Titanic Thompson: The Man Who Bet on Everything
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Capturing the spirit of a freewheeling era, this rollicking biography brings to life the gambler-hero who inspired Guys and Dolls.
Born in a log cabin in the Ozarks, Alvin "Titanic" Thompson (1892-1974) traveled with his golf clubs, a .45 revolver, and a suitcase full of cash. He won and lost millions playing cards, dice, golf, pool, and dangerous games of his own invention. He killed five men and married five women, each one a teenager on her wedding day. He ruled New York's underground craps games in the 1920s and was Damon Runyon's model for slick-talking Sky Masterson. Dominating the links in the pre-PGA Tour years, Thompson may have been the greatest golfer of his time, teeing up with Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Lee Trevino, and Ray Floyd. He also traded card tricks with Houdini, conned Al Capone, lost a million to Minnesota Fats and then teamed up with Fats and won it all back. A terrific read for anyone who has ever laid a bet, Titanic Thompson recaptures the colorful times of a singular figure: America's original road gambler.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
Happy I'm finished
This was certainly an interesting look at 20th century history's sumbags. The individuals included in this story represent what is the worst in the human condition. Guys like Titanic are the ones to keep away from. Keep your eyes wide open as there is a scam in front of you. It's was a good read for this reason alone.
Mr Cook paints a picture of life in the early 1900's up to and including the '60's. That background helped the reader understand how a character like Titanic could do what he did.
Some of the story seems unbelievable, and probably isn't true, but even if half of it is factual, it's a hell of a story and a fun read.
If you have ever played poker or golf
You will not be able to put this book down. I can't wait till they make the movie. If anyone could draw to an inside straight or make a putt to win the Calcutta he was your man. He was a cheat and a scoundrel. Patricia Highsmith would have loved "The Talented Mr. Thompson". He would have given Mr. Ripely a run for his money.
- Category: Biographies & Memoirs
- Published:Nov 22, 2010
- Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
- Seller: W. W. Norton
- Print Length: 248 Pages
- Language: English