His book sometimes too detailed for its own good, Blecha gets the allure of the game and the characters populating its...

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THE ALMOST ENTIRELY TRUE STORY OF THE WORLD SERIES OF POKER

The end-all, be-all history of the World Series of Poker, whether you like it or not.

Once confined to bachelors’ apartments, men’s clubs and dingy backrooms, poker is now, with all the websites and cable shows reveling in its alternately dull and dramatic minutiae, as popular as the Las Vegas Strip itself. The Series began in 1970 as a publicity stunt: Nick “The Greek” Dandalos, who had supposedly broken every East Coast roller, including 1919 World Series fixer Arnold Rothstein, got Horseshoe owner Benny Binion to host a poker game with the highest stakes in history. From then on, year after year, the Horseshoe was home to an annual gathering of poker’s dark stars, the eccentric natures of whom provide most of what is worthwhile in Grotenstein and Reback’s intermittently entertaining book. Best of the lot is Amarillo Slim, whose prodigious talent was matched only by his outfits and habit of taking absolutely any kind of bet (he once bet $37,500 that a fly would land on a particular sugar cube), and was the inspiration for Kenny Rogers’s song “The Gambler.” Binion himself made for a good story, too: A Texas roughneck, he killed two men before being run out of the state by a sheriff who couldn’t be bribed. Though they keep card-play analysis to a minimum, the authors’ recording of each year’s tournament may prove less than thrilling to the non-obsessed. As the years pile up, the Series grows bigger, ESPN starts broadcasting it and the tables of shady old pros start getting replaced by young suburban kids who learned to play online. As of 2006, the whole operation is being moved to the Rio, just off the Strip.

His book sometimes too detailed for its own good, Blecha gets the allure of the game and the characters populating its darker fringes.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-312-34835-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2005

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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