The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady

The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady

3.26 (1,541 ratings by Goodreads)
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This lively, intricately plotted, laugh-out-loud funny, and surprisingly touching family drama combines the wit of Carl Hiaasen with the southern charm of Jill McCorkle. Seventy-seven-year-old Marylou Ahearn is going to kill Dr. Wilson Spriggs come hell or high water. In 1953, he gave her a radioactive cocktail without her consent as part of a secret government study that had horrible consequences. Marylou has been plotting her revenge for fifty years. When she accidentally discovers his whereabouts in Florida, her plans finally snap into action. She high tails it to hot and humid Tallahassee, moves in down the block from where a now senile Spriggs lives with his daughter's family, and begins the tricky work of insinuating herself into their lives. But she has no idea what a nest of yellow jackets she is stum-bling into. Before the novel is through, someone will be kidnapped, an unlikely couple will get engaged, someone will nearly die from eating a pineapple upside-down cake laced with anti-freeze, and that's not all . . . Told from the varied perspectives of an incredible cast of endearing oddball characters and written with the flair of a native Floridian, this dark comedy does not more

Product details

  • Hardback | 333 pages
  • 160.02 x 236.22 x 40.64mm | 612.35g
  • Doubleday Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0385510640
  • 9780385510646
  • 1,062,010

Review quote

Advance Praise for "The Revenge of The Radioactive Lady" "Elizabeth Stuckey-French's latest novel is playfully retro...We don't expect, in comic little-old-lady novels, to encounter childhood cancer, randy preachers and a boy building a homemade breeder reactor in the tool shed. But Stuckey-French knows that if you dig deep enough, we're all oddballs, and the the world is a perilous and unpredictable place." -- "The New York Times Book Review " "[A] charmingly off-kilter novel...Stuckey-French channels her characters -- including two mildly autistic teenagers -- with precision and wit, weaving in wry insights about modern suburban life. The result is a smart and improbably cheerful tale about family that's actually quite sweet at its core." -- "People "Magazine (3 out of 4 stars) "["The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady"] turns out to be the best kind of page-turner -- one with heart." "--The Boston Globe" "Mixing the suburban angst of Tom Perrotta with the snarky humor of Carl Hiaasen, Stuckey-French has written a page-turner that is thoughtful, amusing, and nearly impossible to put down." --"Library Journal, " starred review ""The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady" is surprisingly chipper as the neurotic and lovable cast turns a macabre tale into a wildly compulsive read." "It's impossible not to love a novel that starts out with a 77-year-old woman planning cold-blooded murder, especially when the old lady in question is as charming and funny as Stuckey-French's Marylou Ahearn. As she steadily worms her way into the world and family of her intended victim, this fast-paced and witty book expands to create a big-hearted, hilarious and touching portrait of a community full of an amazing and vivid cast of characters. A true pleasure to read." --Dan Chaon, bestselling author of "Await Your Reply. ""Cheeky and cinematic...Fast-paced, vibrant and quirky, this novel will surely win new fshow more

About Elizabeth Stuckey-French

ELIZABETH STUCKEY-FRENCH is the author of the novel Mermaids on the Moon and the short story collection The First Paper Girl in Red Oak, Iowa. She lives in Tallahassee, Florida, where she teaches fiction writing at Florida State University. elizabethstuckeyfrench.comshow more

Rating details

1,541 ratings
3.26 out of 5 stars
5 10% (147)
4 31% (480)
3 40% (613)
2 15% (229)
1 5% (72)

Our customer reviews

What a crazy book. Elizabeth Stuckey-French has created a hodge-podge so rich that I barely know where to start. I'm having trouble even coming up with ways to explain what it's about that the unread (ie. those who haven't had the opportunity to read it yet) might understand fully. But I think it might be fitting to call this an "onion book". There are layers upon layers upon layers and you just have keep reading until the very end to see how exactly everything fits together. So here's a taste of what you get when you read The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady: There's 7 different points of view. Or is it 8? There were so many I may have lost count! There were people dealing with Asperger's syndrome, issues of pedophile, a middle aged man contemplating an affair, a senile old man (or is he?), a kid playing around with radiation, a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, hurricanes, beaches, kids in love, photo shoots, secret government projects, aliases, churches and church groups, and to top it all off, a 77 year old woman who is determined to get closure by getting revenge. I didn't know this book would have multiple points of view before I started reading. I do happen to love multiple points of view but there were so many people while beginning that it was a bit overwhelming learning about a new person every time I started a new chapter. But as the seasons changed I got to know each character a little bit more and get a better feel on where Stuckey-French was going with this. And this is one of the reasons that I do adore books with multiple points of view. Because as readers we have no idea what all these different things have to do with one another but when done right the ending is usually one big convergence of brilliance. And it was. I was impressed by all the ways Elizabeth Stuckey-French handled all these different points of view but even more so I was impressed with the way she handled all the various issues the characters had to deal with in the story. The story is told very much in the style of Carl Hiaasen - with quirky characters and that weird sense of humour that actually makes you laugh at things that don't always seem appriopriate to laugh at in real life. Because it's just the way the characters are and the situations they find themselves in and you just have to laugh at the oddity of it all. Overall a good solid book that I enjoyed very much. I will definitely be on the look out for more books like this from Elizabeth Stuckey-French in the more
by Erika Dlugokecki
Humorous, quirky, offbeat all describe the unusual characters that inhabit The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady by Elizabeth Stuckey-French. There is seventy-seven-year-old Marylou Ahearn is determined to kill Dr. Wilson Spriggs to avenge his involvement in the medical experiment that cost her her only child Helen. Spriggs had fed pregnant women - Marylou included - radioactive cocktails in a scientific experiment that bore horrific results. When Marylou finally tracks Dr Spriggs down, she moves to his neighborhood and takes on a new identity and introduces herself. She discovers that Dr. Spriggs has major memory loss - and doesn't seem to recall what he'd done. So, instead of murder, Marylou plans to disrupt his life through his family. She finds a way to meet his grandchildren. And falls for young Suzi - a sporty, outgoing and slightly tormented young girl. As Marylou gets to know Suzi and her sister Ava, she finds a closeness and friendship she hadn't expected. And her carefully laid plans go awry. The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady has been compared to the movie Little Miss Sunshine because of the quirky, unusual characters and unexpected situations. Elizabeth Stuckey-French's novel is entertaining, engrossing and hard to more
by Gaby @ Starting Fresh
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