Van Peebles is an unusual fellow. A black man who made at least an underground name for himself in Hollywood and on Broadway, he's now an options trader on the American Stock Exchange. The author's film and stage productions were notably unsentimental and jocose; the same holds true for his approach to the volatile options marketplace. For his opening, the author does a number of Wall Street's penchant for complication, which he identifies as ""the mists of moolah."" Although careful to acknowledge both the complexities and risks involved in puts and calls, Van Peebles makes a generally attractive case for the rewards that can be gained. In his brash opinion, the chance to get in on some action with a short bankroll ranks on a par with leverage and limited financial liability--the benefits cited by most authorities. Notwithstanding his book's sassy title, Van Peebles confines participation advisories to the purchase of exchange-listed options on common stock. (He reviews, without recommending, options on financial instruments, indexes, and other underlying assets; also accorded short shrift are advanced trading strategies--spreads, straddles, strangles--and other exotica.) Frequently using down-home analogies to make important points, the author offers an A-to-Z course on his chosen comer of the options market, whose coverage ranges from transaction mechanics and the basics of securities analysis through selection of a broker and potential tax consequences. Van Peebles is no threat to Gary Gastineau, whose The Stock Options Manual (1975) remains the standard reference for this venturesome sector of the investment world. Nonetheless, his often impudent but prudent text is an excellent choice for rookies seeking a like-it-is introduction to a fast game.