ANY NUMBER CAN PLAY by Edward Harris Heth

ANY NUMBER CAN PLAY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is exciting reading -- but the aftermath is disappointing, there is almost a sense of suspended action, of incompleteness, as one closes the book and knows there is and can be no solution. The story tells of a September night of storm -- inside and out -- as Charley King, big time gambler, owner of an establishment that represents the summit of his dream, and of the dream of those associated with him, loving him, appreciating what he stands for in essential integrity and largeness of vision -- as Charley faces the fact that his days of life are numbered, his personal aspirations unfulfilled. For he has failed to bring happiness to Lon, the wife he worships and who adores him, but cannot compete with the gambling fever which dominates him; and he has failed to bridge the yawning abyss between him and his son, Paul, who is entering young manhood with the brand of shame at his father's profession, and no understanding of the stature of the man himself. On the night of the story, Charley attempts to make the decision to break with his life, to close down, to go to Florida with Lon and seek a new lease on health in the sun. On that night, he receives first the warning that a police raid is imminent. On that night, two strangers nearly break the bank, and only Charley himself, fearless gambler, saves the game. On that night, a summons is served, a summons that means the end -- and that only Charley can handle. And so -- the game goes on. The author conveys the contagious fascination -- he draws his main characters in sure strokes, though some of his minor characters are shadowy. He falls -- in building the conflict between Charley and Paul into a vital factor. But the feel of Charley's place is the dominant atmosphere of the book, a book that will find a male audience chiefly. A Harper ""Find"", and will be extensively promoted as such.

Pub Date: Oct. 17th, 1945
Publisher: Harper