A Matter of Luck


The chances are you don’t really know, but you probably believe in it, and I bet you invoke the word every day of your life … ‘Bad luck!’ ‘That was lucky!’ ‘You should be so lucky!’ ‘What a lucky escape!’– said with varying degrees of intensity, relief, sarcasm, amusement, incredulity or disgust.


But what is luck? This book tries to determine what luck is, how it operates in our lives, and how far the individual is at its mercy – favoured by good luck or cursed by bad? Is there any justice or fair play in life, or are these merely human concepts that don’t exist in the laws governing the universe? Whatever you think you believe, by the time you have read this book, the odds are that you will have changed your mind.

James M Killeen’s analysis ranges from Astrology to Zoroastrianism and everything in between: the big bang and the butterfly effect, destiny and determinism, fortune-telling and feng shui, gambling and game theory, miracles and Murphy’s Law, oracles and ordeals, philosophy and religion, precognition and the placebo effect, serendipity and synchronicity.

A Matter of Luck is a highly readable yet thought-provoking work, interspersed with illuminating and amusing examples to illlustrate each facet of this fascinating subject: for example, the true stories of the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo, King Umberto and the chef, James Dean’s car, and the woman who simultaneously chose the winning numbers for both the Massachusetts and Rhode Island lotteries (although the numbers she chose for the Rhode Island lottery were the winning numbers for the Massachusetts lottery, and vice versa). Lucky or unlucky – you decide, if you can.


Additional information

Dimensions 23.4 × 17 cm



17 March 2014