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The Hustler (W&N Modern Classics)

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A classic hardboiled tale of a beautiful talent for life in smoky poolrooms Fast Eddie Felson has a reputation as a pool hustler to be feared, but his ambitions go far beyond taking small-town punks for a few bucks here and there. He has the talent to make big money, but he soon learns that it takes more than natural ability to become a real winner. He heads to Chicago A classic hardboiled tale of a beautiful talent for life in smoky poolrooms Fast Eddie Felson has a reputation as a pool hustler to be feared, but his ambitions go far beyond taking small-town punks for a few bucks here and there. He has the talent to make big money, but he soon learns that it takes more than natural ability to become a real winner. He heads to Chicago to test himself against the legendary Minnesota Fats in more than forty-hours of high-stakes pool. Can he find the will to overcome his failings and fulfil his potential as the best there is?


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A classic hardboiled tale of a beautiful talent for life in smoky poolrooms Fast Eddie Felson has a reputation as a pool hustler to be feared, but his ambitions go far beyond taking small-town punks for a few bucks here and there. He has the talent to make big money, but he soon learns that it takes more than natural ability to become a real winner. He heads to Chicago A classic hardboiled tale of a beautiful talent for life in smoky poolrooms Fast Eddie Felson has a reputation as a pool hustler to be feared, but his ambitions go far beyond taking small-town punks for a few bucks here and there. He has the talent to make big money, but he soon learns that it takes more than natural ability to become a real winner. He heads to Chicago to test himself against the legendary Minnesota Fats in more than forty-hours of high-stakes pool. Can he find the will to overcome his failings and fulfil his potential as the best there is?

30 review for The Hustler (W&N Modern Classics)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    “Fast” Eddie Felson, a brilliant young pool hustler, travels from California to Chicago to take on the best player in the country: Minnesota Fats. Will the young up and comer beat the old pro? Of course - there’s no story otherwise! And that’s about my only criticism of Walter Tevis’ The Hustler: the predictability of the story. I’ve been trying to pin down why I didn’t outright love this book like The Queen’s Gambit and I think that’s the only aspect of it that sticks in my brain craw: you can “Fast” Eddie Felson, a brilliant young pool hustler, travels from California to Chicago to take on the best player in the country: Minnesota Fats. Will the young up and comer beat the old pro? Of course - there’s no story otherwise! And that’s about my only criticism of Walter Tevis’ The Hustler: the predictability of the story. I’ve been trying to pin down why I didn’t outright love this book like The Queen’s Gambit and I think that’s the only aspect of it that sticks in my brain craw: you can see the narrative structure too nakedly and Tevis doesn’t throw any curveballs to make you sit up and pay attention. Eddie metaphorically falls, then we gotta wait for him to recover and finally defeat the dude at the end. And Tevis’ writing style doesn’t lend itself to simply blitzing the chapters, though that’s not a criticism in itself - he writes beautifully - just that getting through particularly that middle part made it easy for me to put the book down. I’m realising more and more that the most important part of fiction is how a story’s told rather than the content of the story itself - but that doesn’t mean the story isn’t important either. Otherwise, I loved The Hustler - Walter Tevis does it again! Tevis worked briefly in a pool hall and he really captures the atmosphere of those places where he must’ve seen real life Eddie Felsons come through and hustle the locals. The scenes where Eddie’s playing pool are genuinely gripping - like in The Queen’s Gambit, even though I couldn’t mentally picture what was happening, I got a good sense of what the characters were experiencing to understand the meaning of the scene. And, while the story arc is familiar and unoriginal, I enjoyed seeing Eddie get back on his feet and build up towards the rematch with Fats. His learning what it takes to beat someone higher up than him in his profession is actually quite inspiring - in a sense, the novel works indirectly as a fictional self-help manual, urging you to dig deep to find the strength and confidence to keep pushing forwards, overcome obstacles, etc.! The characters are great - Tevis never lets you know them too well so their behaviour can surprise you. That works especially well with Eddie and Sarah’s romance, which was moving and convincing for being realistic and very undramatic, and Bert, Eddie’s manager, with that scene at the end. It’s amazing that The Hustler is Tevis’ first novel because it’s so well-written and displays such confident storytelling - what a talented writer he was! It’s not as flawless as The Queen’s Gambit but it is another excellent Walter Tevis novel - and I can’t wait to read the sequel, The Color of Money!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Toby

    “When the bottles hit they tinkled and jangled noisily; but Eddie did not hear them because of the overriding - yet distant, detached, far-off - sound of his own screaming.” I saw The Hustler for the first time recently, I love the atmosphere and the mood that drifts from nihilism to hope, Paul Newman struggling with the anger and hatred inside of himself in between long silent brooding takes. And I knew within the first chapter of reading the words of Walter Tevis that all of it stemmed from her “When the bottles hit they tinkled and jangled noisily; but Eddie did not hear them because of the overriding - yet distant, detached, far-off - sound of his own screaming.” I saw The Hustler for the first time recently, I love the atmosphere and the mood that drifts from nihilism to hope, Paul Newman struggling with the anger and hatred inside of himself in between long silent brooding takes. And I knew within the first chapter of reading the words of Walter Tevis that all of it stemmed from here. “We go from disappointment to disappointment, from hope to denial, from expectation to surrender, as we grow older, thinking or coming to think that what was wrong was the wanting, so intense it hurt us, and believing or coming to believe that hope was our mistake and expectation our error, and that everything the more we want it the more difficult the having it seems to be.” This comes from the work of Alfred Hayes and it could quite easily have been written about Fast Eddie and his companions on the outskirts of society but at the heart of pool hustling in Chicago. The subject matter is treated without hysteria, without glamour, nobody really attempts to demonstrate that there's a better or more moral life out there somewhere, like the very best books of its kind there is no other world for these characters, you hustle pool or you stop living it's that simple and Tevis doesn't think so little of his readers that he feels the need to tack on a happy ending either. This is an elegant, beautifully written novel with flawed, fully realised characters, there's no good guys, there's no bad guys, there's just guys. And Sarah.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Seccia

    The Hustler is pretty close to perfect. And better for your morale than a half-dozen self help books, chased with a handful of Xanax. When I started reading it I had twenty dollars to my name, now I have five (the book wasn't free), and all the secrets to the universe. "It's always nice to feel the risks fall off your back. And winning; that can be heavy on your back too, like a monkey. You drop that load too when you find yourself an excuse. Then, afterward, all you got to do is learn to feel so The Hustler is pretty close to perfect. And better for your morale than a half-dozen self help books, chased with a handful of Xanax. When I started reading it I had twenty dollars to my name, now I have five (the book wasn't free), and all the secrets to the universe. "It's always nice to feel the risks fall off your back. And winning; that can be heavy on your back too, like a monkey. You drop that load too when you find yourself an excuse. Then, afterward, all you got to do is learn to feel sorry for yourself - and lots of people learn to get their kicks that way. It's one of the best indoor sports, feeling sorry." Bert's face broke into an active grin. "A sport enjoyed by all. Especially the born losers." "Fats," he said, grinning, feeling good, all the way, "let's you and me play a game of straight pool."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ben Loory

    so far i've read three walter tevis books: this, Mockingbird, and The Man Who Fell to Earth, and i don't think there's been a word out of place in any of them. incredible. so far i've read three walter tevis books: this, Mockingbird, and The Man Who Fell to Earth, and i don't think there's been a word out of place in any of them. incredible.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jim Cherry

    You probably know the story of “The Hustler” from the 1961 Paul Newman movie of the same name. It’s the tale of small time pool hustler Eddie Felson who wants to move from the small time to the big time by playing the best pool player, Minnesota Fats. He loses to Fats, falls for a woman, gets his thumbs broken, is taught how to win by gambler Bert, and has a rematch with Fats. It’s all there, the pleasure comes in the prose of Tevis’ writing. The prose is sepia tinged as it should be for the worl You probably know the story of “The Hustler” from the 1961 Paul Newman movie of the same name. It’s the tale of small time pool hustler Eddie Felson who wants to move from the small time to the big time by playing the best pool player, Minnesota Fats. He loses to Fats, falls for a woman, gets his thumbs broken, is taught how to win by gambler Bert, and has a rematch with Fats. It’s all there, the pleasure comes in the prose of Tevis’ writing. The prose is sepia tinged as it should be for the world it’s conjuring for the reader. Tevis uses highly descriptive language, he‘s painting the words on thickly. I recently read Tevis’ “The Man Who Fell to Earth” which was written only about five years after “The Hustler” and he doesn’t use the thickly descriptive adjectives as he does in “Hustler.” It’s obviously a choice Tevis made in the writing. The conclusion of “The Hustler” is a little more straightforward than the movie, and leaves you a bit more in limbo, because that’s where Tevis’ leaves Eddie, in limbo with Sarah. Are they made for each other? Are they both locked into their “contract of depravity” and they can only be with each other? After the second match with Minnesota Fats has Bert sunk his claws far enough into Eddie to keep him hustling for him? “Walter Tevis’ “The Hustler” was an instant classic. It received critical acclaim at it’s publication and of course being made into a movie. Tevis’ may have been a bit out of step with his contemporaries in incorporating a more traditional writing style than Jack Kerouac or The Beats but Tevis’ style holds up after almost sixty years and still reads as freshly as the day it was written.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carole Morin

    Carole Morin, author of Spying on Strange Men, reviews the fiction of Walter Tevis Paul Newman was told he wasn't sexy enough to be an actor. A rich man's son, he didn't have the street cred of Brando and Dean who studied at Lee Strasberg's Actors' Studio around the same time. His performance in The Hustler makes a mockery of Strasberg's judgment. The Hustler, Walter Tevis' first novel, is exceptional not only in being a brilliant book but the movie based on it is also great. Three of Tevis's 4 no Carole Morin, author of Spying on Strange Men, reviews the fiction of Walter Tevis Paul Newman was told he wasn't sexy enough to be an actor. A rich man's son, he didn't have the street cred of Brando and Dean who studied at Lee Strasberg's Actors' Studio around the same time. His performance in The Hustler makes a mockery of Strasberg's judgment. The Hustler, Walter Tevis' first novel, is exceptional not only in being a brilliant book but the movie based on it is also great. Three of Tevis's 4 novels are movies. The Hustler is so good it's almost as good as the book. Its sequel The Colour of Money, an uncharacteristically bland movie directed by Scorsese, bears no resemblance to the emotionally complex novel apart from the Eddie Felson character, played by Paul Newman in both movies. Every rock star has a movie role in him, or wants to. Mick Jagger's was Performance. David Bowie's The Man Who Fell to Earth. If Performance was the final death knell of an era of peace and love and the beggining of a decade of violence and nihilism, The Man Who Fell to Earth was, like Bowie, a reflection of its times from a mirror that's one step ahead. If some readers come to Walter Tevis via the Nic Roeg movie that can only be a good thing. Queen's Gambit, about an alcoholic young chess genius, is the only one that's not a movie. The main theme of Tevis's work is obsession. His own alcoholism is reflected in Newton's, but it's an imaginative if not quite romantic self-destruction. It's impossible to read one of Walter Tevis's books without wanting to read the other three. Is there Life on Mars? And if so, are they playing pool?

  7. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Polansky

    Loved this. Loved it. The perfect antidote to the last five. The story of Fast Eddie's attempt to become the greatest pool player in America, a hill that he must climb over the corpse of Minnesota Fats (the names, right? The Names!) Fast, sharply written, a meditation on, basically, the Will to Power as expressed over a pool table. The character sketches are divine, I spent a lot of time reading it and laughing loudly in bars. Definitely check this out.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chadwick

    An absolutely perfect novel. Tevis is a writer who makes me go "Holy shit, did you fucking see what he just did there? That was bad-to-the-ass!" Seriously, a textbook about how to write a perfect novel. I read it in three hours.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Roberto

    Such great writing.. precise, hardboiled, real-sounding dialogue and vivid, sad characters. It's been years since I've seen the movie but I couldn't help but visualise Paul Newman while reading this, he just nailed that part.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chrisl

    I like reading Tevis. Have read his chess book several times. The Queen's Gambit Great Movie, too. *** I like reading Tevis. Have read his chess book several times. The Queen's Gambit Great Movie, too. ***

  11. 4 out of 5

    Darren

    Excellent character study, as "Fast" Eddie Felson progresses from cocky small-time hustler to... what exactly? learning about himself, general life-lessons/priorities and what it takes to succeed/win. Although the details of the game-play itself are executed superbly, this is not really about pool at all, much more of a pure human drama.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    For some reason that I'm not aware of at the time of purchase, I've only been reading first novels these days. First, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, followed by Less Than Zero, on to The Secret History and finally this one, Tevis's first, inspired by his working at a poolhall. I'm not sure why I've been subconsciously doing this, but it must mean something. And all in all, every work is about as different in every way as possible, as just as good as the next. I have to agree with a former reviewer For some reason that I'm not aware of at the time of purchase, I've only been reading first novels these days. First, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, followed by Less Than Zero, on to The Secret History and finally this one, Tevis's first, inspired by his working at a poolhall. I'm not sure why I've been subconsciously doing this, but it must mean something. And all in all, every work is about as different in every way as possible, as just as good as the next. I have to agree with a former reviewer (Chadwick Crawford) that The Hustler is a guideline for how to write a novel: simple, elegant, ambiguous characterization, surprising shifts, and thoroughly digestible in a short span of time. I am biased, however, as the film version (which is a little more frenetic and painful - i.e. the much more menacing figure of Bert as played by George C. Scott, and Sarah's fate) is probably one of the finest movies of the era. Also, I have this weird love of old poolhalls (a disappearing place of ritual smoke, shadiness and drab lighting), and so I would enjoy this book even if it were very, very bad, just for the fact that it conjures a place - no, it consumes a place - that I falsely reminisce having been a part of. But this is a grimy book about grimy people who somehow manage (some of them) to transcend a simple game. I don't think I've ever read a book whose overt narrative and contextual metaphors are so flawlessly combined. Eddie Felson's phrase is the aptest here: "Fast and loose."

  13. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    "I've heard that pool can be a dirty game," she said. He put the comb back in his pocket. "People say that," he said. "I've heard people say that myself." "You're being comical," she said, trying to make her voice sound dry. And then, "Is it dirty?" ... "yes, it's dirty." He felt of his face, which needed a shave. "Anyway you look at it, it's dirty." "It was like a whorehouse Saturday night and payday in the mines; the day the war was over and Christmas. He could feel his palms sweating for the weigh "I've heard that pool can be a dirty game," she said. He put the comb back in his pocket. "People say that," he said. "I've heard people say that myself." "You're being comical," she said, trying to make her voice sound dry. And then, "Is it dirty?" ... "yes, it's dirty." He felt of his face, which needed a shave. "Anyway you look at it, it's dirty." "It was like a whorehouse Saturday night and payday in the mines; the day the war was over and Christmas. He could feel his palms sweating for the weight of his cue." Anyone looking to read this account of a pool hustlers life and be uplifted, should probably look elsewhere. I found this novel a little on the depressing side and abandoned it about half way through. However, eventually i returned to it and i'm glad i did. Anyone who's read and enjoyed the likes of "Last Exit to Brooklyn" by Hubert Selby, Jr. will know what i mean when i say i enjoyed this, but found the overall 'feeling' of it to be depressing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Piewacket

    From a pool players perspective (and I have played competitively for over 15 years) this book has amazing insight into the mind of a player. I enjoyed it immensely as well as the follow-up "The Color of Money". This one is a little different from the movie version (less about the love story and more about the game), while the later bares no resemblance to the book other than the title. I think you can enjoy them both even if you don't play pool, even more so if you have ever competed at any sport From a pool players perspective (and I have played competitively for over 15 years) this book has amazing insight into the mind of a player. I enjoyed it immensely as well as the follow-up "The Color of Money". This one is a little different from the movie version (less about the love story and more about the game), while the later bares no resemblance to the book other than the title. I think you can enjoy them both even if you don't play pool, even more so if you have ever competed at any sport... and yes pool is a sport. If you don't believe that then lets get together and play some for money. ;)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pat Cannon

    This is one of my favorite movies but I had never read the book. Walter Tevis had a remarkable understanding of how pool hustling worked. I would recommend reading this even if you have seen the movie because there are many details in the book that will enrich your understanding of what motivated Fast Eddie Felson. Except for a few dated references, this is a story that could be told in a modern setting with very little change to the plot.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mo

    Ok, I hate pool, see? My Dad hustled pool and we ended up with mysterious appliances that he said "fell off of a truck". And a lot of Keebler's cookies. But I digress: Walter Tevis is a genius novellist. Every word so precisely chosen, so put in just the right place, the plot effortless and the dialogue just perfect. Characters? Don't even get me started.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Chris Gager

    Easy to confuse reading the book with seeing the movie. I'm not sure which I did first. I do remember the (almost)last line of the movie(George C. Scott as Bert): "You owe me money!"... Date read is approximate.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sharad

    Loved it! Play to win. A short novel about a pool player trying to become a great one. I thought it was going to be the typical story but it kept surprising me. It transported me to the pool saloons and made me care for the protagonist and his quest for self improvement.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Genert

    For me, the book is about winning. It’s about deciding to win, finding a way to win, and about characteristics of human being that separate winners from losers - they are lot different than you might think.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Black_hammer

    The eye opening book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alain Van Rijn

    The vibe you get from this book is unparalled. It simultaneously feels like it is written for children, yet contains advanced spiritual truths

  22. 4 out of 5

    DROPPING OUT

    Absolutely the quintessential novel about pool and the pool once hustler, written in its heyday. Gritty prose typical of the era. Great ending. Once I started, I did not want to put it down - Read it in under four hours. I think I saw the movie some fifty years ago that starred Jackie Gleason. I do not think I saw the sequel, "The Color of Money." As both are considered "classics," I gotta checked them out too. For those who yearn for the America of the 1950s, here's a sample, about the anti-hero, Absolutely the quintessential novel about pool and the pool once hustler, written in its heyday. Gritty prose typical of the era. Great ending. Once I started, I did not want to put it down - Read it in under four hours. I think I saw the movie some fifty years ago that starred Jackie Gleason. I do not think I saw the sequel, "The Color of Money." As both are considered "classics," I gotta checked them out too. For those who yearn for the America of the 1950s, here's a sample, about the anti-hero, Eddie Felson, near the end of the book, buying some new clothes, "He bought carefully, enjoying it. He liked the power over all the rows of suits, racks of ties, the fine wool, silk and cotton that having a great deal of money gave him. He bought a dark gray suit, single-breasted and narrow at the shoulder, a pair of gray slacks and a pair of tan ones. Then he bought a half-dozen shirts, another half-dozen socks, underwear, and finally two pairs of shoes. Everything was of the best quality.... [First line, next paragraph} It came to almost three hundred dollars ..."

  23. 5 out of 5

    Warren Stalley

    When ambitious Fast Eddie Felson rolls into Chicago his one aim is to beat one of the top pool players at Benningtons namely Minnesota Fats. But in this classic novel by Walter Tevis the young pool hustler goes through a kind of personal hell to reach his journey’s end. At his lowest point he meets the tragic, noble Sarah and their rocky relationship is the cornerstone of the novel counterpointing the many scenes of pool games with a strong sense of emotion. Although overshadowed by the classic When ambitious Fast Eddie Felson rolls into Chicago his one aim is to beat one of the top pool players at Benningtons namely Minnesota Fats. But in this classic novel by Walter Tevis the young pool hustler goes through a kind of personal hell to reach his journey’s end. At his lowest point he meets the tragic, noble Sarah and their rocky relationship is the cornerstone of the novel counterpointing the many scenes of pool games with a strong sense of emotion. Although overshadowed by the classic Paul Newman film the book is actually much richer and more detailed, showing Eddie as a cold, selfish character who treats Sarah unfairly but tragically doesn’t know any other way. Even outside the pool hall he is a hustler, while the dialogue crackles with tension and determination. To summarise this is an essential novel for any fan of the film or curious reader who is seeking something vintage but by no means dated. Rereading The Hustler again after such a long time I still found the book an absolute classic. Enjoy.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Though I've never seen the film adaptation of The Hustler, I suspect (or at least hope) it's considerably better than the book. The story is somewhat interesting, but all of the characters are fairly one-dimensional and I really disliked the protagonist. The writing style is very spare, somewhat like Steinbeck or Hemingway, but not nearly of that caliber. At very rare moments, it has the almost poetic feel of good Hemingway, but it's, mostly unremarkable or even bad. The author seems to be more Though I've never seen the film adaptation of The Hustler, I suspect (or at least hope) it's considerably better than the book. The story is somewhat interesting, but all of the characters are fairly one-dimensional and I really disliked the protagonist. The writing style is very spare, somewhat like Steinbeck or Hemingway, but not nearly of that caliber. At very rare moments, it has the almost poetic feel of good Hemingway, but it's, mostly unremarkable or even bad. The author seems to be more concerned with telling the story he's trying to tell than with taking care that it's written well. If that story and characters were more compelling, he could have pulled this off. As it was, I didn't dislike it enough to stop reading it (however, that's largely a function of how short it was) but can't recommend it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    This is a phenomenal novel, especially for this author's first novel. It should be considered an American classic . . . one of the best novels of the 20th century It's so unfortunate this gem is not well=known. Of course, I did not discover it until late in life. I have read one other title by Mr Tevis, The Queen's Gambit, which I found equally amazing. The author's style is perfect for his subject and his protagonist. Further, both books provide sufficient detail about the conceit of the protago This is a phenomenal novel, especially for this author's first novel. It should be considered an American classic . . . one of the best novels of the 20th century It's so unfortunate this gem is not well=known. Of course, I did not discover it until late in life. I have read one other title by Mr Tevis, The Queen's Gambit, which I found equally amazing. The author's style is perfect for his subject and his protagonist. Further, both books provide sufficient detail about the conceit of the protagonist's passion for a game. In this book, of course, that game is pool. It almost become another character in the story. One further point: I found i fascinating to apply Joseph Campbell's Hero With a Thousands faces to this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Curran

    A seedy quest story, and a meditation on winning and losing, executed as elegantly and efficiently as an eight ball slipping into a corner pocket. It is in the descriptions of the pool games that the writing really comes alive. Eddie Felson's forty hour stint against Minnesota Fats – all fourteen pages of it – is perfectly pitched and paced, so vividly realised that you feel you could be stood alongside our 'hero' in Bennington's, experiencing his every high and low. Unsurprisingly given Tevis's A seedy quest story, and a meditation on winning and losing, executed as elegantly and efficiently as an eight ball slipping into a corner pocket. It is in the descriptions of the pool games that the writing really comes alive. Eddie Felson's forty hour stint against Minnesota Fats – all fourteen pages of it – is perfectly pitched and paced, so vividly realised that you feel you could be stood alongside our 'hero' in Bennington's, experiencing his every high and low. Unsurprisingly given Tevis's personal history, it reads like a heady binge followed by a brutal hangover. Really excellent stuff. This is my second book by the author and I want to read everything he wrote.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lars Guthrie

    A classic by an under-recognized writer. Makes me want to investigate more of Tevis. A truly American story about a man trying to invent himself--'to think of himself as an insurance salesman or a shoe clerk would have been only absurd'--driving across America's open spaces, living outside the law, but within his own code of honor. And where does he end up? Not too far away from the insurance salesman and the shoe clerk: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." 'The Great Gatsby' placed in The A classic by an under-recognized writer. Makes me want to investigate more of Tevis. A truly American story about a man trying to invent himself--'to think of himself as an insurance salesman or a shoe clerk would have been only absurd'--driving across America's open spaces, living outside the law, but within his own code of honor. And where does he end up? Not too far away from the insurance salesman and the shoe clerk: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." 'The Great Gatsby' placed in The Valley of Ashes. Much bleaker and more real than the movie.

  28. 5 out of 5

    William Boyle

    Can't believe I haven't read this until now. I've always loved the movie, and I've had a swell pocket-sized Dell paperback of the book hanging around for about fifteen years. Finally picked it up two days ago and tore through it. A perfect, beautiful little novel. Loaded with great characters, but Sarah, the alcoholic grad student, might be my favorite--She has a picture of a sad clown up on her wall and that's tough to top.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chris O'kill

    What a fantastic book. I'd read the Color of Money first and had to read this one too. Atmospheric, gritty and brought the tables and poolrooms to life. I know why the likes of the mighty Lawrence Block enjoyed his books. Just a shame there aren't that many.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kilean

    All of his books are excellent.

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