The Wooden Nickel


The Wooden Nickel cover
“April 15 may be a black moment for the lawful citizen, but it’s Opening Day for the lobstermen of Orphan Point, and the Wooden Nickel’s sitting out there in the predawn darkness with forty-eight brand-new wooden traps weighing down the stern. He was up till near midnight loading them on because that son of a bitch Hannaford put him on last for the dock crane. Clyde Hannaford blames everyone in town for his wife problem but for some reason Lucky most of all, though he knows god damn well Lucky’s married with two kids and Sarah does not cut him much slack to frig around.” — from The Wooden Nickel

“Funny and profane.  . . . Melville would have approved of this novel’s oily, splintered texture and boisterous dialogue, the best of which is too salty to quote.” — New York Times Book Review

The Wooden Nickel is a boat. Its owner, Lucky Lunt, is an endangered species: a Maine lobsterman who works the same waters as his father and grandfather. Lucky’s world is changing faster than he can fathom — his heart is failing him, too — and soon he is embroiled in a turf war that forces him to abandon what he should hold most dear: family health, solvency, and even the rules of the sea. It only makes matters worse that Lucky’s partner in crime is the sexy, not-quite-ex-wife of the local lobster wholesaler. Brilliantly capturing all the pathos and hilarity of Lucky’s epic battle for survival, this remarkable novel announces the arrival of a startlingly flesh, mature, and important voice in American fiction.


Reviews of the Wooden Nickel


“Uncompromising. … The author, who is also an award-winning poet with three published collections, twines image and idea with impressive skill. … Carpenter draws a richly detailed portrait of a coastal Maine community. … Carpenter… also has a wonderful ear for the language of his region.”
― Chicago Tribune


“Powerful writing. … The Wooden Nickel will be the punchiest, raunchiest Maine coast lobstering novel you’ll encounter in a long while.”
Boston Globe


“In Lucas ‘Lucky’ Lunt, Carpenter . . . has concocted a character so real, you can smell the chum wafting off his oilskins. As crusty and unreconstructed as he is, you have to love him.
Boston Phoenix




“An insouciant antipastoral as bracing and bitter as a January nor’easter. Don’t miss it.”

“Archie Bunker would look like Ralph Nader alongside the robust, profane life force who easily dominates this zesty, entertaining novel. … Lucky is a terrific creation … and the unquenchable source of malevolently funny one-liners that can drop you dead in your tracks.”
Kirkus Reviews




Order from these booksellers: