3 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
Eric B. reviewed 24/7 : Living It Up and Doubling Down on
This is an absolute sleeper of a book. Couldnt put it down being a Las Vegas junkie. Martinez gets an advance of 50k dollars to write this book and go to Vegas and bet it all. He has detailed accounts of all casinos, restaurants, shows and other activities that takes place. I couldnt put the book down since i have stayed and gambled at the same casinos he does. He describes the rooms, waitresses and personal encounters in detail. I wish i could have been with him through is once in a lifetime journey. Be sure to read and find out how much money he actually came home with.
From Kirkus Reviews?
Las Vegas, the fastest-growing city in the US, as seen by a skepticaland often funnyjournalist. Martinez, a native of Mexico who has worked as a lawyer and Wall Street Journal reporter, operates from a goofy plot angle that would chill most freelance writers: He committed the whole of his $50,000 advance for this book to researchthat is, to gambling. His sensible wife protests at the outset, Why don't you just write your book about Vegas, but keep the advance? However, Martinez, evidently working from the George Plimpton journalist-as-participant school, presses on, and each chapter closes with a tally of his occasional wins yet usual losses until, four weeks later, his advance has been whittled down to $5,120. Martinez, obviously, could have kept the money and written a whiz-bang book; hes a sharp and witty observer of the passing scene, he has done his homework, and he has a delicious sense of irony, all of which serve his narrative well. Still, the hundreds of hours he logged before the green felt of the gambling tables give him an unusual peg on which to hang his story, which is one of dislocation and weirdness, populated by losers, con artists, and, even more, ordinary folks just looking to get a break. Although they never do, of course, they keep trying in the face of staggering odds. So does Martinez, who finally closes with an admission of defeat after having entertained the delusion he might just make it out with his grubstake intact: The war was over. Any chance of amassing unspeakable riches off this clever boondoggle was now foreclosed, and the finality of that realization was overwhelming. Call it pop sociology, gonzo journalism, or social criticism: It's all good fun.