesia, and then having his memory restored (and his hemorrhoids healed) through hypnotism.
The characters are peculiar and delightful with vibrant and quirky personalities. Murphy is plagued by bad luck, but it doesn’t hinder his genuine and naive nature or his almost childlike view of the world. He’s polite, smart, and has an almost otherworldly knack for strange hobbies, including hypnotism and sewing. His wife, Joy, is a force to be reckoned with, which is what makes her such an amazing and strong character as she balances out his trusting nature with her own fierce loyalty. She’s skeptical of his jinx curse, but she’s determined to find a cure for it anyway and has no fear standing up for her family against even FBI agents. The villain of the story is Lucius Valentine, who is an interesting character, as he’s a mobster with extravagant tastes that include a wife named Bunny and a home that has man-eating lizards and alligators. Even the two FBI agents have playful personalities. McDougall often compares situations to superheroes and has a naive sense about him that often has him spilling secrets to various women he’s smitten with. Lowenstein is the gruffer of the two but he still has a goofy quality about him which is often seen through their bickering and banter.
Murphy’s Luck 2 is a humorous treat with a stampede of jokes, ridiculous situations, and eccentric characters.
After editing at City Book Review for a few years, I took up the duties of editorial assistant, which include assigning books for review, posting reviews to our various sites, and nagging reviewers for things. In my non-nagging time, I’m a gamer, artist, writer, and notorious black thumb/bane of plants. My answer to every book-related question: read Octavia Butler.
|Page Count||348 pages|
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