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Players: Con Men, Hustlers, Gamblers, and Scam Artists Paperback – December 31, 2002


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Players: Con Men, Hustlers, Gamblers, and Scam Artists + The Big Con: The Story of the Confidence Man + The Modern Con Man: How to Get Something for Nothing
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Quirky collection of pieces on the shadow side of risk ... generally an idiosyncratic and enjoyable mix." -- Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2002
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (December 31, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560253800
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560253808
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,116,195 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
56%
4 star
11%
3 star
33%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 9 customer reviews
A great find that I recommend to any devious mind.
Saanvi Kothari
This baroque , shady and very entertaining book is an epic tour of the gilded and subterrean world of con men, hustlers and gamblers.
Carl J. Bromley
The collection spans novels, plays, movie scripts, and more.
DPerello

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Carl J. Bromley on January 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
This baroque , shady and very entertaining book is an epic tour of the gilded and subterrean world of con men, hustlers and gamblers. What surprised me about this book is despite the narcissism and aggression of many of the characters portrayed here, they (and the book) have a artistic and poetic pedigree too. A lot of great writers are in this book --Borges, Baudelaire, Dostoevsky, Luc Sante, Runyon, Brecht, Saul Bellow, Nick Pilegg,i. Hunter Thompson, David Mamet, Nick Tosches and Martin Amis. BUt for my money, the gem or the jewel in the crown is John Molyneux's mini-memoir of gambling in London in the sixties, which, apparently, is a piece written especially for the book.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Martin Prague on January 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
There's a lot to love in this sumptous serving of conartistry and viliany. Lovers of "Gangs of New York" and "Catch Me if You Can" will find pieces by Herbert Asbury (author of Gangs) and Frank Abaganale (author of Catch me); lovers of 19th century lit will find the Russian and French masters; and lovers of the down and dirty will dig the pieces by David mamet, Nick Ppileggi. JOhn Ridley and Nick Tosches. Mr Geno Zanetti does it again!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Players: Con Men, Hustlers, Gamblers and Scam Artists contains 36 diverse short offerings by 33 different authors. Some are fact, some are fiction and some are speculation. There are short stories, essays, memoirs and excerpts from longer works. There's even one poem.

The authors run the literary gamut from Dostoevesky to Frank W. Abagnale (you know, the Catch Me if You Can guy). There's very little in the way of editorial input to provide the reader with context as to why a given work was selected and what the author's original intent was supposed to have been.

It is extremely unlikely that anyone will like each and every entry. And it is equally unlikely that any reader wouldn't find something here to enjoy.
I personally found five of the selections to be excellent:
"The Queen of Spades" by Alexander Pushkin, "The Yellow Kid" by Joseph Weil, an excerpt from "The Hustler" by Walter Tevis, an exerpt from "Cut Numbers" by Nick Tosches and an excerpt from "Love is a Racket" by John Ridley.
Deserving of honorable mention are: "The Man Who Would be King" by Rudyard Kipling and an excerpt from "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson.
The remaining 29 entries were less than satisfying for one reason or another.

Bottom line: It's hard to recommend this lengthy, seemingly random collection. Though roughly twenty percent of it is quite good.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book as a reference for a con related video game I am working on. Of the several I purchased, this was by far the most fun, interesting, and informative. The collection spans novels, plays, movie scripts, and more. Overall, a very fun read.
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By Saanvi Kothari on July 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
I loved reading about history's known and unknown grifters. This book had pieces by some of my favorite writers too including Hunter S. Thompson and Saul Bellow. A great find that I recommend to any devious mind.
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