A Man Walks into a Bank

(or What to Expect When You're Expecting a Bank Robbery)

Fiction - Humor/Comedy
321 Pages
Reviewed on 03/18/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Lucky Stevens lives in a quaint little continent known by locals as North America. Born without teeth, only four chambers in his heart, and an inability to walk, Stevens has gone on to accomplish very little. He is a strong supporter of asceticism and vegetarianism (for others). A Man Walks into a Bank is his fifth and final book. Until he writes another.

Book also available as an audiobook

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

A Man Walks Into a Bank is a crime comedy-drama novel by Lucky Stevens. Ellis Coldwater is part of a five-man crew that plans to rob a bank. Led by a hardened criminal named Salty, the operation involves kidnapping the bank manager, George Larkin, and forcing him to open the vault by keeping his wife, Wendy, hostage. While the rest of the crew is busy robbing the bank, Ellis is tasked with babysitting Wendy. However, things don't go according to plan as betrayal ensues, proving the age-old adage "there is no honor amongst thieves" true. Meanwhile, Ellis and Wendy begin a passionate romance. But things get complicated when multiple attempts are made on Wendy's life. Now, Ellis must reluctantly undertake one last job to help Wendy cover the enormous loans George took out in her name.

Author Lucky Stevens' droll humor makes A Man Walks Into a Bank an absolute riot to read from start to finish. With colorful characters and a completely unpredictable plot, Stevens' tale draws you in, immersing you with clever twists and turns, and keeping you entertained all the way through with witty dialogue and some truly laugh-out-loud scenes. There is not a single dull moment in the entire book. Both the main protagonists, Ellis and Wendy, have vibrant personalities that pop out of the pages. Their relationship dynamic drives the plot forward, and every scene involving the two of them together is a joy to read. If you're itching for a hilarious crime-comedy novel, I suggest A Man Walks Into a Bank.

K.C. Finn

A Man Walks into a Bank (or What to Expect When You're Expecting a Bank Robbery) is a work of fiction in the humor, action, and adventure subgenres. It is intended for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Lucky Stevens. As the title suggests, this amusing and zany comedy novel takes readers on a rollercoaster ride when the erudite and charismatic bank robber Ellis Coldwater collides with the shy and retiring Wendy Larkin. As this unlikely couple comes together through a bizarre set of criminal circumstances, a unique connection blossoms. But whose way of life is the true key to happiness? Or is there perhaps happiness to be found somewhere in between these two extremes?

One of the features I enjoyed most about this humorous novel was its characterization and dialogue, into which author Lucky Stevens has clearly put a lot of work and thought. Every character of the work leaped off the page from their earliest lines in full living color, giving a clear indication of their personality, intent, and the kinds of humor that they would throw into the mix. Whilst I found some moments of the plot a little too farfetched for me personally, plenty of readers are sure to love the zippy humor of the piece and the wacky circumstances that unfold in true comedy caper fashion, which certainly help the pace of the novel to rocket towards its interesting conclusion. Overall, I would recommend A Man Walks into a Bank for readers seeking light entertainment and a whole lot of fun.

Grant Leishman

A Man Walks into a Bank… (Or What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Bank Robber) by Lucky Stevens is a clever little novel that takes the reader on an amusing journey through some of life’s questions and those chance encounters that can change our lives forever. When Wendy Larkin, a pretty young woman whose husband just happens to be the manager of a local bank, is held hostage by Ellis Coldwater, whilst his comrades rob her husband’s bank, there is an instant connection between the two. Can Ellis, as laid-back as they come, who takes whatever life throws at him with a smile, and Wendy, a somewhat naïve, conservative young woman, possibly have a future together and, more importantly, whose lifestyle will they embrace for the future; his or hers? The author takes us on a sometimes hilarious but always fascinating journey through the laughter, the tears, and the trials of this unusual couple as they try to build a future that doesn’t include Wendy’s husband, Ellis’ former guardian, or jail time.

Writing comedy is never easy and it is a fine line between humor and cliché, yet author Lucky Stevens more often than not manages to achieve the correct balance in A Man Walks into a Bank. Rather than side-splittingly funny, this novel keeps the reader smiling and chuckling softly at points, which in today’s serious world is a rare commodity, and kudos to the author for achieving that. I particularly liked some of the plot twists which keep the entire narrative fresh and interesting, outside of the humor inherent in the tale. One of the highlights of the story is the wide, weird, and wonderful collection of characters that represent Ellis’ neighbors and friends at his apartment block. The development of Wendy as she comes out of her shell in Ellis’ company is beautifully written and thoroughly enjoyable. This is a harmless bit of fun and farce at a time when we need all the smiles we can conjure up, so I can definitely highly recommend this read to anyone, especially if you’re feeling down in the dumps right now.

Diana Lopez

In A Man Walks into a Bank, the action begins from the very first chapter. Here, something as ordinary as a breakfast or a casual conversation turns into a whole story. Although it is a comedy, the main characters have a deep background that is easy to empathize with, and their motivations are strong. Everything is intertwined: crime, betrayal, love, and the search for happiness. We learn so much about each character that it ceases to be clear who are the aggressors and who are the victims. Each twist in the plot occurs so naturally that the story always stays interesting. It is a superb book, highly entertaining. Lucky Stevens shares a wonderful story with charismatic characters in extraordinary situations.

The narration is very enjoyable; it feels like when a friend tells you a story and that makes it very easy to follow. The sense of irony is used in a nice way and the use of analogies is very funny. The writing gives enough detail to put the scenes together in our minds clearly. The characters are clever, with opposing personalities that complement each other perfectly while maintaining their individuality. A Man Walks into a Bank is good because of the fluid narrative. This book is not just comedy; it mixes a little bit of everything, always moving in the same direction. Lucky Stevens has a very creative mind. This was a very encouraging read; to remember to look at things in a positive way and that we never run out of options.

Delene Vrey

A Man Walks into a Bank by Lucky Stevens is the story of one professional bank robber, a nervous young hostage, and their love story, including many broken dishes and Darth Vader moments. Ellis Coldwater is very laid back and is also known as Number Three. Wendy Larkin is the nervous wife of the manager/owner of the bank that Ellis's gang is robbing. George is just trying to get rid of his wife. Wendy teams up with an even more nervous friend and takes Ellis on the most interesting adventure. Robbing a bank will never be the same.

Lucky Stevens makes many promises in the blurb of A Man Walks into a Bank, and he sure delivers. The book could easily have been named Two Robberies and a Medical Degree. Ellis and Wendy make the most interesting characters, supported by the witty and snappy dialogue. You never know where the story is headed, but you get to the final destination with surprise and a tummy ache from all the laughing. Lucky Stevens gives us just what he promised; it is entertaining, annotated for your pleasure, and definitely humorous. The story itself is straightforward, although it makes many twists and turns that throw you off the ideas you have. There are, as promised, many annotations to clarify that which you should have known and many, many run-on lines that do make sense in the end. Stevens does well to mention when you are reading the longest sentence in the book/chapter and carefully describing the exact emotions and reactions that the reader needs to be aware of. In other words, the book is very entertaining and funny. I would really recommend it if you are a fan of P.G Wodehouse, even Jerome K. Jerome and their style of matter-of-fact comedy. It has been a while since I had to put down a book because I was laughing so much I had to take a breath. Well done.