Murphy Drummer is bad luck personified. As Murphy’s Law states: anything bad that can happen will happen. This is Murphy’s lifelong mantra. After a lifetime of causing havoc wherever he goes, he becomes the ultimate agoraphobe and locks himself inside so he can’t cause any more damage. Keeping himself busy with a multitude of hobbies, Murphy becomes the “Hobby Guy” with a devoted following. Eventually, Murphy has to leave the safety of his cocoon and comes in contact with his polar opposite: Joy Daley, who is touched by lady luck wherever she goes, and who might just change Murphy’s luck for the better.
What makes Murphy’s Luck work best is the tenderness Laskin has for each one of his characters. Everyone has been touched by luck – good or bad – so anyone can sympathize with Murphy’s predicament. The novel reads like a fable, a bit Forest Gump-ish, in the way that Murphy is extraordinarily goodhearted, but causes an uproar wherever he goes. No matter how down on his luck he is, the book is a light and entertaining read. You’ll feel for him because Laskin is so adept at characterization, but you’ll be comforted by his antics, even when things are going wrong. There’s also a good message about creating your own luck. Murphy might be called “Bummer Drummer” but this book is far from it: a heartwarming, joyful and entertaining read.