THE BIG PADDLE by Robin with Sidney Levine Moore


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The only thing missing from this slick con-man revenge caper is the charm that any respectable con-man hero should exude; and that deficiency of star quality will no doubt be remedied in the inevitable movie version. The faceless hero in need of some Newman-Redford lovability is Cliff Thompson, who watches his wheeler-dealer Dad die of a stroke immediately after being cheated--at cards--out of his hard-won, precious mineral leases. Like father, like son, so Cliff grows up through World War II to be an even wheelier dealer than Dad: a golf hustler, a poker shark, a horserace handicapper, a dice-loader, a prizefight-fixer, and a ladies' man to boot. Thus, once he gets out of the army and acquires a sidekick, Cliff has all the talents he needs to execute a complicated revenge scheme--buying back all those mineral rights from such shady types as the Greek, the Turk, and the Ganoff brothers--a scheme that will bankrupt the cheating creep and turn the cheat's own daughter against him. The gamut of gambling scams and the fast-changing, glossy locales (Miami, New Orleans, Pittsburgh?) will transfer to film with no effort at all, and, though it's rather disarming to find the crude Mr. Moore so muted, there's really not much reason to spoil the movie's suspense by reading this lively but charmless scenario.

Pub Date: May 25th, 1978
Publisher: Arbor House