“Dixie Luck,” by Andy Plattner

Andy Plattner

Reviewed by Jessica Williams

Dixie Luck, by Andy Plattner, is a seductive collection of drama-filled tales of risky gambling in the Deep South. The collection entices readers with knee-jerking turns, narcissistic characters and adventures in the hidden pockets of New Orleans, Biloxi, and other money-driven cities of the South. Most stories take readers down the dark, forbidden alleys of a gambler’s lifestyle.

Several pieces examine the impact of gambling addiction on people’s lives. A young entrepreneur recalls how his father gambled away the family’s dreams in “Resort Life.” As a result, he must find his own way to pursue his career goals. His relationship with his parents drains, along with his ability to establish solid relationships. In the end, all he truly has left is regret and insecurity.

In “Confetti,” a trio of gamblers from different walks of life salivate over horses at a racetrack. This nail-biting experience ends unpredictably for all of them.

“Army-Navy” presents the blunt, brief confession of a gambling addict whose excuses about why he can’t quit his habit are predictable, while “Terminal” is an eye-opening tale of a resilient, life-long horse-racing gambler whose addiction caused him instability and detachment from others.

Finally, “Hot Springs” is a captivating dive into an addicted gambler’s risky lifestyle and his self-chosen, slightly narcissistic path of co-dependent women and emotional detachment. The story presents readers with a character many have likely encountered in their own lives.

Other stories examine unfulfilled lives. “Application” is a fascinating glimpse into the life of a wealthy yet lost man, a functional alcoholic. Living off an inheritance, the narrator realizes the constant flow of easy money hasn’t been able to buy him “the good life.” He learns that a mysterious and meaningless box with a shoe inside has more control over him than he has over his own life.

“Valdosta,” told in the first person, captures a moment in time recounted by a young salesman in New Orleans. His worrisome heart wants nothing more than to please his young wife while battling the demands of the middle-class workforce.

In “Library,” a building flooded with knowledge becomes an unemployed man’s daytime refuge where he escapes boredom and discovers an unlikely friend. Both, then, discover they’ve been missing out on life.

“Blazer” introduces readers to a man who suffers deeply from his brother’s suicide, while “Beautiful” features a retired couple who’ve raised a spoiled child, enabling her for years with unearned money.

This book is for anyone who has interests in life in the South, psychology, sociology, or who simply enjoys short-story dramas.

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