The plot, like poker itself, is a transitory affair. "I been playing for over six years now," says Mickey, the narrator of Shut Up and Deal, "and I still try and start each day as a new day, pick myself off the floor and get focused." This works fine when you're sitting at the poker table, where no given hand means anything in the context of any other given hand, but readers who enjoy traditional narrative, where events have a causal relationship to the events immediately preceding, will face a stiff challenge in the unrelenting cycle of hands won and lost with no visible grander scheme of things in which player--and reader--might take solace. --Ron Hogan
This is only poker novel I know worth reading several times to get at its many meanings.
It's just a bunch of anecdotes, really, hardly a great work of art, but if you play the game at any really serious level you will see yourself at many points here.
Even though the book suffers severely from a lack of plot, but there are so many intriguing vignettes and characters that you tend to forget this.
May describes his experiences as an East Coast professional poker player in this book adapted from his stream of consciousness notes while playing in Atlantic City and Europe. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Philip Oncley
Shut Up and Deal is not like many other books. It has no plot, no climax, and no resolution. It's too good for that stuff. Read morePublished 22 months ago by J
See the cards, touch the chips, breath the rancid air, feel the pain, the fear, the passion. It's all here. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Walter Battaglia (pen name)
There is no novel here. This is a series of poker vignettes narrated by a young man who makes a living at the game. Read morePublished on July 13, 2012 by William Reich
The only problem I find with this book is that it's sold as a novel, but it's not. It's more of a fictionalized memoir. That said, it's a fine poker memoir. Read morePublished on February 6, 2012 by One Tough Customer
One of the best poker books ever. Must reading of any aspiring poker pro.
"bitterness and denial aren't
with something that... Read more
i wanted to give this book 5 stars ... but there's just something missing, not quite sure what ... but it's still damn good poker reading ... Read morePublished on January 8, 2009 by J. Blaze
This is for serious players only; anybody else will find its various literary flaws too distracting. Read morePublished on March 31, 2008 by K. Swanson
I'm just adding my voice to those who have said this is the greatest poker novel ever written. It stands alone. Read morePublished on February 15, 2006 by William J. Nicholas