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Gambling on Love: Stewart O'Nan's "The Odds"

When it comes to putting American culture under a microscope, few novelists succeed as well as Stewart O’Nan. Time after time, novel after novel, O’Nan has focused tightly on particular microbes of our society—people like you and me, to be blunt about it—and examined the foibles, the follies, and the flaws of the Way We Live. In Songs for the Missing, he turned his attention to the grief of a family whose teenage daughter goes missing; in Last Night at the Lobster, it was the disappointment of the American economic dream; in Emily, Alone, it was the solitude of the elderly. In his newest novel, The Odds: A Love Story, O’Nan puts a troubled marriage in the petri dish.

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