Not everyone who graduates from Ivy League schools immediately enters high-paying and prestigious careers. Peter Alson, Harvard graduate and nephew of Norman Mailer, writes in an "almost-tough-guy" style of his life as a bookie in Brooklyn, from the highs of making some big commissions to the lows of spending time in a feces-encrusted and overcrowded cell. A cross between Jim Carroll's The Basketball Diaries
and Damon Runyon
's tales of down-and-out or lowlife New Yorkers.
From Publishers Weekly
By the age of 33, Alson, a Harvard graduate, had played at being a writer and an editor, with no success. When he learned that another Ivy Leaguer he had met, 10 years his junior, was growing rich as a bookie, Alson had him steer him into the business. This memoir is about the time the author spent working in a betting parlor and about those who worked there; it is also about his off-and-on relationship with his girlfriend, Anna, she in Chicago and he in New York City. His arrest, followed by three days in a holding cell, convinced him that a career in crime was not for him, at about the same time he realized that his love affair would never go anywhere and he broke it off. The passages about his waxing-and-waning feelings for Anna are well done, a picture of two people not quite right for each other who refuse to recognize the fact because they want desperately to be in love. On the other hand, there are unmistakable elements of condescension in his descriptions of fellow workers in the gambling vineyards. Author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.