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The Biology of Luck is a 2013 American novel by Jacob M. Appel. It is a reimagining of James Joyce's Ulysses and is set in New York City.[1]


The novel alternates between the adventures of "New York tour guide Larry Bloom" who works "a nine-to-five grind herding privileged tourists through the city" and chapters from a book manuscript he has written "about the light in his listless life, Starshine Hart, a 29-year-old, job-jumping beauty who attracts the gaze and adoration of nearly every man in the Tri-state area."[2]


Kate Duva of Word Riot wrote that Appel captures the essence of New York City and starts off well, but the large eccentric cast and lack of characterization for the main protagonists may leave some readers ambivalent.[3] Will Donnelly of Green Mountains Review described the novel as "strange genius".[4]

It won the Beverly Hills Book Award for "literary fiction" in 2014[5][non-primary source needed] and was short-listed for the Hoffer Society's Montaigne Medal.[6][non-primary source needed]


  1. ^ Schultze, Emily (2013-12-19). "Sitting on Nails and Staring at the Wall: An Interview with Jacob M. Appel". Fiction Writers Review. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  2. ^ Tommy Dean, Biology of the Biology of Luck, Nailed Magazine.
  3. ^ Duva, Kate (2013-11-16). "The Biology of Luck by Jacob M. Appel". Word Riot. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  4. ^ Donelly, Will (2013-10-25). "Review of The Biology of Luck by Jacob M. Appel". Green Mountains Review. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
  5. ^ "2014 Beverly Hills Book Awards Winners & Finalists". Retrieved 2014-04-24.
  6. ^ "The Montaigne Medal Finalists". Retrieved 2014-04-24.