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24/7: Living it Up and Doubling Down in the New Las Vegas Hardcover – November 9, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; 1st edition (November 9, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375501819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375501814
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,696,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Perhaps the most fun of a bushel of books about the "new" Las Vegas, 24/7 is as surreal and addictive as a hot game of blackjack at 4 a.m. In this first-person chronicle of a month in Las Vegas, Andrés Martinez whirls through casinos and hotels with his $50,000 book advance, taking notes on characters, nightclubs, and hotel lobbies between wild betting sprees at the blackjack table or roulette wheel.

Part of what makes 24/7 enjoyable is the fact that Martinez is no down-and-out gambler, but a former lawyer with an Ivy League pedigree whose main vice seems to be an addiction to Diet Coke. He takes to his exploits with the intoxication of someone released from dull routine, without ever falling down on the job. As a result, he's never too delirious to note the weirdest details of this desert mirage. It's a city "where buildings themselves perform," lined with such features as a Jules Verne theme park, erupting volcanoes, and battling pirate ships. Early on, the author gets philosophical: "What type of city did we build in the middle of a desert, a metropolis with no reason, beyond our willpower and playful imagination, to exist?" Anyone who's ever asked themselves the same question will satisfy their curiosity with this entertaining, firsthand view of the fastest-growing city in America. --Maria Dolan

From Publishers Weekly

Here's the concept: ex-lawyer and ex-Wall Street Journal reporter Martinez visits some 10 casino hotels in five frantic weeks, jeopardizing $50,000Amost of his book advanceAat blackjack, baccarat, roulette and the slots. His overstuffed journal sandwiches brief glimpses of the changing cityAvia such characters as a local historian and a minister/bathroom attendant at a topless barAwithin a lengthy blow-by-blow account of his time at the tables. Some engaging passages do capture local lunacyAMartinez's betting pace quickly gets him comped, and he shepherds a Gamblers Anonymous member cashing her paycheck at a casino so that she will leave the premises without gambling her money away. And Martinez displays a sly wit, observing, for example, that future archeologists will conclude that "Las Vegas was an important religious center." However, though he ends each section with a report on his ever-fluctuating "nest egg," and inserting reflections on Dostoyevski's The Gambler, Martinez doesn't elevate his notebook into narrative. He recounts the antic thrill of dropping $450 in new winnings on a gift for his wife, but never reveals enough to convey what risking his stake means to him. Indeed, though the author, returning to Vegas after his initial stint, ends up losing big, he concludes his book with a happy shrug, having "felt the exhilaration of truly letting go." His whimsicality makes one wonder about the source of his immunity toward ill fortune. (Nov.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

I really enjoyed this book and the author is very insightful and entertaining.
Thomas G. Kane
He understands the emotional and psychological aspects of gaming well and expresses them with clarity.
D. C. Carrad
I would recommend this book to anyone planning a trip or just a pleasure read.
ANON

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Roberto on January 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
First of all, I would like to apologize to all passengers within earshot of seat 10D on flight AA 963. I realize this was a long overnight flight (Dallas to Sao Paolo, Brazil) but I simply could not put this book down. As you could tell, this book is highly entertaining, and at times, very, very funny. I couldn't help but laugh out loud.
Martinez' vivid description of the action as he puts his $50k advance on the line places the reader next to him at the tables in the various casinos he visits. The colorful characters he meets simply jump off the page and introduce themselves to the reader as well. His witty observations, keen insights, and wonderful narrative style make this book a delight to read, regardless of the reader's interest in gambling or Vegas.
My only advice is: don't read this book on a long overnight flight. There's no chance you'll get any sleep and you may get looks from fellow passengers who are desperately trying to.
I can't wait to read Martinez' next book.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Barbara on November 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
While I must admit that I'm not the gambling type, 24/7 had me completely addicted. It's a highly amusing chronicle of the author's adventures in Las Vegas and of the colorful characters he comes in contact with along the way. Martinez portrays the people he meets with respect, regardless of their position in life. You end up really liking him, with his humorous, down-to-earth style and his quirky references to his cat Trotsky and his practical wife Kathy back home. The book also has suspenseful moments when Martinez gets more and more into the gambling himself. After reading it, I'm actually thinking about going out to Vegas myself sometime to check out the mega hotels he describes so vividly and to experience all else the city has to offer.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Cochran on May 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I read this book as part of a 'homework' assignment before my first trip to Las Vegas. The most intriguing thing about this book is the subtle humor Andreas uses throughout its entirety. And the fact that he thoroughly reasearches not only the hotels and the town, but the people of Las Vegas as well, makes it fascinating. He befriends a tennis instructor, an old casino 'regular' and even ends up at a gambler's anonymous meeting. The characters he ends up meeting are quite intriguing. Every time he would recount his gambling experiences, I would be applauding his wins or feeling sorry for his losses. This book is a definitely one to take with you on the plane as it certainly kept me laughing out loud and snickering to myself in the airport! I can't wait for Mr.Martinez to write similar books for every vacation destination! His writing will not tire you out....
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is a page turner: couldn't put it down! It's as readable and full of suspense and motion as a novel. The pace, wit, and style of writing carries you along as the author describes one exciting experience after another, sharing insightful revelations about all aspects of the incredible city of Las Vegas and its vast array of interesting inhabitants. The gambling sessions, interwoven into the narrative, cause anyone who has ever gambled to relive the agony of the downs and the exhilaration of the ups when taking on Dame Fortune. An added bonus to having read the book: Christmas shopping is easy. I'm sending copies to my many friends and family.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Conrad Lewis on February 2, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I love reading anything to do with gambling and I awaited with anticipation Martinez's book. It lived up to my expectations. For the reviewer who doesn't know or understand why so many other reviewers mentioned Frank Scoblete, the reason is somewhat similar to why folks who like horror fiction mention Stephen King when they talk of other authors. Scoblete has set a very high literary standard for gaming writers, which in my opinion Martinez's book certainly lives up to. What Scoblete does in his books is not only give advice on how to play the various games but he often relates his adventures as did Martinez in this book. I totally disagree with the reviewers who panned this book and said it wasn't as good as Scoblete. The difference is that martinez's book is an adventure and background, Scoblete's books are strategic advice, indepth analysis of the games, and then his personal adventures in Vegas and other casino towns. Martinez deserves the five star ratings. I can't see how anyone could have given him one star. The reviewer who doesn't care about reading Scoblete is entitled to his opinion but he should stay clear of the casinos or he'll wind up the way Martinez did, losing almost his entire bankroll. However, Mr. Martinez, congratulations on a truly fine work!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I began reading 24/7 on a flight and upon arrival at my hotel, I cancelled my plans for the rest of the day, called up Room Service and had the sheer joy of reading the bulk of the book straight through to the end. Witty, well-written, highly entertaining, and informative about the phenomenon of today's Las Vegas....... this book is a must-read no matter what level of interest a person has in Vegas or in gambling: even if one thinks it is none at all! The author's daily forays into the casinos caused me to "suffer" when he was losing and cheer when he was ahead. Best of all was reading about his adventures outside the casino and feeling I was getting to know the fascinating people who crossed his path. I came away with a much better understanding of what the new Vegas is all about. The book is total enjoyment!
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