An easy-going, modest novel about a combination card-&-pool shark, Sky has some of the tension of The Cincinnati Kid and The Hustler but none of their more fabulous qualities. Our new talent, Hoot Campbell, never faces a folk-hero like Minnesota Fats, although he does outwit a cheat named Buttermilk and a ""mechanic"" called Henderson. Hoot has returned to his small hometown after fifteen years to see an old girl friend. He discovers that she has had an illegitimate son by him, who is now a pool hustler, and that she has married a compulsive loser whose poker losses are ruining their marriage. Hoot decides to make her husband Harlow a winner, so he takes him in training for a big game against Buttermilk. Hoot brings out his records, a series of diaries about every big game he's ever played and every big player. The showdown game, as Harlow wins and wins, is fun although the scenes away from the table are strictly cornpone... On the whole, diverting stuff, but the real addict may prefer Scarne's autobiographical The Odds Against Me.